July 25, 2014 — Last Friday I was on a jumbo jet flying home from Italy. Today I was on the Megabus. Every day’s a new adventure! I have seen the big blue and yellow bus and have heard people say it is a good and economical way to get from point A to point B. But I never thought I would need this service. Famous last words….
While JB and I were on a trip overseas our son Wes accepted a job in Nashville which meant a move from Lexington, KY. He called and asked, “Mom, when you get home can you come help me move?” Now, let me say, “Shugie’s Moving Service” tried to go out of business a few years ago. With three young adult children, there have been many moves, and for years I was available to help pack, heave, shove, load and unload – usually up and down many flights of steps. After some back trouble I knew that had to stop, but the organizing, packing, directing and driving were services I could still do. Of course I told Wes “yes.” I planned to drive to Lexington and carry some stuff in my car to Nashville. But then he informed me I really needed to fly to Lexington! He would drive a loaded Budget truck and he needed me to drive his car.
Our daughter, Mary Margaret, lives in Nashville also so the reality of having two of our three children in the same city is very exciting. Add to that the fact that Wes is getting married in November and Taylor will be joining him there makes it even sweeter!
Haven’t you found that when we make plans we have to always be ready for things to go sideways? This little trip was no exception! The flight to Lexington was fine and we picked up the big truck right away and then finished packing his things. That part went well as he had done lots of packing before I arrived (thanks, Taylor!). Good friends came and helped load the truck and we were ready to head to Nashville on Thursday afternoon. I planned to stay a few days to help Wes get settled and then have a visit with Mary Margaret who was returning from a business trip on Saturday evening. Wes was going to drive me to Chattanooga Sunday afternoon to meet JB who would pick me up there. BUT, as the things of life happen, Taylor’s granddaddy died a few days ago and the funeral is Saturday in Ohio. The night before I flew to Lexington, Wes said to me, “Mama, I am driving to Ohio Friday morning to be there with Taylor and her family.” While I totally support his care for Taylor and her family during this difficult time, I had to ask, “Well, Wes – what about me? How am I going to get home?” “Uhh – we will figure it out,” was his reply.
The next morning I volunteered to get a ticket on the Megabus to Atlanta. He was not excited about that idea but it was the only option and I was really okay with it. Of course I did have certain expectations….
The drive from Lexington went well and we made it through Nashville late afternoon with only a small slow-down in traffic. We arrived at the storage unit place and new friends from Rolling Hills Church showed up to help unload. Wise Wes chose the right size truck and the right size storage unit. He is a smart guy and I am so proud of him.
Late last night we pulled into the 24-hr. drop-off place for the truck. I had to laugh and immediately texted Mary Margaret – “Wes and I are returning his rent truck and just pulled up to the same place we returned yours two years ago when you moved here! Haha. I should get a job here!” Wes and I were fading by the time we arrived at the home where he will be living the next few weeks.
Up early this morning Wes drove me into downtown Nashville where I was looking for the Megabus STATION. We drove to the address and landed in an industrial, sketchy part of town, coming to an old rundown parking lot where a few people stood with suitcases – no sign, no station, no building, nothing – just an address! Maybe this is how they can keep the fares so low!
Since we were very early Wes just kept driving and said in a low, commanding voice, “Mama, I am going to stay with you till the bus arrives!” We found a Chick fil A close-by and had a quick breakfast and then eased our way back to my point of departure. More people were waiting and I got out and queued up with the others. I had some friendly conversation with a few other people waiting and found that many have ridden Megabus numerous times and are big fans. The nice, clean, sharp bus arrived right on time and the driver loaded our luggage and welcomed us aboard.
I had never noticed the Megabus is a double decker. Several people recommended I go upstairs, but I headed toward the front of the bus, downstairs, and took the first seat I could find. Riding the red double decker bus in London was an adventure a few years ago with my family, BUT, I decided I would fare better on the lower level today. I was seated next to a quiet young girl headed to Atlanta from Chicago. She put her hoodie completely over her head as soon as we “took off” and I did not force her to have conversation with me!
Just when I was about to say “so far, so good,” we came to stop and go traffic north of Chattanooga, mostly stop. Checking my maps app I noticed red dots all along the road for quite a while. Oh well, what’s the hurry? Finally the traffic started flowing and we made it to Chattanooga. Our stop there was in the parking lot of a rather old shopping center. At least there was a Megabus sign (more than Nashville had), but still, this was a hilarious new concept for me. I felt (and looked like) an odd duck on this trip!
Perhaps I could complain about this week, but I would much rather count all the things to be grateful for:
- Wes is the new Technical Director at Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville. We are so proud of this promotion for him in the career he loves so much!
- Rolling Hills is Mary Margaret’s church! She has been there two years and loves her church. She had nothing to do with his connection there but what a joy that they will both worship there and share friends.
- The weather was beautiful for loading and unloading and for the drive – even unseasonably cool! Having done this type work on rainy days and very hot days makes me especially grateful for the weather we had.
- What great friends in Lexington and in Nashville! Wes is blessed to have friends who care and show it by offering time and labor.
- I love to talk with strangers and the Megabus experience provided a few new interesting people to meet!
- Some friends of JB are willing for Wes to live in the apartment in their home the next few weeks while he gets settled in the area – thank you God for your detailed provisions!
- I love making memories with my children! All these moving experiences have been some of the best and have provided great stories to be retold for years.
- While riding along today a blog has been written. It is tough to discipline myself to focus and write. Perhaps this is the beginning of a writing office on wheels – more Megabus trips to follow?
- JB arrived just minutes after I got off the bus and was standing on the sidewalk in downtown Atlanta. Thank you, honey. Yay – I made it!