I had been having a bit of sinus pressure for several days, but who doesn’t have sinus pressure in the winter? It turns out I had a temperature of 102; I was actually sick. This may help explain the coughing that had kept me awake for several nights.
I had already had to see our cardiologist friend Louis to get my blood pressure under control early in my New Orleans stay. I now wasn’t sure I’d be well enough to head home without seeing our friendly pulmonologist friend Elaine. I was scheduled for testing, in Tennessee, on Tuesday to see if the Tennessee cardiologist could pinpoint the reason for my blood pressure spikes. I really had to get home for that. It was time for massive doses of Ibuprophen, Benadryl, and a good night’s sleep.
Sunday, I felt well enough to finish packing the van, making sure the ice chest was accessible. There were still New Orleans groceries to haul home. My stop at Rouse’s Super Market supplied the rest of the ballast needed for good traction on the highway home. Richard had requested muffalettas and king cake to serve our Coker Creek crowd. I knew Adam and Josie would want to accompany their king cake with café au lait, so this required a pound of coffee and chicory.
No trip south is complete without bringing home head-on Gulf shrimp; I bought twenty-five pounds. And I couldn’t resist a few other South Louisiana originals, like Italian olive salad and Creole cream cheese. Fully loaded, I drove until dark; this got me within three hours of Coker Creek. I checked into a motel knowing that I could sleep in and still get home for a late lunch.
I’ve made this trip many times, but I’d forgotten that a rock slide had closed part of my familiar route. Our navigation system was in Richard’s vehicle, so this left me to use my own sense of direction. My father said I was the daughter of an Indian Princess and a drunken Irishman. My sense of direction was definitely not inherited from my Indian princess mother. I think it came from my drunken Irish father. I wasn’t drunk, but I could have been for all the getting lost I did within twenty miles of our holler.
I definitely took the scenic route. I saw waterfalls that I’d never seen before and went off-roading on what had been roads before our winter rains. I eventually slid into home plate before dusk, with my van covered in half the mud between here and Reliance.
All we had time to do was haul in the goodies and groceries before I collapsed on the couch. The next morning, we were off to Maryville for a day at the doctor’s. With a van full of prescription medications for our various old-people ailments, we’re ready to hunker down in our bunker to wait out the winter -- until I head back to New Orleans, that is.