Monday, April 14, 2008

Home again...and exhausted!

I got home last night around 11:30 PM...whew! I had to be up to get the girls off to school around 6:30, and had to be at work at 10 so today has been a long, tiring day. Tomorrow I have to be at the orthodontist with Will at 9, and I go in to work whenever we're done with that...so I'm trying to get this posted quick and hop into bed!
The walk was AWESOME! I had a bit of a time getting up and moving...I asked Rosemary to wake me up at 6, and we left the house at 7. We got to the walk site about half an hour later, and I had a great time meeting the Florida folks for about two and a half hours (the walk started at 10). I met several other CI users and we had a great time swapping stories. I got to see Molly again...which was a real treat. I met her first online, here on the blog, then I met her in Oklahoma City. She is SUCH a sweetheart! Always smiling and so friendly and encouraging...a real cheerleader...gotta love that! At around 10 Kathy and Judy Martin offered a few opening remarks and then we were led in a rousing workout by a personal trainer. I have to admit that I was just about more tired after the workout than I was after the walk! ;)
We hit the trail around 10. I didn't have any trouble with it at all...in fact, I thought it ended too quickly. I thought it was going to be a 5K (3.1 miles) and it ended up being just two miles, so it was over pretty fast. I did stop about halfway along the route to run my mouth a bit with a fella that will be having CI surgery in a couple of months (wanted to cheer him on a bit, you understand) and then ran to catch up with the crowd. There was lunch for everyone and we stood around and talked for another couple of hours before we headed back to Kathy's house. I enjoyed so much meeting other deaf and hard of hearing folks...they feel almost like family, it seems, because of the common bond we have. There were people that signed, people who wore hearing aids, people with CIs, adorable tiny little ones with CIs (awwww!!), people with service dogs (it was SO hard to "not pet"...some of them were just adorable!), and a few hearing people that showed up to support family and friends. I think there were between 150 and 200 people there, although I'm not positive...and nearly 50,000 was raised for HLAA!! AWESOME!!!
When we got back to Kathy's house I packed up my things, and after saying good-bye to my gracious hostess (and her hubby, Tom) and Rosemary, I hit the road again. Kathy and Rosemary are planning to be at the HLAA convention in June, so I'll be seeing them again VERY soon...can't wait! :)
I headed north from there...up towards Augusta, GA. I spent the night in Statesboro, GA, which is about an hour and a half or so from Augusta. I was so tired that night that I think I was asleep before I hit the bed. The Hampton Inn I stayed at there had just been remodeled...it wasn't too fancy in general but the bedding was so luxurious that I just kinda sank into it and was a goner literally within seconds. It was SO hard to get up and get going the next day!!
I went to church in Augusta on Sunday morning ( can say that I was in Augusta, GA on Masters Sunday...in the same town with Tiger Woods...cool eh?) and then met one of my online friends, Gloria, for lunch. Gloria works for Advanced Bionics and has long been one of my favorite online people...and I had been wanting to meet her for quite some time. I gave her a little warning that I was on the way and she suggested we meet for lunch at O'Charley's. We had a GREAT visit...she's one of those people that seems to have a gift for making people feel right at home with her. I felt like I'd known her for years...what a sweetheart (Gloria, I'm STILL working on my phone...got the javascript thing working, but still not the IM....grrrrr!)! She, too, will be at the convention in June...and I'm so excited about seeing her again! :)
I left Augusta (or attempted to...I managed to get turned around trying to find the interstate...grrr) around 2, and drove to Atlanta. On one of my previous trips I had visited a congregation there and hit it off really well with a terrific lady named Maryanne. Maryanne took me under her wing immediately and invited me out to dinner that night and we stayed out and talked until close to midnight. I was anxious to see her again and decided I'd try to surprise her. Surprise her I did...after a few seconds of uncertainty (you could just see the data processing going on in her head), she recognized me and nearly leapt over her pew in an effort to reach me. The last time I saw her was after I FIRST started losing my hearing back in 2006...before my first CI. The first thing she said was, "CAN YOU HEAR??" She was overjoyed to know that that I could indeed hear!! After church her congregation had a potluck at a nearby auditorium and she invited me to come along (actually, she and her husband asked me several times to stay overnight with them, but I really felt like I needed to get home). I did take her up on the offer...free dinner was not to be turned down...and it gave us more time to visit and catch up. She co-piloted while I drove to where the potluck was...and was delighted that I could hear her as I drove. I got to meet several of her friends at the dinner, and eat lots of good casseroles (we Southern women love our casseroles, you understand!).
I left Atlanta around 8...and drove straight home, only stopping once for a bathroom break. When I got home I was so tired that the only thing I brought upstairs was the laptop and my purse...I asked hubby to just leave the car today so I could unload it at leisure this afternoon (and he did). I was asleep about 20 minutes after walking in the door...I don't remember anything after hitting the bed!
I finally got a few pictures up! They're here at the Picasa Web Albums. Check 'em out!
I'll be back tomorrow...I've been tagged for a couple of memes and I am DEFINITELY playing along! :) And I will tell the cop story tomorrow!
Love y'all!! :)

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