Friday was a nice day for a drive.
I realized, the day before, that my trip to Tennessee would be the first time I’d been away from home without my kids, my husband, or both, since before I got married. I was instantly even more excited for my trip.
The first half of the drive was very easy, though my family added me to a group chat maybe 30 minutes before I intended to stop for lunch, and I got spammed with bluetooth notifications of texts that I couldn’t do anything about while barreling down the interstate. Once I’d stopped, I couldn’t figure out how to mute the group chat, so after harassing me a little longer they took pity on me and removed from the group as requested.
Once I left the interstate, the trip was almost entirely long stretches of rural highway through Kentucky and into Tennessee. I missed a turn or otherwise flubbed the route at some point, and had to stop and finally figure out how to use my phone to navigate, which turned out to be incredibly convenient so another point for technology and the modern era. The phone also supplied me with hours of music I loved with no ads.
My sister J has really been going through it with with her ex. They divorced 11 years ago and he still has it in for her. She’s dealing with parental alienation and his attempts to get the courts to give him custody so he can take the kids with him to France. It’s a long, sordid story that I won’t get into here. That’s one of the reasons for my visit, though – just to be some company for her after she’s gone through an incredibly rough month. It’s kinda sad, last year I was the one feeling hopeless and depressed, this year the roles are reversed.
I spent Saturday morning hiking a trail in one of Tennessee’s beautiful parks with my sisters J and G, and after we’d come home and had lunch, we headed over to Chattanooga to meet my friend M – our first time seeing each other in person. We had tea at her favorite tea room, then went to see a local attraction and browse a large and quirky gift store on the premises, then had supper at a family owned restaurant, then closed the night off with The Cheesecake Factory.
It was a very relaxed and pleasant day and M is lovely in person. I think the biggest surprise for me was how much restless, fidgety energy she had. That definitely did not communicate itself online. Hopefully at some point we can get together with A, too, so our online group chat can be all together offline for once.
In spite of sleeping on my sister’s couch, which is too small for me, I’ve slept better here than at home, which is a relief. I had a theory that my anxiety and stress related to being near my husband was wrecking my sleep, still, but was worried maybe it was just permanently wrecked and would stay that way even after we were apart. It’s a relief to know I should be able to sleep again when I’m no longer sharing a place with him.
Today J and I were lazy for most of the morning, watching several episodes of Derry Girls on Netflix before finally getting around to some chores. In about 30 minutes we’ll head over to my dad’s and spend the night there as we’ll be spending Labor Day with him.
Here’s an assortment of photos from Saturday.