I spent Sunday morning looking at homes for sale in the Happy Valley area near Lenoir, NC.  As kids, my brothers and I spent nearly every Sunday playing on Grandpa Woods’s farm on the Yadkin River.  Some of the area still looks the same, but the population has grown a lot.  I know I’m feeling really low whenever I’m thinking about buying property in North Carolina.

Sometimes I just want to escape.  Not forever, just to live differently for a while.  I hate to drive a car.  I have always despised it. My mission in life is to be a passenger.  My height is in my legs, so that all cars seem like a Smart Car.  I feel like a circus bear riding a tricycle.

Barb loves to drive, rather loved to drive.  For her, there was just something electric about being behind the wheel.  She always did most of our driving, whether the trip was long of short. The fun of trips were those great laughter-filled conversations with Barb.  Well, kiss that goodbye.

Going somewhere by myself is the pits.  I’ve done this many times and with one or two exceptions I was terribly lonely.  Today, A trip with Barb is worse than being lonely.  I’d rather be with a stranger and that would be awful.

And yet, sometimes I do have these wonderful talks with Barbara.  Often, I don’t allow the talks to take place, because they wear me out.  The subject is always the same: “I can’t do this anymore”.  I have three ways to handle the talk.  I brush her off, I give nonsense responses or I “make sense” out of what she is saying.  She loves the third approach.  This approach requires effort and creativity.  In the end, I am drained of energy and bring things to a close.  She actually feels better and thanks me repeatedly for a while for listening and tells me over and over how much she loves me.

I have always loved the sound of her voice.  I still love the sound of her voice.  Her voice is full of smiles, full of goodness.  It’s like music.  In our talks over the years, I often listened to the sound of her voice instead of the words she was saying.  This didn’t always work out well.  Her voice is  like listening to that familiar piece of music that’s been in your heart and mind forever.  I used to call her from work just to hear her talk.  Today she doesn’t know how to answer the phone.