Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Sad to say, the vacation is over and we are on the road headed for home. Right now, we are crossing the heart of South Carolina. Soon, we will nick the tip of Georgia and then, be on the mindless endless roads of flat, flat Florida. We have a little more room in the car on the way home as M. is riding with youngest son. Her space is filled up with his stuff so that there was room for her in his car, so it is not much extra space. Not that it really matters; we don’t buy many souvenirs when we travel any more. No stuffed animals or popguns. No ukuleles or cowboy hats. Or little boys in the backseat shoving each other to their side. This trip, we invested most of our money into excursions or the souvenir photos sold at each activity. Since we couldn’t take a camera whitewater kayaking or ziplining, we bought the CD of photos, but this computer I travelled with can’t accommodate them so we won’t be able to see them until we get home. Forget the old fashioned Polaroid of the past. Now, you get your souvenir photographs digitally. I did buy a few trinkets in Asheville. I discovered a store called Ten Thousand Villages were they sell items produced around the world. It was run by volunteers and all the proceeds go back to helping the craftspeople in Guatemala, India, Vietnam, Honduras or other countries were poverty is rampant. Ten Thousand Villages believes in the “Teach a man to fish” philosophy but if we don’t help by purchasing the products they sell at very reasonable prices, they cannot reinvest in those villages. Or at least that is how I justified buying a silver bracelet and beaded necklace! We are bringing home another souvenir of our vacation. Chiggers! (also called Red Bugs or Harvest Mites). The day after we went to Rumbling Bald, husband, M. and I broke out in huge red welts that itch like crazy and cover much of our body. Strangely, youngest son does not have them. We figure we picked them up while he was setting the rappel lines and we sat on a rock to wait on him. In fact, I lay down on the rock as evidenced by the multitude of bites on my back and shoulders. We asked the pharmacist at Ingles what to do about them, and he said put clear nail polish on the bites to suffocate the bug. Turns out, the Internet informed us that was an old wives’ tale. The bugs do not burrow into your skin after all, but leave their feeding tube in your body. The welt is your body’s reaction to the invasion. Unfortunately, we had already covered ourselves in clear nail polish before we found out the truth. Benadryl orally and topically is the only remedy until the welts go away which can take up to two weeks. We are scratching our way home.