We are home. It was so great to pull into our garage Thursday evening. I missed Jessica and mama. And I really wanted to be here when Starshine had her kittens.

We stayed at Rich’s cousin’s house for 3 days. We started getting homesick after 2, and we were so busy with family things, that we didn’t get to see everyone we wanted to. It bewilders me that I don’t like to be away from home very long, yet I have such a strong desire to travel. I think, though, that Jess staying behind (especially since her accident was still so fresh in my mind) probably exacerbated our longing for home.

We made the return trip in two installments. We stopped in Columbus to visit Rich’s aunt. She’s the only one of his father’s siblings left. She’s also the oldest, at 81. She fixed us supper and we shared pictures and stories. We drove until Galipolis and stopped for the night.

We got off the interstate somewhere in West Virginia, I believe, onto US Route 52. It was nice and leisurely, except for the mountains, up, then down, zigzagging back and forth. I don’t as a rule get carsick, but there were a couple of times that I had to make sure I didn’t take my eyes off the road. I understand the allure of the new highways when you’re going thru the mountains, but it sure was beautiful countryside.

We would drive for a bit, stop and play tourist, then drive some more, and stop for some grindage. I suddenly have developed a fondness for old country churches. 100_7785.JPGHoly Advent Lutheran Church in Wytheville, VA

100_7777.JPG Bland Community Church in Bland, VA (I don’t know why this pic looks like flag banners around the church, it doesn’t look like that on my computer, I guess it just didn’t transfer well.)

Poor Rich, I made him stop quite a few times so I could snap them here and there. Sometimes there were cars behind us, so I just had to take the picture on the move. 100_7796.JPGSome of those didn’t turn out very well. However, I have convinced him that we need to take a weekend drive, just the two of us, and let me take lots of photos.

On Big Walker Mountain, we stopped at a scenic overlook. They have a tower that they said was 100 feet tall. I had no desire to go up there, but across the road, they have a little dock that juts out from the side of the mountain, and I took this awesome picture100_7780.JPG As I looked out over this gorgeous scene, I was struck by the same warmth that I get sitting on a hotel balcony overlooking the ocean waves. The one question that always comes to mind at these times is, how could anyone look at these perfect views and challenge the existence of the almighty creator? I just don’t understand it.

While taking the scenic route is relaxing and well, scenic, it is also longer. It took us 9 hours to travel from just over the halfway point. It was worth it, though. I really want to get away and take a nice leisurely photo drive.

So, we made port Thursday evening, and the next morning, the kittens arrived. I choose to believe that Starshine was just waiting for her grandmama to come home before birthing her babies.

We all watched her, poor thing, she only had sporadic privacy. Tony couldn’t remember seeing puppies being born a few years ago, so he was really fascinated. I’ll try to post a pic of them later today.

Now, it’s time to catch up on laundry and all the other duties that I have neglected in favor of spending the rest of Rich’s vacation just vegging with him. I guess Monday has always got to bring us back to reality.

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