The plan was to have this blog go live on my birthday, November 16. It was a reasonable schedule Kate Irwin and I had agreed on. I provided concept and copy, she would develop the concept graphically, create the layout, and be my webmaster. We were pretty much on target until Melvin decided to spring a surprise on me.
In the first ten years of our marriage, I would drive up to Melvin’s office at Kirk-Rudy on a day during his birthday week. I would walk into his office, and say, “Shut up baby and get in the truck,” which he had told me, (while we were dating) was the Georgia pick-up line. His office staff would laugh, Melvin would protest just enough, and we would be off.
The bags would be packed and the cooler would be full. (I even filled the cooler the year we parked the car at Hartsfield Airport and flew to Texas to tour of a boat-building facility and do some sightseeing. The guessing was part of the fun. True to my reputation as an overthinker, these plots were very complicated and I worked hard to keep it going for as long as possible.
This year was my turn. Melvin told me not to make any plans for my birthday week. Then he asked about Pearl Gray’s outside food and water. I got the message. So, I was surprised but not shocked when on Tuesday morning he tapped me on the shoulder at 7:15am and told me I had until ten o’clock to be packed, dressed, and in the car with my seat belt buckled.
When he turned left on the Parkway heading towards Virginia I surrendered. I reclined the passenger seat and took in the northbound road, watching the last wisps of autumn color blow across the windshield and leave the camouflage green and brown landscape of the approaching winter reaching up to the blue velvet sky.
Click on the photos below to enlarge.