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quick trip...

Friday, June 22, 2018
... to south Carolina today, with a stop at the Quik Trip convenience store in Commerce for my number one addiction: curb store cappuccino.  Then veering off to wally world in search of an interesting/colorful plant to take along. I usually take Homer something blooming: an amaryllis bulb to put in a pot and watch grow at Christmas, geraniums in the spring, lantana that will bloom for months in the summer. Something growing and something good to eat: sweet rolls or pastries.

Going to Greenville to visit my pen-pal, as I try to go once a month to see Homer. He seems to be slowly slowing down, not as energetic or peppy as he has been in the past. But he's also not as young to have the energy to show pep. Left Decatur this morning about six a.m. heading north to I-85. With the plan to be well away from the chaotic bedlam of twelve-lanes-wide traffic by the time everyone who was on the wrong side to town tries to right the problem. Uneventful drive across northeast Georgia and into Carolina.

We had a good visit, including me planting some zinnias he had started with seeds he saved from last year. He had put them in a little rectangular plastic tub, with some good dirt and watered often. They were pretty desperate to be transplanted, having grown so tall they were all flopping over. I asked if he would let me put them in the ground, in a little strip of land between his driveway and chain link fence surrounding the lawn. It is a place where he has planted annuals for several years, including some sunflowers that grew amazingly large heads. Such huge blooms the stalks could not hold the heads up, so heavy and laden with seeds they were all facing down, towards the dirt. He won't have gigantic sunflowers this summer, but I hope at least half of the little zinnia stalks we relocated will survive to give him bright colorful flowers all summer. Attracting bees and butterflies in abundance.

When I started back to Georgia, there was a place where traffic slowed to a crawl. Reminding me of the most awfullest ever experience of trying to get back into the metro after the solar eclipse last August. When it took me ten hours to drive 134 miles, me and everyone else in a two-hundred mile radius. This time, this trip: we slowed to seven miles per hour for about ten miles. Finally getting to the spot where two vehicles were pulled off in the median, both banged up, along with a sheriff's cruiser with blue lights flashing. After that: no other difficulties. Then I noticed about four million cars inching along heading in the other direction, all leaving town, highly frustrated by traffic and profound lack of progress when all they wanted was: Home. Meanwhile, us who had been inching for ten miles finally speeding up, heading back towards the city were able to speed up  again.

I got all the way back into town before the rains came. A frog-strangler timed perfectly for me to be off the road. Probably qualifies as a flash flood, but I was in the house and done with driving before the drenching started.

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