The Traveling Steve's

Back to Virginia for a while

In my last post we were heading back to Orlando after having been up to Roanoke for a week visiting with my Mom and siblings. We had no sooner gotten home to Florida though, when my brother Andy called to tell us Mom had been admitted to the hospital.

As Steve (DOS) and I are now both retired, we could fortunately travel back up to Virginia, which is what we did. We were home for 2 nights only, just enough to unpack/repack, get mail, look around house and yard, attend previously scheduled Doctor’s appointments tc, before driving back to Roanoke on Thursday morning. We took DOS’s car this trip (a Subaru Outback), and left so quickly I didn’t snap the usual packing up the car photos. I did take a couple photos on the way, such as when we crossed the gracefully spanning bridge in Jacksonville, Florida, noticing an NCL cruise ship docked there thanks to COVID.

At a rest area in Georgia, I took a photo of this relic from not to long ago – an actual pay telephone! Blast from the past! LOL!

We even remembered when we got to this Chick-Fil-a in Brunswick to park at the adjacent Home Depot and walk up to the outdoor kiosk and order, rather than wait in the down the block drive thru line.

On this trip, we stopped only once overnight, just north of Columbia SC. We drove Steve (DOS’s) car this trip, and learning from the last trip, learned how to pack the car a bit more efficiently, with the suitcases, air filter, laptop/ipads, snacks, water etc. We could tell a noticeable difference in traffic (much less) than when we drove over the weekend last time.

Our overnight stop was at the Hampton Inn north of Columbia, and I must say was one of the nicest Hampton Inn’s we’ve ever stayed at. It was obviously new so it was fresh and clean, but definitely more upscale that the typical Hampton. We reserved a studio suite, which was large, quiet, and quite comfortable for our night’s stay.

The next day we drove the rest of the way back to Roanoke, with quick rest stops in North Carolina, and ultimately Virginia once again.

Now we are back in Roanoke, again staying at Mom and Dad’s old house for an indefinite amount of time.

Mom is out of the hospital, but is now under Hospice care for cancer living back at her apartment at Harmony Assisted Living. The cancer diagnosis was quite a shock to the family, but at this point we want her to be as comfortable as possible, and are fortunate we can stay as long as we like here in Roanoke.

We visit Mom daily at Harmony, always going thru a temperature check on arrival and wearing a mask while there. Mom is usually sleeping when we come by, but wakes up a bit when we visit, and loves looking at photos we bring by.

My sister Jenni and Steve (DOS) have been helping cleaning out the house and in the process have found many interesting things. I’ve found hundreds if not thousands of photos, many of family, friends, and travel, some black and white, and even sepia for the really old pics. Mom started her career in the Washington DC area (where she met Dad) in the early 1950s, after having grown up in rural Georgia. Mom was actually a secretary to a Congressman early in her career. I came across a small photo book she had showing some pics of her Washington DC days.

Here was a professional photo of her in the 1950’s when she won the Ms. Cherry Blossom contest!

Here are just a couple miscellaneous photos of Mom, from her Washington DC days, to her parents, both sets of parents, family portraits etc. I am in the process of digitizing so many of these old phots, which while time consuming is priceless.

I even found an old photo of me standing on my head at home! I must have been eight or nine years old or so when I was an aspiring acrobat – I used to do that handstand everywhere, even at the church library where my Mom was a volunteer librarian on Wednesday nights! Thank you Mom for putting up with my childhood theatrics!

It’s been nice taking these photos by to show Mom, and even though her short term (daily memory) is quickly forgotten, she remembers very well many of these old photos and who is in them. Mom labeled just about all of the photos with names, locations, and dates, and she really relates to the photos with a smile and offers the names and small details of the people in the photo.

Mom’s birthday is coming up, and I’d like to make a canvas print out of a couple of the photos. For now, please keep Mom in your prayers. Thank you and God Bless!

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