Sunday, September 26

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to re-energize your soul, even if it just 7 hours. Tod and I decided that we would take it fairly easy today, since we had done such hard driving yesterday.

We checked out of the hotel and took the car over to a Jiffy Lube to get an oil change, and grab some brunch. As we were walking around early Sunday morning Redding, CA, looking for a place to grab some food, we came across a movie exchange place, and you know us, we had to go in and poke around. They hand lots of stuff; DVDs, VHS, NES games, it was pretty cool. Unfortunately, nothing jumped out at us, even with the buy 2 get one free sale going on. So we sauntered off and continued our quest for food.

Redding is a quiet town on Sunday mornings, and we only found a few paces to eat; Mexican, Chinese, or Thai. We opted for Chinese, and headed into the Golden Lantern. We were one group of three eating there at noon on a Sunday. Not a bad place, though, decent fare.

We got back to the Jiffy Lube and while we were paying, the guy asked us about the tape all over the car. We explained that we had to cover up all the names, because we couldn’t show them in the film. Ford is not funding this project. Another customer waiting on his car, Jacques, heard us talking about the project, and as we were about to take off, approached us and asked if he could pray for us and a safe journey. It was a really nice moment, Tod and I sitting in the car while this man said a prayer for us.

We took the car over to the car wash and gave it a once over with the spray hose. Three weeks of bugs and dirt is something to behold rushing down a drain under from a high-pressure hose! Sparkly and beige once again, we headed off for Colfax, CA, to meet Jason McKinney, a fellow CHMer who owns a diner there.

We got to Colfax Max Diner around 4pm. This place was pretty cool. A diner in a strip mall, right off of I-80, with a huge selection of shakes and malts, including year round Egg Nog and Gingerbread flavors – DEEEEElicious! Jason met us and introduced us to his family. Wife, Tara, and children, Austin and Gertrude. Jason explained that Jason was lucky being the boy born to a CHMer and healthy spouse, because he did not have CHM, while Gertrude was a carrier and would potentially pass on the disease to her children, but would not be affected by the disease herself. We sat and chatted with them for an hour about how they deal as a family with the disease, and how Jason manages owning and working in a diner while being affected by CHM. Jason said he loved to work the grill, and how he would create a “defensible position” around it. Meaning that everybody else had to watch out for him, because as many of you know, even though we may be looking right at you, it doesn’t mean we actually see you. His talk of “defensible positions” gave me hope, because I have this somewhat secret dream of opening up a small restaurant/bar/stage space of my own some day, but my main concern is how to maneuver in an environment like that being limited sight.

Stocked up on soda and cool Colfax Max t-shirts, we did a trade out for some Driving Blind ones, we set back down the road for Tracy, CA, for our Uncle John and Auntie JoJo’s place.

We got to Tracy around 7pm, to find a quiet little family welcome and some good Italian eats. It was great to be back in this house, this was the house my mother and her brother and sisters had grown up in, and the last time I was there was for our grandmother’s, mom’s mom, memorial service, a few years ago. Seeing all this family that I rarely get to see, was very uplifting. I think I spend a lot of time wanting a family, whether through the friends I have or the relationships I get into, that I completely forget about the rather large family I already have. I want to make it a point, after this trip, to stay in contact with them more.

Greta, our great cousin, and Lina’s daughter, and our aunt Joellen, told us that they wanted to be our producers for the sequel, when we travel around Europe and Asia. They would get all the stuff set up for us ahead of time so we could just arrive with the crew and film. We WILL take them up on the offer if a sequel happens!

Chock full of good food, and warm fuzzies, we drifted off to sleep with dreams of meatballs and mini éclairs dancing through our heads.