Well, March of 2020 certainly gave us all more than we bargained for. I know I promised to keep updates coming as we were on our Spring Break trip, but the world got a bit complicated and I’m just now getting around to recapping the entire month. We’ll cover a lot of ground in this update, so strap in and hang on.
On February 29th our oldest son came back to the roost, because the apartment complex he lives in experienced a major fire while he was luckily at work. Fortunately for him, the building that burned was across the driveway from his, but we didn’t get confirmation of this until the next day. The videos and pictures we watched on social media and the news Saturday night made it seem as if the entire complex went up. He was able to return home the next day, but March was just getting ready to unload on us.
On March 3rd, at about 1am, Nashville and the surrounding area was shook to its core by a massive F3 tornado that dropped with almost no warning, and stayed on the ground for about 60 miles, intensifying as it went. Our town of Mt. Juliet was shattered, but we were again fortunate that our family was safe. Beth was at work in Donelson and it missed our office building by about a mile I would say. It was at least 8 or 9 miles from our house. But again, Sam was right in the front row, as it only missed his apartments by maybe 1/4 or 1/2 of a mile. He was out of power for 4 days after the storms came through. Movement through the city was incredibly difficult for the rest of the week, as all traffic lights were out along the storms path. 15 minute drives that normally take 30-40 minutes in rush hour were suddenly taking 2+ hours. I was really looking forward to going on vacation and coming back refreshed.
We left on March 9th for a trip to Florida. We had some fun stops along the way at Andersonville NMP, and in Plains, GA. We also stopped in Dawson and visited with family in the area. On the 10th, we arrived in Florida and spent the week with Beth’s parents at a 55+ community that they spent the winter at. I must say, I’m looking forward to retirement, I really enjoyed every aspect of the week, from shuffleboard to bingo, and just taking it easy. We really didn’t get out and about and do much, we went to the beach for a short time one day, and a fisherman’s village for a dolphin cruise and dinner the next day. We just chilled out for the whole week, and it was great.
However, storms were brewing in our country. Over the course of the week the NBA season suddenly closed down. Race traffic I had been worried about driving back through in St. Pete for IndyCar, and Atlanta for NASCAR suddenly vanished. Spring Training halted. Things that we said ‘could never happen’ on the drive down Monday were starting to happen, and the news just kept getting worse. By the time we drove back on Saturday, we found ourselves in an ‘escape party’ from Florida, as everyone whose plans had been cancelled started making their way back home. Traffic was packed all the way through Atlanta. Every rest area was almost totally filled with cars. It was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.
Since we returned, life has been crazy. My wife and I both work in logistics for a large national grocer, and the effort that is being put forth by the team we work with to keep stores stocked has been something I’ll always be proud to have been a part of. However, it hasn’t been easy. 3 of our 4 children work on the front lines at grocery stores, and I worry about their safety daily. Not just from people who may transmit the virus, but from people in general. The world is starting to become a desperate place, and as this intensifies crime rates are going to rise. As of this writing, I don’t personally know anyone who has tested positive, and I hope that I can still say that whenever this ends. My heart breaks for everyone out there suffering directly or indirectly from what is going on right now.
I’ll end this post with something a little more upbeat than talking about Covid-19. Over the past few months, I’ve been really thinking hard about getting a vehicle that is more practical than the Challenger. On March 21st, we left Traveller behind and came home with Blackjack, a 2020 Ram 1500 ‘Built to Serve’ addition. As soon as the country opens back up, I can’t wait to start knocking out some road trips in it.
On the 24th, Adam finally got his first vehicle, a 2002 Dodge Dakota, which we’ve saddled with the name ‘Double D’. The vehicle was a 1 owner truck that was painstakingly cared for and only driven about 7,500 miles a year. We’ve already had it inspected fully, and only found two small issues that $40 cleared up.
And lastly, it is with great sadness that we announce that the Spring Break trip was the last adventure in our 2016 Grand Caravan, AKA ‘The Toaster’. On the 29th, Beth had a bit of an incident that resulted in all the air bags popping. While the exterior damage was minor, the interior expenses caused by the air bags and seat belts took us past the point of ‘total loss’. While ‘The Toaster’ may now just be ‘Toast’, we have selected and ordered Beth her first car in almost 20 years that isn’t a ‘Mom Van’, so she’s genuinely excited. Sometime in the next week, we’ll take delivery of a Jeep Renegade, not sure what we’ll call it yet. We’ll post a picture of it as soon as it arrives.
Until we talk again, stay safe, and stay healthy!