Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed.
The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way.
St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
- Prayer to St. Christopher
It took far longer to get home than I had hoped. We packed up FOB Borepatch and hit the road, stopping overnight in Waco to get at least a little bit ahead of the drive. Since the truck drives a lot slower, that two hours turned out to be a good thing. Plus we got to eat at The Elite Grille in Waco, which serves up a mean chicken fried steak (just ask Uncle Jay, although he seems - sadly - to have closed his blog).
The plan was to head to Tyler and I-20, and then home. Tyler was actually an easy shot, and then we pointed the tires east. The lovely and long-haulin' Mrs. Borepatch was driving the car, and I had pretty well made friends with the truck. Because the kids were home alone (Party at the Borepatches!), we'd agreed that she should zoom on ahead while I plodded along behind.
Alas, by Jackson it was looking like I wouldn't make it that day. Mississippi roads are bumpy, and I had a load that while I had packed it tetris-like, would still shift if I gave it the roller coaster treatment. Plus I was plumb tuckered out from the previous day's loading. And so I pulled off the road to gas up at the Pilot in Meridian. I had to wait in line because the gas was cheap, cheap, cheap ($3.49/gal). Then I parked it where I could get out easily (dualie rear view mirrors on the doors make it hard to see behind you when you back up). I figured I'd call the Missus and tell her I was getting a hotel room.
Going into the Pilot, I saw a lady coming towards the door out of the corner of my eye, and so I held the door for her (as is my wont; I may have been raised in Yankeeland, but some of us have manners).
Turns out, it was Mrs. Borepatch. St. Christopher was working over time on that one.
And so we stayed over night in Meridian, Mississippi. While struggling with the economy like much of rural America, the town center there is entirely charming in a Mayberry RFD sense. Plus, we had dinner at Weidmann's restaurant, a town landmark since 1870. The pork chop was properly done (many places ruin them; this did them perfectly), the fried green tomatoes were excellent, and the au gratin potatoes were perhaps the finest I've tasted.
Recommended, as is Meridian. If all you see is what's visible from I-20, you're missing the good stuff. Plus Country Great Jimmie Rodgers is from there, and hopefully I'll get one of his songs up tomorrow.
Then home today. The truck is half unloaded, but that's OK - don't need to get it back until Monday, and I need to make some space for the furniture I've brought back. Idle thoughts from the road:
This was the first time I realized just how obnoxious it is when someone passes a truck on the right hand side. I never really made it instinctive to look first at the bottom mirror that was trained on the blind spot, rather than the top one what was a wider angle view. I wonder if that one guy had to change his shorts. Hope so - serve him right for sneaking up on the right when traffic was bunched up.
Truckin' is fun. Here's me swapping stories with the guys who get fewer miles to the gallon. See if you can guess which of those rigs is mine.
I've been (mentally) whining to myself that I'm in not particularly good shape. Let me tell you, a day loading heavy stuff into the truck has rather buffed me up, at least according to the lovely and a-fine-judge-of-manflesh Mrs. Borepatch. After a day of unloading, I may be able to go to the gym without being humiliated. In fact, I'm feeling rather the beach is that way-ish.
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I'm happy to be home, but think that I'll miss Texas.