Time for friends and family to part again. Our family is moving on to Jackson, TN to see some old college friends. The rest are going to the Ozarks. We hope to meet up with them in Eureka Springs several days hence.
Part of our plan, while covering lots of the United States, is visiting as many old friends feasibly close to our general route. We’d originally had big plans to travel up the Eastern Seaboard as far as New York. Not only did two of my best friends from high school live up there, but some of the best and most established Auditory Oral schools for the Deaf were nearby. Knowing we were biting off more than we could chew in one summer, we decided to seek new horizons out west. The change of plans cut out many good friends. Will we ever see them again?. The last time we said good-bye to these friends, we were sure we’d see them again, but as time passes we realize many will fall by the wayside. It’s human nature.
The Pajaks will be our first stop. Embracing the concept of the Summer of Love, we adopt a hippie trait of just turning up without notice, and justify it by never knowing how long it’s going to take to get from one place to another. If the timing is bad we give them the “Peace y’all” sign and keep moving. We pull into town, call from a pay phone and find them home. Judy’s parents are visiting so we find a motel instead. Another wonderful first. Except for swimming in the lake we haven’t had a bath in several days. Ray jumps at the idea of a real shower and a clean bed. He’s the double Virgo in the group. Before we sold our house, an example of his cleanliness quotient was vacuuming every week because he loved to see and hear the dirt suck up into the machine.
After getting cleaned up we are invited to the country club to meet Doug as he comes off the golf course for a swim in the pool with their daughter Punky and a light dinner. Quite a divergence of our life styles has occurred in a few years time. We’ve dropped out and they’ve dropped into a life revolving around a certain social position in town that relates to job, house, club membership and financial status. They invite us to an upcoming wine-tasting party that the women have been arranging with all the embellishments of a multi-course meal and appropriate apparel. We decline. I doubt if our free-thinking attitudes and dirty blue jeans and sweatshirts would have done the trick.
We especially enjoy our last evening sitting outside with the kids setting off sparklers as our filthy clothes agitate in their matching, color-coordinated washer and dryer. When the sparklers are all gone Doug gets down and dirty with the kids rough-housing on the lawn. This is their best evening so far. Scooter and Nicole talked for years about going back to play with Punky and her daddy.