Sunday, June 04, 2023

Can I Have a Do-Over? Writing Challenge Take Two!

I will not say I failed miserably at writing 30 minutes a day in May. I will say that I made an honest attempt and I was not successful. Therefore I am doing a do-over. Today is June 3rd and there's a full moon. I'd say that this is the perfect time to start again. I've already written the first two days of the month and I will continue to write each day, using this time for novel editing as well.

But first let's talk about the graduation and the road trip from New York to Houston. 

Miranda and I at Long Island University

The commencement ceremony was a success. I arrived just in the nick of time to see her march out to "Pomp & Circumstance." In my opinion there are only two important moments in a graduation. When the graduate marches out to that beautiful melody and when they call the graduate's name and she walks across the stage. Those were my two favorite moments. Then there are the photos afterwards. Here I am, a super proud mother with her first born child.

I was so touched by all of the family members who took the time and spent the money to go to New York to see her graduate. Her father and I were there of course. So was her father's partner and Miranda's big sister Amanda. Her brother Seth didn't have far to travel since he's a freshman at LIU Brooklyn. Amanda's son, my sweet baby boy got to partake in the celebrations, as did Amanda's partner. Two of my sisters were there, my nephew, my best friend who is an aunt to her, and her sister, who is like a second aunt. All in all, four states were represented- Texas, California, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Five if you count Seth in New York. 

It was an epic celebration and we had a wonderful weekend celebrating. I took one day for fun, Saturday when I walked along a small piece of Central Park with my sister, then we went to see the Starbucks Reserve location on the first floor of the Empire State Building, because she was dying to try the olive oil coffee. After that we went to see a musical, "New York, New York" and we had dinner in Little Italy. A perfect day. 

I won't go into the stress and chaos of getting Miranda and Seth packed and ready to leave because it will take too much time. Let's just say, it took a good two days to get Miranda's things sorted, packed, given away, or thrown away. I was so happy we could give one of the ladies, who was cleaning the dorms, Miranda's almost brand new winter coat, perfect for the really cold New York winters, and her snow boots. Seth took less time but we had to get his things packed into a storage facility because he's going back in the fall. We finished that on Tuesday morning, so I should really say it took two and a half days total between both children.

Miranda and I began our journey on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. and my 7 p.m. we had made it to Hershey, Pennsylvania. No, we didn't make it in time for the tour of the chocolate factory, but we drove by the building and through the picturesque town with a very interesting history. It reminds me of the history of Sugar Land and how the company created housing for their employees around the factory.

By 11 p.m. or so we'd made it to Virginia and we spent our first night in Winchester, Virginia, the site of many battles during the American Civil War. We were exhausted so we didn't wake up early. We would start our journey closer to noon. 

Thank goodness the weather was perfect and it wasn't hot yet. Wednesday we drove all day until we made it to Nashville, Tennessee. I wish we'd taken the time to see something that morning but I really wanted to make it to Memphis to go to the National Civil Rights Museum. I'm so glad I did!

The drive through Tennessee was beautiful by the way and the Natl Civil Rights Museum built around the Lorraine Motel where MLK was shot is a must see when you're in Memphis.

We were extremely lucky that the only really bad weather passed over us while we were in the museum and at dinner. By the time we got back on the road that evening the road was wet and there was just a slight drizzle as we left Memphis. We pushed forward and we made it to Texarkana by 11 p.m. 

On Friday morning we had to go see the post office and federal building on the state line of the city. We also had an awesome breakfast across the street in an adorable cafĂ©. 

Onward and forward and it was a beautiful drive through our beautiful state. We took Highway 59 down all the way to Houston. I pointed out Goodrich and Seth's favorite chicken place as we drove through. I showed Miranda what road I take to the Yellow Rose Cabins, where I hope to take her on the 4th of July weekend. 

All in all we had a wonderful mother-daughter road trip.  It was cool to learn that the highway between Nashville and Memphis is called the Tennessee Music Highway.  If I could do anything different I would have taken an extra day so we could have made time to stop and visit places in Nashville and a couple of spots in Memphis. We are big fans of  Johnny Cash and June Carter so it would have been  nice to see some of the historic places. I would have loved to have stopped at the Sun Studios in Memphis. Alas, for a future trip. There are so many places to see in America and I hope to live a long  life to see as many as I can. 

Big shout out to my little 2012 Honda Fit, that not only drove up to New York in September 2022, but also drove my girl all around Long Island all school year, to and from rowing practice. THEN it drove us safely back down to Texas. 

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