As I arrived home from Charleston, I realized how much I knew about myself that I did not know before which I think happens more easily when you are out of your natural habitat and must rely on yourself. Until I went on this journey, I did not really know what I would need to be happy or to be content away from home.
- Coffee pot –Mornings are not happy until I have my coffee and my first breakfast. Yes, I have my first breakfast then in a couple of hours a second breakfast of yogurt and fruit.
- Internet access- two screens would be nice. Spoiled rotten. Thank you ICC!
- Comfortable bed- Yes, my back feels better with a firm soft mattresses. I know that is an oxymoron, but somehow there really is such a mattress. There is a hotel in the West that had such a mattress. I wonder if they would let me go in that room and just look at the brand.
- Places to explore or an ordinary place with interesting people – It can be a coffee shop or McDonald’s, a beach, a sports bar – not picky. It does not have to be anything elaborate.
- Reading material – I hit the $1.00 sale at the Charleston library. Greg bought me a book, and Lori sent me a book. I also had a few of the many magazines that I subscribe to each month.
- Box fan- This is a very important thing for the packing list. Those girls would come in at all hours of the night, and I would only hear the front door close. Turn it on “3”, and you might could sleep through a train crossing. They were a very considerate group of girls.
- Phone calls and text from the people I love- my support team!
I thought my needs were more complicated than this list, but thankful they are not!
I did not need half of the “stuff” I carried with me. I was amused when I started putting all of those hanging clothes in the trunk that I never wore. I mean really who wears blue jeans in Charleston in the summer- not many people. It is too hot! I will be more mindful of what I carry when I pack for heading west, and I will check out the temperature for each region. I think my tan is going to suffer, but my Secret (deodorant) will not have to work so hard when I venture to the West.
This trip superseded all of my expectations about being in a new place for an extended period of time. It was a test, and I PASSED! Yes, we educators always want to pass, but if I had not passed, I would have regrouped and tried again. There are some positive attributes of being a stubborn Southern girl! I have never been away from Mississippi or my family for more than a week or maybe ten days. I was happy hanging out with new friends; the Herald family and their friends took this MS girl in as one of their own. Lucas, Jessica, and Trey adopted me on the beach and even thought we tied, we had a good time cheering for the USA soccer team.
At one of my McDonald’s internet runs, I met a veteran of WWII, Lee Hunt who was aboard the USS Laffey in World War II and his friend, Richard Schramm, 1SG Retired. Mr. Hunt was born on June 6, 1926. Mr. Hunt’s kindness and humility was inspiring. I will always be thankful for the friendliness, kindness, and love of my new friends and acquaintances.
I was also happy alone on the porch reading or sitting on the beach writing. I loved the house. Notice the light blue ceiling that keeps the haints away. “Haints” are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world.
This does not mean that I did not miss or think of my family and friends, but with the world we live in now, technology allows you to stay in touch and communicate with all of your peeps. I talked to my girls every day just like I do when I am home, and we had a group text going at all times. There were texts and phone calls from family and friends and two great visits with Adelia and Michelle.
I can also live with other people! I have lived with my children, but for the last four years I have lived by myself. I am still (I think) an easy roommate to work with under most circumstances, and I think I showed my college roommates that a woman my age is easy to live with if she is not your mother!
I will visit Charleston again. I had a wonderful month, but now the Wild West is calling my name.