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Jeanette Frantz

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Our trip was a wonderful opportunity to visit with family members, and both my son and I treasured those days.

We left here on Wednesday morning, October 2.  Contrary to the dire warnings we have been hearing over the last several months (more like a year) we had no difficulty and no delays on I-75 heading north.  We made fairly decent time -- despite the fact that we discovered that our route for bypassing Birmingham traffic had been closed for construction, with the help and directions from a Circle K employee, we were able to find our way to the road we needed to reach Jasper, and our overnight stop.  The next day had its share of frights -- we had a Harley motorcycle nearly take off the left-front fender of the rental vehicle (avoided only by fast braking by my son).  Then, we were treated to some very dangerous non-signaling lane changers that came extremely close to involving us in more than one collision -- again close attention to driving, swift action by my son, and the grace of God saved us from horrible collisions.  There are just far too many people out there driving on the interstate highways who seem to have a death wish.  And, most of these people, if the speed limit was 65 mph, they were going at least 80 mph, if the speed limit was 75 (and there are a few places where 75 is the speed limit) the drivers were going at least 90 mph.  That's just ridiculous.  Obviously, some of them were spending far too much time either texting or talking on the cell phone.

We did reach our initial destination on Thursday about 8:00 p.m.  My sister was out of the garage door before we could even get out of the car.

Just a note here. We rented a vehicle for our trip -- which was supposed to be a Ford Edge SUV or its equivalent.  When we picked up the vehicle, we were "gifted" with a Toyota 4-Runner.  For us, this was NOT a good choice by the rental agency -- this is a huge vehicle, it is very difficult to get into for me -- I had to have a step-stool to get into it, making it uncomfortable, to say the least.  Once we arrived at my sister's house, I didn't get back into that thing until we had to leave for home.

About 5/8 of the way across the state of Arkansas, there was a huge traffic jam due to a breakdown of a road construction vehicle, which, combined with our late departure, delayed our arrival at our overnight stop -- it was after midnight before we arrived in Jasper, AL.   About the time we arrived in Jasper, AL, there was an Amber Alert in Birmingham, of a 3-year old female, who was said to have been taken in an older dark-colored Toyota 4-Runner.  Well, the vehicle we had was a very dark Charcoal, 2017 model, which I suppose does qualify it as being "older", but honestly, we didn't take any 3-year old female! We just wouldn't do that at all!  We continued on through Alabama and Georgia, and were NOT stopped, so I would hazard a guess we were not suspects! lol!

We stopped in Valdosta, GA for something to eat (we had begun to get tired of home-made fudge, chex mix and cracker jacks, and wanted something a little healthier), arriving home safely at midnight on Sunday, the 13th.

All it all, it was a wonderful time visiting with family, and not as difficult a trip as I expected.  We could always do with a few less "frights" during the long trip, but I'm very glad we made it home safely.  Now, to recuperate from the "driving"/"riding part"! 

I am very much behind on catching up with everything that's going on with VSS, but I will try to catch up.  I did miss reading the different posts while we were gone.

Several things were forgotten in our mad rush to get everything packed for the return trip -- I left the charger for my cell phone, and a piece or two of clothing, and my son forgot some of his stuff, too!  I guess we'll replace what we forgot and get the things on our next trip.

The most important thing is we made the trip (one-way is 1050 miles) and return with no accidents.  The rental vehicle did have a slow air leak in one tire where it had apparently picked up a nail before we picked it up on Oct. 1, but it began to leak much faster and we had to get the nail removed and the tire patched before we left Arkansas -- the cost was less than $20 (we got lucky on that). 

All I can say is thank God for a safe trip, the time with family, and the return home.   I hope to never allow myself to forget that God is in control!

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #2 
There are two kinds of drivers: Idiots driving 10 under, usually in the fast lane, and maniacs driving 10+ over. Neither use their turn signals. And don't get me started on smartphones and driving - or even just on smartphones. I hate, loathe and despise the things with the fire of 10,000 suns. I drive up 75 and 65 every memorial day, taking a different route each time. Birmingham can be "interesting", but Atlanta is just just nuts! A complete plate of spaghetti! But a 2017 being "older"?!? As the driver of a 1985, I consider anything newer than about 2005 or so to be brand new!
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Reply with quote  #3 
at night police look for folks driving under the speed limit.  This is one of the easiest ways to identify drunk drivers i.e. intoxicated drivers.  They don't realize they are driving slower to compensate for their impaired responses.  Best regards, Mike

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Zorba

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yep. Years back I was stuck directly behind some fool driving about 25 in a 55 (at nite), that I could NOT get around due to opposing traffic. S/he finally turned onto another road, so did I and about 30 cars stacked behind me, it was clear and a desperate scramble ensued.
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #5 
Zorba, my car is a 1997, but we rented a vehicle for this trip -- my car has 275,000 miles on it, and there was not sufficient time for all the repairs which are needed, nor would there be enough funds! lol!
All I meant by the "older" is that was the description in the Amber Alert - and since our rental was a 2017, it was older than a 2019!

And, Mike, we were driving at least the speed limit.  We generally try to run with traffic, but not when the others are going 90+ mph.  I guess my ingrained habits --obey the law-- even if you might disagree with it.  I worked in the legal field for around 50 years all told, so abiding by the law is important to me.  By the same token, we do not impair traffic!  There are lots of places I question the posted speed limit, but I'm not a traffic engineer nor am I a trained law enforcement officer, so we live with it!

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #6 
Jeanette, I just had to chime in and say how happy I was to hear that your were able to take the trip!  I know your health has limited you, and for the stars to align on this one was great.  Good choice on using a rental vehicle (even though it ended up being similar in desc. to a "wanted" one)!  Defensive driving is no joke, as I've had more than a few breathtaking experiences too.  And, I agree with you whole heartedly on God being the one in control!  Keep doing well, my friend.
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Mavis
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Reply with quote  #7 
I sure know how you feel. I am always wondering how these new fancy autos do these great
things but never have working signal lights. Glad you are safely home.
We leave Ontario in 4 days to drive to Fl...1750 miles...so we are familiar with these bad
drivers. Do the trip south then north in April for over thirty yrs.
And we live on a busy road while south.
Will miss the posts until we get settled next week. At least my packing is done so I can sew on
a “ twisted bargello “ small quilt top for donation bc I leave a machine set up.
Sometimes at night I watch TV and sew .

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southwest Fl in winters
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #8 
Kathleen, be very careful on your trip south!  Yes, there are far too many drivers out there who are talking on cell phones, not paying attention to their driving.  For sure one cannot watch TV or watch a computer screen while driving on the roadways.  It's an invitation for disaster.  I would not willingly have anyone killed or injured in auto accidents.   Particularly, I've had two spinal surgeries as a result of auto accidents.  It's hard for one to understand how profound an effect auto accidents have on those out there on the highways and byways.  Knock on wood, I've never had an at-fault accident and have never been charged in any accident.  I'm far from perfect, but I don't want to be guilty of being the cause of an accident that can horribly injure or kill another human being.  No sane person wants to cause an accidental injury or death!
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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #9 
Kathleen, unfortunately, even the auto doesn't know when to flip the
turn signal on, or which way to flip it! lol!

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #10 
I just stumbled onto a news broadcast that just breaks my heart.  When I initially posted a report on our vacation trip (which we had been wanting to make for 6 years) I included a comment about an Amber Alert for a 3 year old child that had disappeared, and authorities were looking for an "older" dark-colored 4-Runner.  That child's body was found in a dumpster in Birmingham, AL, the dumpster had been taken to the county landfill to be emptied.  The irony is that the vehicle we had rented was a 2017 dark metallic charcoal color 4-Runner.  Two people have been arrested for her kidnapping and murder.  Her nickname was "Kupcake".  I cry for the parents of this little girl.
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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #11 
Oh, Jeanette, that makes me very sad.  My heart goes out to the parents of that little girl.  What is wrong with people who do such things?
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Mavis
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Jeanette Frantz

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavis
Oh, Jeanette, that makes me very sad.  My heart goes out to the parents of that little girl.  What is wrong with people who do such things?


Mavis, it makes me very sad, too.  Although of course,  I didn't know the little girl or her parents, but murdering a child is such a horrible thing to do. 

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Jeanette Frantz, Ocala, Florida
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