A huge flock of birds scattered before my car, flitting from branch to branch and skittering up from the ground to branches of live oaks forming a canopy over the rutted driveway as I left Jane’s property on John’s Island early last week. The random fluttering of birds and leaves and branches, all zig-zagging and random, like glitter in a snow-globe, startled me, and I wondered what birds they might be. They were not crows, nor even starlings; they were clearly too small and tawny. But they weren’t sparrows, either – too large for those. I slowed the car to a crawl and, peering carefully with my old-lady eyes, I realized they had orange-red breasts. It was a flock of robins! I was thrilled to see them; so few seem to show up in my Charleston backyard. Growing up in Michigan, they were a welcome daily sight in summer. But I’ve certainly never seen a flock like this, obviously in mid-migration.
Earlier, I had taken the RV out for a dump, and for water and propane gas at the Oak Plantation Camp Ground. I believe that was the first time I'd taken it out since a trip to Nashville in September to visit daughter Lis and her family for Labor Day (and a couple of their birthdays). Since returning from the summer trip, I’ve somehow had little time to write more for the blog, so I last left myself (in the entry written July 24 and posted in December) at Shawnee State Park in Portsmouth, Ohio. My cousin, John, and his wife, Ann, did indeed come to visit me at the campground, and we had dinner at a lodge in the park. Before heading back to Charleston the next day, I drove into Portsmouth and John and I had lunch and then walked the quay alongside its floodwall emblazoned with amazing murals.
From there, the RV was like a horse heading back to the barn, and I drove until I was so tired I simply couldn't drive any further. After the forced march through Nebraska and Iowa in June, I didn’t want to take any risks, so I stopped once in Kentucky and once in South Carolina, on a cracked and pitted cement pull-out near an abandoned commercial building. I don’t remember the names of either town. Once home, the ordeals of unloading and cleaning the RV (sort of) , doing laundry, getting groceries and dealing with accumulated mail, most of it junk, consumed the next week. I’m not sure how many more such trips I’ll be up for. That was supposed to be the last, but already, I seem to have promised the grandson one more trip next summer – this time to Niagara Falls, across Ontario, Canada, and on to Michigan. That should truly be the last of the RV trips. From then on, if I take any long trips, it’ll be by train!