I shared with you that I was going to Birmingham to spend the weekend with Ian.  His Christmas gift to me last year (2011) was tickets to the play “Wicked” and a CD of the cast album to be listening to so the music would be familiar.  This was the weekend and it was a blast…except for one teeny, tiny thing.  I left here early Friday morning and turned my car to the north.I knew the weather report was forecasting very unfavorable weather for the day…but before I left, I had a talk with Jesus and reminded Him about my dislike of driving in the rain, and asked “please, if I may be so bold, would you mind directing that rain either in front of me or behind me and not ON me while I’m driving.”  I mean, it’s not like He has the whole wide world to direct or anything!!!  And, I drove on, secure in the knowledge that He had heard my prayers.


And, it didn’t rain a drop on me all the way to Montgomery…100 miles or so.  I made it through that city, and even the tricky Interstate turn that always causes me a little concern, without any trouble.  BUT, a mile down the road…all of a sudden…things took a terrible turn.  Now, friends, I do like to overdo the adjectives occasionally, but I’m shooting straight here.  The rain that fell on me in those minutes, was like nothing I had ever driven in before.  First of all, I was speeding along at 65 mph…when suddenly, I was in a ‘white out’.  I’ve heard folks talk about a ‘white out’ where it snows…and there was so much rain falling, there was nothing else to see.  The sky was fairly light, not dark like you would expect.  I could not see anything.  Not even the lights of any other car.  It was the strangest feeling because I knew I had to keep driving…but there was nothing to navigate by.  I wasn’t singing, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”…but I was shouting, “God, Please Drive This Car”!  I fully expected to be in a major crash at any minute.  I didn’t even know what lane I was in.  And, then it stopped…as suddenly as it had started.  And the sky cleared up and the sun came out.  And, I lived through it!  But, I didn’t like it…not one little bit.  I guess you can try to avoid storms all you want to…but, some you just have to go through…and it helps to have a very reliable Co-Pilot!  (There could possibly be a sermon in there somewhere.)

After talking to Pop, and Joy, and Don, and Ian (who all had been watching the TV reports about the extremely severe weather around Montgomery) and assuring them all that I was fine, I arrived. {I talked on the car phone…it worked!  It was wonderful.  And, as far as I know, I didn’t mess up a thing!}.   I had my shopping itinerary all mapped out…so I set about my tasks.  To Homegoods, then to Anthropologie, and J Jill, and Pottery Barn and Talbots, and Belk and Macy’s.  Then I checked into the motel, and waited for Ian to get off work.  He picked me up and we went to a great place for delicious hand thrown pizza.  Then to the motel.  And, the huge, soft king-sized bed that I got to sleep right in the middle of! :).

Saturday dawned for me around 6:00, as is usual.  So, I quickly dressed and went downstairs to eat breakfast.  Then back upstairs to get back in bed for a little nap before facing the day!  Doesn’t that sound delicious?  Ian and I had made some tenttive plans, but I knew he would not raise his sleepy head before noon or so.  So, I made a quick call to tell him my plans…and out I went again.  In a few hours he called to tall me he was ready and I went and picked him up.  We visited a few quaint little antique shops in the area.  (Note the old tobacco baskets over the windows).


This shop was especially interesting and I scored a wonderful old blacksmith’s tool chest…with spaces for the horseshoes, and nails and mallets.  I was loving it, but Ian…not so much!  🙂  He’d had enough…so I dropped him off and went back to the motel to rest a little before the evening.  Our dinner reservation was for 5:30…the play started at 7:00.


He had chosen a wonderful restaurant in 5 Points called the Highland Grill…very fancy.  I had a wonderful grilled grouper over tiny new potatoes and sugar snap peas.  It was divine!  Ian had pork something and pork something else.  The pork something was very good…but the pork something else was gross!  It tasted like a big glob of bacon fat.  And, Ian thought it was wonderful!  When I cooked bacon as the boys were growing up…I always cooked a pound at a time…or else someone would go without.  That was before redi- cooked bacon, which I think is a marvelous invention.  But, I never served him bacon fat.  Of course, I was taught to use a big glob of bacon fat to season fresh vegetables…which made them taste absolutely wonderful.  But, when someone decided bacon fat clogged your arteries and then told the whole world about it…we had to stop doing it.  They do NOT taste as good, I tell you, no matter what you use to season or what anyone who ‘knows the right way to cook’ says.

Well, how did I get off on bacon fat? Oh, yeah, dinner.  And, then Ian insisted we have dessert.  It was wrong of him to push me like that.  He knows that I am a weak soul…unable to resist…when someone says ‘chocolate’.  And, that’s what the waiter said.  And, Ian said the calories wouldn’t count because I was out of town…and besides the ‘wicked witch’  in the play would probably scare them out of me.  And, “come on, Mom, it’s a special night…you’re out with your youngest son.”  And, I caved.  I confess to Weight Watchers that I had too many points.  It was as if something came over me and I had no control.  And, besides I’m not so good at math anyway…and there was no way for me to count up what I was eating…the waiter looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if he knew how many points the cake with 6 very thin, extremely moist layers iced with a thick chocolate ganache and covered over all with a divine dark chocolate fondant, had.  And so I ate.  And, I enjoyed.  And, I’d do it again.

On then to the civic center.  We learned as we got closer, and saw all these folks in shorts and straw hats and leis and Hawaiian shirts, and parrots on their shoulders or heads and already singing loudly, that Jimmy Buffett was doing a concert in the big arena at the same time Wicked was being performed in the theater.  Well, bless their hearts, they had taken over nearly all the parking spaces.  There were cars and limos and people walking everywhere.  It looked as if we were going to be in for a long haul to get to the theater IF we ever found a place to park.  And, that would not be a good thing for me.  But, Ian, being the resourceful lad that he is, decided that even though it LOOKED as if all the places were taken…surely somewhere in that area under the interstate, there HAD to be at least one space.  So, he pulled out of the line of traffic that was moving only inches at a time, and pulled into a full area that was fairly close to the door…and found ONE space hidden away and overlooked by the rest of the drivers.  We parked and made our way into the theater and found our seats.  Small blessings abound!






And, the play started.  Wicked is about the time before and after the Wizard of Oz.  Remember the movie?  Well, we learn WHY there is a Wicked Witch of the West and a Wicked Witch of the East.  We also learn why Glinda is the ‘Good Witch’.  And, then what happened after the demise of the Wicked Witch Sisters.  Those poor flying monkeys didn’t want to be bad.  You know, it was a funny show, wonderful music, and fine talented performers.  But, there was an undertone of civil unrest, and man’s inhumanity to man and animals.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I wanted to learn more about what the writers of the musical had in mind.  What exactly were they referencing?  What were they trying to say? I’ve done a little research on it, but I plan to do more.  If you are interested in the story at all, look up ‘Wicked’ on Wikipedia for a short synopsis and some interesting information.

Ian returned me to the hotel, and I got up the next morning and checked out of the motel and headed to Dothan.  I made a quick stop in Montgomery to pick up a birthday gift for Don.  He wants nothing, and needs nothing.  He doesn’t read the books I get him…the shirt and tie I gave him for Christmas are still in the box on his dresser…and he doesn’t appreciate tools like lazer levels.  So…since he does loves to eat, I stopped at World Market and filled a basket full of chips and dips and cheeses and cookies and crackers from their selection from around the world.  One more stop at Jo-Ann for a few supplies, then once more headed to home.  The last stop I made was at a big outlet type store that sells jeans and shoes and clothes.  I usually stop to shop for their wonderful selection of shoes.  But, today…all there was to choose from were yellow box flip flops, athletic shoes, or cowboy boots!!! So, my stop was short lived.  And, the next stop was in my garage.  Safe back at home!

Oh, what fun it all was.  I sang in the car to all the oldies on the radio…except when I was doing that praying in Montgomery!  I enjoyed the quiet of the drive, otherwise.  The motel was clean and had a wonderful bed!  I got too much shopping done, and got severals errands attended to.  I was treated to delicious meals, enjoyed the theater, and was escorted around town by the most handsome of all eligible batchelors in Birmingham!


What a blessed woman I am!

Thank you, Ian, for the weekend.  Thank you for planning it with me in mind.  Thank you for thinking of a gift that would be so throughly enjoyed, both during and long after.  I so appreciate the thoughtful gentleman that you are, and the way you handle yourself in all situations.  I thank God for your confidence in yourself, and I admire you for sticking to the principles that you were raised with and chose to be your own.  I cherish you and the joy you bring to our family.  I love you with all my heart.  More.