Monday, July 28, 2014

Goodbye (sniff, sniff) and Good Luck to Kelly!

Our final day with Kelly, was spent at a local school where they were holding a deployment ceremony to say good bye to the soldiers....The governor of Virginia was there, along with other important dignitaries.

Kelly is headed to Fort Hood for a few weeks to get ready for deployment overseas....It was hard saying goodbye, but it sure makes a mom and step dad proud....

We took several photos...Sparky loves this one of Kelly and Eldy....
And mom has to be in the photo, too...

It's hard to watch your son or daughter leave for a difficult assignment in a difficult area, but we will have lots of prayers headed Kelly's way as she fulfills her duties. Sparky had her Kleenex out as the bus pulled out of the parking lot. It's just as hard for officers and enlisted men and women to leave their families and be gone for many months. It takes courage to step up and serve your country. She's a great officer and a great leader. We are very proud of her!

Our plan was to drive back to Florida the next day in Kelly's car. We are going to take care of it for her while she's serving her duty.  So we started out down the road....Eldy and Sparky discussed taking our time going back, and maybe we would take a side trip before heading back to HOT, HOT, HOT temperatures. How about the Blue Ridge Mountains? I was thinking Asheville, N.C., suggested Eldy.  SURE! says Sparky...Since Kelly's car has OnStar, we called them and had them program a route for us to the Blue Ridge Moutains, or at least to Asheville, N.C. Well, one hour into the drive, and Sparky is looking at a map, the old fashioned way of navigating.

"You mean, it's all the way over THERE??" she says, pointing to the far eastern corner of Virginia and North Carolina, or somewhere thereabouts. (sigh....says E.) Yep, says E. "How long is it going to take?" Sparky starts realizing she's going to be stuck in the car for a VERY, VERY, long time. "I told you this was going to take X number of hours," says an exasperated E. This little Pontiac G6 ain't no spacious motorhome. OK, maybe we better switch plans. Eldo asks Sparky if she's sure this is what she wants to do. Of course, she is sure---for the moment, anyway.

Kelly's car has OnStar, so we call and say we've changed our minds and send us a route to "take us home". Eldy heaves a big sigh....They say ok, and send the route. The route was to KELLY'S home in Virginia.  Call OnStar back. We get that straightened out. Twenty minutes later, Sparky and Eldo are discussing the route home, and Sparky changes her mind again. We're in no hurry, let's go to the Blue Ridge Mountains after all. It's COOL there.....Call OnStar again....they change the route. Only this time, the three times plus route change has befuddled the system, and the route is unable to be sent to the car. Call OnStar again....they trouble shoot...

In the mean time, we missed an exit we were supposed to take and had to call On Star AGAIN. By this time, Sparky is having friendly conversations and dialogue with the OnStar people, we're on a first name basis now....It turns out that Kelly's car needed an update, and that's why the system couldn't accept a BUNCH of route changes in a short period of time. Sparky laughed and told the OnStar rep, "It seems we can't make up our minds where we want to go today!" But finally, the system updates were performed, the rep called us back and stayed on the line while he made sure that the updates took care of the problem. They offered several different ways to guide our traveling while the system was being updated. We were very impressed with the OnStar service. It was very cool and easy to use. A little weird having a disembodied voice talking with you that's not family or somebody on a phone! There's all kinds of cool stuff that comes with the OnStar service, like they can unlock your car for you if you lock yourself out, and of course, everybody has heard the radio commercials where someone has been involved in an accident and OnStar immediately comes on and takes care of notifying emergency vehicles, etc. A very personalized trip service! Great for single individuals who travel alone, too.....

On to the Blue Ridge Mountains!......


  1. We truly appreciate her service to our country!

  2. So nice that Kelly is off to serve her country. Wishing here good luck and health on her assignment.
    Enjoy your trip wherever you go.

  3. Oh, I can feel the pain of goodbye but also know how proud you are of her and that your strength will take you through this difficult time.

    Eldy sure comes up with good ideas lately. First, "let's go to Alaska" during a hot summer in Florida, then "let's head to the Blue Ridge Mountains." Glad you followed his lead and headed to the mountains. Sounds like a wonderful plan to extend your trip to this cool mountain town.

  4. Keeping Kelly in our thoughts and visualizing her safe safe safe in that scary region. She sure has her mom's smile. What a beautiful girl. Gee I wonder if OnStar will do RVs? Sounds like a great service. They could route us on roads that would be good for a big rig and we wouldn't have to worry. Sounds like a great idea to me. You should let them know they might sell a bundle. My GPS never could manage to get me anywhere correctly.