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!!!