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Home at the end of the day

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[Today’s run:  Watson Road  3.4 miles]

Yesterday was a busy day.

After our two weeks of vacation I had a bit of an add-on. I dropped off on the return trip at our son’s house in Greenville, MS on Sunday the 19th.  He needed someone to tend to his household while he started his new job in the Newton, MS area and secured housing.  So I worked from his place and took care of his dogs and such.  It worked out fine for me.  And he was successful in securing a rental house in the course of the week.

I finally made it home-home from vacation on Friday evening.

Saturday I ran with the group in Starkville.  Wife had a meeting in Jackson so I was watching our dog while she was off doing that.  We had a bit of excitement when I arrived home from Starkville to discover that the house was locked but I didn’t have a house key.  I was able to find a way into the house and the dog didn’t take me for a burgler.  In the afternoon I went to Lowes and bought two more copies of the house key and a push-button garage door remote which I programmed and mounted.  So, hopefully no more lock-outs for me.

Early yesterday AM I drove back over to Greenville.  Greenville is on the Mississippi river and Columbus is on the eastern boarder of the state, both on US-82.  So to get to Greenville you jump in the car and get on 82 and go west until you get there, about 2-1/2 hours.  Son had everything all packed in the old pickup truck except for just a couple of items.  Soon we were on our way.

I was driving the old Ford truck with the furniture and such in the back.  He had his little Kia car with some stuff in the trunk and his two dogs and himself. His new place is in the country near Walnut Grove, MS, south of Carthage.

I went in the lead, mostly because I wanted him to see if anything was shifting around or flying out of the truck.  We could do 55-60 mph and everything looked good, so I stuck at that speed.

We went south on 61 from Leland to Hollandale.  The road is old concrete in pretty good shape. And the landscape is flat with fields on both sides.  I had a strong reminder of  crossing Iowa on my bicycle 40+ years ago in RAGBRAI.  I remember miles and miles of that old concrete, with numbers stamped in the panels every so often.  I didn’t stop to see if 61 had numbers stamped in it.  Greenville, Leland, Hollandale, are all in the “Mississippi Delta” which is a very flat area along the west border of the state, very good for growing row crops but prone to flooding.  I saw houses with little dikes surrounding them.

I was keeping an eye on the load and everything was riding fine.  A roll of paper towels was tossed in on top of some other stuff, and it decided to start unravelling.  So we stopped and I gathered that up and put it in the cab.

We proceeded from Hollandale eastwards to Belzoni and then south again to Yazoo City.  We crossed the Yazoo River on a tall bridge.  That guy in the Civil War tried to run gunboats up the Yazoo River as part of the Union attempt to get into western Mississippi, eventually being successful south of Vicksburg.  Yazoo City was the end of the Delta driving, we went up into the rolling hills and left straight roads for curvy roads.  At Yazoo City we caught highway 16 toward Canton.

I was driving in the lead, following the Google Maps directions on my cell phone.  It routed me around the north side of Canton on some little roads.  I was kind of hoping we would go through Canton because I was getting thirsty.  But I followed the directions.

Along the way I remember seeing a large lady sitting in an SUV on a bit of an inclined driveway, probably to a church.  There was a bunch of little kids attempting to push the SUV up the inclined gravel driveway while the lady had her door open and was sitting behind the wheel.  It occurred to me that having a bunch of kids on the downhill side of  big lady in a big SUV, in neutral, was probably not the smartest idea.  But we zoomed on by before it registered.

We were on one of those little two-lane roads (Old Mississippi 16, east of Sharon, MS) with large ditches on both sides, with woodsey, probably swampy, land.  It was a straight section and I was cruising along at about 55.  A deer,  I’d love to say it was a large buck but really I don’t know what it was; this deer appeared in front of the truck.  I let off of the gas, but I did not slam on the brakes.  Any deer that appears in front of my old Ford truck deserves what he gets.  There was a thump and then a rubbing sound.  I slowed to a stop.  It smelled like hot rubber.  I thought maybe the deer was stuck under the front end and dragging on the ground.  There wasn’t any shoulder, so I just slowed to a stop in the lane and Son stopped behind me in his little Kia car with the dogs.  He put on his 4-way flashers.

I went around to the front of the truck while he walked back to see what happened to the deer.  Everything on the truck looked OK except that the chrome bumper had bent down on the drivers side so that the tail of the thing was rubbing on the tire.  I grabbed on it and gave a good pull, but I wasn’t able to budget it at all.  I thought about trying to use the jack to use the weight of the vehicle to attempt to bend it back, but that seemed unlikely to work. Son came up and said the deer was DOA.  (I figured the deer got what he deserved, but I’m glad he didn’t suffer.  Lesson  #1, don’t be jumping out in front of a 90’s-era Ford pickup truck doing 50+ MPH.)

To make a long story shorter, we got out tools from Son’s household goods and we were able to remove the chrome bumper from the brackets.  We secured the bumper to the load.  While this was happening we had 4-5 cars go by.  It was a slow day for traffic, being Sunday morning during church time.

So this slowed down our good progress and put us just after noon on the clock, I think.  It was close enough that I was starting to feel the need for some food and drink.

We proceeded on to rejoin highway 16 again between Canton and Carthage, only about 30 miles to go.  Then I saw an object in the road, after I passed it my mind registered it as a screwdriver.  I looked in the side mirror right when it went under the front tire of the Kia.  I saw it bounce out from behind the Kia and gave a sigh of relief (this is called foreshadowing).  I was cruising along again, not much farther along, when my cell phone went off: it was Son, calling to tell me he had a flat tire.  Darn that screwdriver.

So, he got the car off the road into an unused driveway and he unloaded a jack and tire tool.  His Kia didn’t come with a spare tire.  I asked if he wanted to wait with the dogs or have me wait with the dogs.  He elected to wait.

I put in my GPS to go to the Walmart Supercenter in Carthage, a mistake it turns out.  It was 11 miles to Carthage.  Carthage Walmart did not have an auto repair facility.  No tire place in Carthage was open.  I was directed to the Walmart in Philadelphia, MS, another 25 miles away. (I realized later that if I had searched better before starting out I would have saved us some time by going back to Canton instead of going to Carthage.)  I went on to Philadelphia where their Walmart did have an auto center.  It took awhile.. a loong while, but they eventually replaced the tire (it having been patched two times already).  I sat and drank a Sprite and worried that Son and dogs were baking in the little Kia while I waited.  Hopping back into the truck, all this time filled with furniture and etc.  (I’m glad it didn’t rain!)  I drove back to Carthage.  I stopped at a convenience store and bought some bottles of water. Then 11 more miles where I found all still alive at the Kia.  We watered the dogs and got the tire back on right at 4 PM.

We proceeded the last little bit to his new home in the country where we unloaded the worldly goods with no trouble at all.

Leaving Son with a sweaty hug, I drove back up to Philadelphia and had a sandwich at the Wendy’s and made a stop for gas.  I proceeded to drive highway 21 to Shack-a-lack and then up US-45 to home, arriving just as it was starting to get dark.

So I got the grand tour of central Mississippi yesterday and everybody made it home to a peaceful night’s sleep.

 

Filed under Mississippi
Aug 27, 2018
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