Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Thursday morning dawned bright and clear. I made my way to Joy's house (just the teensiest bit behind schedule). We loaded the car, and then this sweet angel, Addison, dropped by to tell us "bye". She is the granddaughter of my good friend, Patty.

Pop, Joy, and I...ready to head out on our 'great adventure'. We took a minute and had prayer for safety. THEN, I read them the RULES! (see back 2 posts) Joy tried to give me a little 'yah-yah' about some of them, but deep down she knew who was in charge.

We travelled well. Even though the back seat is where they put all their mess...expecting me to keep it all straight. The cooler, the snacks, my books and magazines, a blanket, 2 pillows,tissues and various other things that might be needed. Let me say here that the car we were driving was new to us all. Joy is in the process of getting a new car. So, the owner of the car dealership graciously lent us a brand new V*lv*, like the one Joy is getting. It is a fine car. However, in case there are any V*lv* manufacturers out there reading this...the seat belts in the back seat do their best to CHOKE YOU TO DEATH! I had to use my blanket to try and hold it off of my neck! It was determined to strangle me. Got in the way of me having a really good nap, too.

We had decided to just go part of the way on Thursday, so we checked into a motel in Walterboro,SC for the night. We found a Cr*cker B*rrel nearby, and enjoyed a good meal. After we got back to our motel, Pop wanted to take a walk. Well, I knew he needed to walk (cause that is in his routine), but I did not think it safe for him to walk around in a strange place, right next to the interstate, and it dark, and who knows what is lurking behind every tree, and it's dark, and he isn't familiar with the area, and ...you understand. And, I'm the big sister, and in charge, and all, but Joy said, "No, he'll be fine. Pop, just leave your wallet here so you don't get robbed and then we can't go shopping." And, he said, "Well,I need to walk. I'll be just fine. I think I'll go to the little store right up there and pick us up some candy." Well, I could see my protests were futile...and he WAS going to get candy. So, I acquiesced. He left. Joy went on to bed...oblivious to the danger. But, I was the ever vigilant big sister...I waited and watched and prayed for my Pop...out hunting some candy in the wilds of SC. In a few minutes, there was a knock on our door. Pop came in and said, "I'm sorry. That was a dumb thing to do. What if I had fallen (which he has before)? I had no identification with me. No one would have even known who I belonged to. I shouldn't have done that. Not smart." And, I said, "Well, that was a good lesson learned, Pop. We just won't try that little adventure again." Joy looked up and said, "Yeah, yeah, good lesson learned...where's the candy?" And Pop got this little grin on his face and said, "Well, I got to the store, and picked us out some delicious chocolaty goodness. I took it up to the register to pay. But, SOMEONE suggested I leave my wallet here. So I did. All I had in my pocket was 42 cents. And the clerk said 42 cents was not enough to buy all this delicious candy. And, so I had to walk home, all alone, thinking how I messed up and not even having any candy to show for it." He kinda hung his head, and I went over and hugged him and told him just to go on to bed, it had been a hard night, and Joy was really too hyper to have candy right before going to sleep...what with her sleepwalking and all...who knows where we would find her in the morning? Joy was over in the corner pouting and rummaging through her purse and suitcase in search of some sugar laden treat. I finally found a lifesaver in my bag, she took that and cried herself to sleep. And that's the truth, as well as I remember it...I could have gotten a few details wrong...but you understand now why I must INSIST on being in charge!

The SC Artisan's Guild is housed in Walterboro. Here, artists from all over the state display and sell their work. Mom always loved to stop here, and I had been a few times before. So there we went first thing Friday morning... after breakfast at H*rdee's. They had moved several old building onto the grounds and were in the process of restoring them. There was also a few antique stores nearby. Didn't find anything in the artisan's store, but did find this darling little chair in the antique store. It is a handmade child's chair. We got it into the trunk, with room to spare.

Here is a better picture of it. It has been well used and I have the perfect place for it.

A bottle tree 'growing' outside the entrance to the artisan guild.

One of the buildings they are restoring on the gro

We travelled on a little further, and came to the cute little town of Sommerville, SC. This is their downtown area. Joy and I explored some of the little shops...ending up with a new shirt each. Pop happily sat in this beautiful park between the streets, and read the paper. And, then we were on our way to Clinton, NC.

Just look at these two...they are thinking up ways to drive me bananas...

We drive out of town, and get on the road to Clinton...then they start! There is a new fangled cruise control on this car. (It happens to have every bell and whistle available). Somehow, they manage to fume and figure, try and tinker, wonder and work on this cruise control for TWO SOLID HOURS!! How can anybody talk about the same thing for so long? Then they had to extol the overall intricacies of the vehicle. They set about figuring out the steering wheel, does it telescope? Does it raise and lower? Does it say 'hands off' and do the driving itself? Back to the cruise control. The car actually senses when you are too close to another car and lowers your speed. While I agree this is a wonderful feature for a car...it only bears repeating 2 or three (at the most) times. But, NOOOOOOOOO...we must talk about it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we come up behind a car. FYI: It is 583 miles to my aunt's house. Can you even fathom how many times one would come upon another car while driving that far? There and back? It is more than a few, let me tell you. But, it amazes over and over and over and...
And, then there is another little feature that blinks when a car is coming up beside you. You know that blind spot? Well, this car knows all about that and makes sure you know it, too. Good for about an hours worth of discussion. Occasionally, the car would just alarm for some reason or the other and they still have not figured out what they were doing to anger the beast. AND, they(manufacturers) say that the car will stop itself before it runs into something in front of it. So, Pop and Joy wonder if it really works and a few times they try to see how close they can get to another car. They want to see if we can all get a good case of whiplash when the car slams on brakes because the genius at the wheel isn't gonna do it? Doesn't that sound like fun? I suggested they find a brick wall and try it out...after I got out to watch!!!

We arrived in Clinton, and it was so good to see my Aunt Marie. She had a meal of NC barbecue and cole slaw and hush puppies. It was wonderful! I love our barbecue here in AL, but I REALLY love the barbecue in NC. I do not even know how to tell you about it, except it is chopped up very fine, and has a touch of vinegar taste to it. And it is served with coleslaw. And, it is FINE! We visited a while, and then turned in.

And so ends Day 1 and 2 of The Great Daddy/Daughter Adventure of 2009. Fun was had by all. And, if my reporting is not 100% accurate, it is because my brain is rebelling against recalling some of these moments...scarred as I am by the events I was forced to witness and hear!!!


LivingTheLife said...

Oh MY heavens...Tonja...NO ONE can tell a story like you...seriously, my jaws are hurting from laughing so hard. I'm with you on the fascination of others about a cars unique functions...what torture this had to be for you. I especially enjoyed the part about the "stopping" feature of said car...I would have paid a pretty penny to stand on the sidelines and be in awe of the miracle of this cars ablility of knowing when to stop without any instruction from the driver...as I said, I would be on the sideline watching and marveling right along beside you and trying really hard not to close my eyes before the trial run was over! I seriously want to take a road trip w/you one day...cos I feel pretty sure we could find a LOT to talk about besides the latest features on a loaner car.

You guys had to have had the best time...your dad is such a good sport when it comes to you girls. I do so hope Joy found some chocolate somewhere along the way...it would have been a shame for her to have to go to bed EVERY night in tears.

Can't wait to hear more and see more pics...loved the story from start to finish. I'm going to come to your house and MAKE you sit down and write a book of all your adventures...it will be a "best seller" I am sure!


Southern Lady said...

Oh, Tonja, what a great way to start my day -- by laughing out loud at your sweet and hilarious story about your trip. You evermore have a way with words, my friend. I agree with Teresa -- your stories should be in a book!

racheld said...

What a wonderful trip, and it's a good thing that those two teenagers in the front seat had a cool head and wise mind along to keep things moving and safe.

I totally agree re: seatbelts AND discussions of machinery---both could be improved upon, but the company was magnificent.

Now, go do something wonderful for YOU---rest or read or pamper yourself---you've earned it. I do suppose a manicure would be out of the question---do you have enough nails left to bother, or did you nibble them right off?

I just LOVE your Family!!

nancygrayce said...

You really are a great story teller! Your poor daddy having to walk to the store and come a way with nothing! It sounds like so much fun, can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

andi said...

You are a fabulous story teller. I am telling you, you have a way with words!!!! I can just hear you! What a blessing!!!!!! I am so glad you guys had a trip together. How beautiful.
LOVE the fall pics!!!! I am so envious of your fall decor!!! Does it smell like fall at your house? Tell us your favorite candle!

I believe you better get writing girl~you have to.

Musicaljean said...

I was just screaming laughing the whole way through this, Tonja!! You are so funny!!

I too know all about the never-ending detailed discussions. Dick is very good at them. Last week he drove Anthony to his guitar competition in Harrisburg. The next morning he said, "If I make a few more trips with Dad I'm going to end up knowing more about his GPS than he does."

I'm looking forward to the next part of your story!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Love, love, love this. You make this trip so comical for us and as if we were right there...except we can leave your blog and not have to actually endure two hours of cruise control chatter.

Your sis is a hoot...leave your wallet so it doesn't get stolen and we can't shop. ha!

Love the pic of Joy and Pop...they do look like mischeif about to happen.

I felt I was right there when you were talking about them trying to test the car's abilities.

If all the hoops and holler is true, that is one fancy car...able to stop before hitting something. Man, can you believe how much accidents would decrease and then insurance claims and premiums.

Thoroughly enjoyed this and your narration is out of this world.

I posted today if you want to visit (and comment☺).

Dianne said...

Good grief, Tonja! Like everyone else I was either giggling or laughing out loud all the way through your story! I swear, if you would publish something, I would buy your first book! It is SOO very true that no one can tell a story like you, and like Jean, I can't wait for part 2....hurry, hurry, hurry! :-)