In a few hours, I head out on the first pre-leg of what will be my second-longest road trip to date. I say pre-leg because the road trip actually starts in Florida, but I have to drive a few hours to get to my mother's house today, and drive us to my friend's house very early tomorrow morning, so my friend can drive us to the airport. There's similar wonkiness at the end of the trip, involving trips back and forth between my friend's, my mother's, and the car rental agency, but that's closer to the end of the week, so I'm trying not to worry about it right now.
This trip falls into the category of Do It While You Still Can. My mother's parents moved from Connecticut to Florida in the mid-'80s because they hated winter in CT, and then drove up to visit every summer, because they hate summer in FL. Now that they're getting up there in years (Grandpa is 95) and their health isn't great (Grandpa's heart is failing, Grandma's got macular degeneration, and those are just the biggest problems on the list), they haven't been making the trip anymore, so my mother and I haven't seen them for several years. Grandpa was just in the hospital for a week after a fall that may have been triggered by a stroke, so this will probably be the last time we get to spend any time with him.
The side issue is that Grandma is about as unmaterialistic and unsentimental as it gets, while my mother is extremely sentimental about objects. This means that once Grandpa dies, Grandma's going to chuck anything she doesn't personally need and move back up to CT to be closer to her sons (her relationship with my mother is... difficult), so my mother is using this trip as an excuse to claim the things she'd like to keep. These are things neither of my grandparents use anymore, and they're happy to let us pack it all into the back of a rental car and drive it up the coast and out of their lives.
My bag is mostly packed, all the directions are printed out and organized, and I'm trying to keep a tight rein on my anxiety, but my mother's (undiagnosed, unacknowledged, and untreated) anxiety is affecting my mental balance, so it's going to be quite a feat keeping us both on an even keel.
On top of it all, my body has decided that now is the perfect time to begin its monthly protest at my waste of another perfectly good egg, so I'm extra-emotional and in excruciating pain.
It's gonna be a fun week.