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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


My car is packed with luggage, books, my laptop, camera, cellphone and a hatch filled with Christmas gifts. I’m going to South Carolina.

Leaving home filled me with joy and sadness at the same time. I had to say farewell to my husband and stepson as well as my cat for a week (and a day) yet, I knew my mother eagerly awaited my arrival on her doorstep.  Just over six hours after my departure, I arrived at Momma’s driveway – the home of my teenaged years.

Nestled among pines, oaks, a single apple tree and a lone weeping willow, my mother’s home always brings memories rushing back to me. She remodeled the 1,200 square foot home with four tiny bedrooms to suit her solitary needs. One bedroom has been expanded to accommodate a laundry area just off her kitchen; her bedroom and what used to be my brothers’ bedroom have been combined to provide a sewing area inside her room and the living room has been enlarged. The “girls’ room” alone has been untouched except for minor cosmetics. That is her spare room and guest room.

I could not have asked for a more wonderful road trip. My newly restored Supra was happy to be on the open road and I enjoyed the drive. Katie and Cait created two wonderful CDs for my drive. One was primarily a “Sounds” CD, a great band, and the other was a techno mix that, had I not known the truth, I would have thought I created myself. So much of my favorite music was on it that I had to stop mid-song to call Katie and thank her. When the music ran out, I completed my trip with an audio novel.

The air was crisp and the sky clear. Traffic flowed smoothly with one snag just before Savannah. The traffic crawled for a mile or so before I saw the sign indicating a merge to one lane two miles farther.

The photographer in me wanted to stop for photos, but of course a busy interstate is not the place for lollygagging, so I did the best I could with the moving car…safely, of course. Near Momma’s house, a wild turkey flew across my path, and naturally, I wasn’t able to snap the shot…the farther north I drove, the more spectacular the fall colors. If only my mother were up for a trip to the mountains! She’s very content to drive into town and back, but after a short drive, her energy is usually zapped, so I doubt we’ll be going very far.

I’m looking forward to spending alone time with her and helping in whatever way I can.

My heart leapt when I stepped outside on Momma’s porch and saw my car in her yard with the setting sun reflecting behind it.

A few hours after I’d arrived and settled in a bit – made my phone calls to alert everyone of my safe arrival – Momma and I went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. Matt was working and we were treated royally. I guess he told everyone to look for a female mirror image of him, because as soon as we arrived, the hostess told us, “Matt said you’d be coming.”
Once Momma was seated, I excused myself to go “hug Matt.”

He was in the kitchen-expo area, looking toward the door. I think I surprised him.

“You look good, Mom. I like the hair, even though it looks kind of normal, but you can even pull off normal.”

He brought his manager over to meet me and she told me that Matt and I resemble each other very much.

“He’s lucky his mother is so good looking,” I told her.

“Yes, and she’s lucky her son is so handsome,” he said.

“And we’re both so very humble.”

Our server was delightful and it seems everyone wanted us to know how much they enjoy working with Matt.

He looked good. Really good.

Our meal of minis, at Matt’s recommendation, was the best I have ever had at any Ruby Tuesday. Service was good, too.

Curtis called to tell me he and Stuart were going bowling and I knew they’d get along just fine without me. Suddenly, I missed my Florida home very much.