The Birthday Girl

That’s my Mom and today was her birthday. She is the reason I was rushing home from Airstreaming in the middle of the week. I was not going to miss her birthday. She is enjoying a free ice cream sundae, courtesy of IHOP. Of all the places she could have chosen, she wanted IHOP with the free sundae on her birthday. Children of the Great Depression and those of the “Greatest Generation” have not forgotten the value of a dollar in this disposable society.

It doesn’t take a lot to please my Mom. She has so much “stuff” and is in need of nothing except better health. She loved the birdhouses I brought from Virginia and is planning strategic locations. The bluebirds will soon be treated to new digs.

That’s Mom wearing her sunglasses over her regular glasses. Says it’s easier that way. Mom is not a slave to trendy fashion. What ever works, whatever she likes, whatever is comfortable, that’s good enough for her. Her attitude made for a delightfully pressure-free childhood for me. I thank her every day that I never had to question if I was loved.

We took in a 3 hour sunset cruise on the River Gorge Explorer, a 70 passenger catamaran that can speed down the river going from zero to 50 mph in a matter of seconds. There are four C-18 875 hp engines and the power is unmistakable as they rumble to life. It can quickly manuever every which way but upside down. We did high-speed doughnuts in the Tennessee River and barely created a ripple of wake. When cruising at top speed and the captain reverses engine thrust, this is what you see out the window. Mom enjoyed every minute of it.

 Check this out if you want to see more.

Just like the clip, we went by my boss’s house too. He wasn’t home, was probably working, but not me! And the captain really does use a “gameboy” to bring the vessel into port. I stood right by him and watched. This boat is as slick as it gets.

By the time we got back, the sun had gone down and the lights were on in town. Chattanooga’s 109 year old Walnut Street bridge is visible just behind the 92 year old Market Street bridge. That’s the recently decomissioned 83 year old Delta Queen, now a hotel, to the left behind the first bridge. Though the landmarks are aged, Chattanooga’s riverfront still thrives.

 So I pray that my 81 year old Mom continues to thrive. Though now less often, she travels with me and the Airstream. She traveled with me to get Elvis when my other support systems fell through. She couldn’t bear the thought of me recovering the trailer alone, wanted to be there for moral support. I want her to be the first to travel with me when Elvis is ready to roll on the road again.

I love my Mom.

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