Early in the morning , 3:30AM to be exact, I awoke in darkness and prepared myself for the day that lay ahead. I followed my daily routine and forewent breakfast in fear of being late to pick up my mother from her house. I fed all the animals, packed my change of clothing, and loaded the sewing machine I had promised to bring into the trunk.
It’s still dark at 5AM, but on a good note, the traffic is not high in volume either. I pulled into the local Pilot and topped off my tank and grabbed a few energy drinks, I knew I would need them for later. As I headed down the interstate I cranked the tunes and lowered the windows.
I picked my mother up from her house and we were on our way! As the sun slowly rose over the mountains we were headed into them. This day gave the promise of great, but hot, weather. While in the mountains we faced many obstacles, most of which where slow drivers, a bicycle in the middle of the interstate, and a feather pillow that had been hit a few times to give that snowfall in June effect.
I learned that North Carolina does not like to mark with direction to go when you get off an exit to the nearest food source and that they really don’t mark interstate exchange with the major cities like most others do. Thank goodness for GPS. Well, I spoke too soon on that one. While the GPS did get us there.. it calculated the shortest route.. not the easiest or fastest.. so we ended up taking the scenic tour of downtown Columbia. Once again, like North Carolina, their southern sister does not like to mark directions very well. We spent 30 minutes driving around to find FT Jackson.. till finally I just loaded the map on the phone and made my own directions.. 5 minutes later.. we arrived.
Not sure who designs army bases, but nothing makes sense on them.. the roads are so confusing and if you don’t know where you are going.. oh my. We drove around for a few minutes looking for the place my brother was staying and I got to see things that brought back memories from when I was in basic training. So from then on it was a lot of fun with my brother and mother for the rest of the day.
It was the next day, our return day, that was interesting. My brother is training to be a Chaplain and so he must assess other religious services as part of his training. I got the pleasure of accompanying him on this while mom slept. Traditionally one would dress nice for church, and on a military base, it’s usual uniforms or nice clothes, not to mention shaved heads and strict maneuvering. I went to service in shorts, a t-shirt, my sleeve tattoo on display, and earrings, which caused me to stand out just a little, more so since I was one of the few attendees which had hair.
We attended the Liturgical service and a Mormon service, both were very interesting and it was really intriguing to see how they presented the service. I grew up in a Baptist environment, so this was fascinatingly different from when I was a child.
After the serviced, we picked up mom and took her to breakfast then did a little shopping outside the base. Filled my tank up on post (thanks for the cheap gas) and headed home.. the easier way. Ran into a thunder-storm, which only lasted a few minutes, right outside the North Carolina state line. Then smooth cruising back through the mountains. All in all, it was a fun trip, I do not recommend you go there.. take 20 east and head to the beach, but for my brother, I would do it again.