Bible Verse

Beg as loud as you can for good common sense. Proverbs 2:3

Friday, October 25, 2013

Acme, Anyone?

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember that we bought a new camper back in June or July (I wasn’t paying that much attention, myself).  Since the purchase, we’ve been trying to give it a name.

We named our last camper the Damper Camper because for the first dozen times we took her out, it rained for at least a portion of the time we were gone.
So we wanted to make sure we gave our new rig just the right name.  And because of that, we waited to see what kind of new adventures she would take us on.  Our last trip out, she gave us her name.

Our trip took us to Edisto Beach, SC, south of Myrtle Beach, to see the Atlantic Ocean, walk on the beach, stuff like that.  We would stay one night in Augusta, GA on the way there and three nights at Stone Mountain, GA on the way back.  Seems kinda straight forward, doesn’t it?
We had a great first day on the road.  A little hectic getting through Atlanta for us country folk, but we made it just fine. 

Until we came to the RV park where we were spending the night.  The two-lane road in front of the park was undergoing an extensive re-do, like having great big holes in the road, big equipment everywhere, men with hard hats milling around, dust everywhere.  We managed to get into the park where the manager met us in a golf cart to show us our spot.  It was very windy and chilly, so we didn’t try to sit outside.  We just had some supper, watched some TV and went to bed, because the next day was going to be full of travel again.
At some point during the early morning, we were awakened by a strident and urgent BEEP-BEEP-BEEP over and over again as the construction equipment was working on the road about 200 yards away. 

Shortly after that, there came a loud knock on our door.  It was the manager with a map of the park, showing how to get out on the road because the road crew had moved down and was now blocking the way we had gotten in the day before.
So we got it all together and left for Edisto Beach, the beeping a mere, irritating memory.

We were at Edisto Beach for 7 nights.  And we were enjoying ourselves, sitting out at the campsite, walking on the beach.  The campsite was a little close to a two-lane road that had not shown up on the map of the park, but all in all, very nice.
Until 3 days before we left.  We could hear something in the distance, some kind of noise, getting closer and closer.  Finally we could identify the sound -- BEEP-BEEP-BEEP over and over and over!  Turns out they were repaving the road that ran alongside part of the RV park.  Our part of the park, of course.

Now, you know how construction crews and road crews get accused of standing around and doing nothing.  But I’ve always thought that if you really watched them, you coud see that they were usually making pretty good time getting the road fixed.  And I’m sure there are fine road crews in SC that zoom right through their repaving chores.
This crew was not one of them.

The road really wasn’t that long.  I don’t know what the hold-up was, but for 3 days we awakened to the BEEP-BEEP-BEEP.  It was getting closer and closer, louder and louder.  David asked if we could move to a different part of the park the first day we heard it.  No.  Could we have a refund so we could at least leave a few days early?  No.
Well, okay, then.  We stuck it out.  But on the second day, when the tar smell was about to choke me and the ground was trembling beneath me, I hollered at David, “I’m going in the camper.”  I usually don’t holler at David, but I did that time so he could hear me!

It wasn’t that we couldn’t come and go out of the park.  We could and we did.  But it was a big hassle because they were only letting one lane of traffic go at a time.  And since we were always at an exit to the park that was in the middle of the only letting one lane of traffic go at a time, we had to have a special hard hat guy come and figure out the configuration of the traffic flow so we could move in or out.
We found some solace on the beach, which was down the road from the repaving.  The night before we left, we were sitting on the beach, watching the surf, the birds, the clouds.  We looked at each other with love, the love that comes from being soul mates for most of our lives.

“David,” I said quietly.
“Yes?” he answered sweetly.

“Do you hear a BEEP-BEEP-BEEP?”
“Yes, I do,” he said calmly.

“Good,” I said.  “I thought I was hearing things.”
You guessed it – the repaving had miraculously gotten in gear to reach the entrance to the beach.  Except it was still up at our park, too.  Amazing.  It was like a rubber band – it just kept stretching and stretching.

So on the third day, we awoke to the BEEP-BEEP-BEEP.  We actually used it as an alarm clock.  Why bother to set one when these guys got there earlier than you usually woke up?
So off we went to Stone Mountain, GA.  Have you ever been there?  It’s a great place and has so many things to see.  We had never stayed at the RV park before, so we were looking forward to that. 

We had an uneventful trip, found the RV park fairly shortly upon arrival.  We were just turning the corner to check in and find our campsite when a sign caught my eye.
“Repaving will begin on October 16.”  Today was October 16.

Once again, the BEEP-BEEP-BEEP.  But this road crew was very fast, and we hardly heard them or saw them even as we moved around the park.
God knew we just couldn’t take anymore.  Thank you, God!  And I mean that literally.

So now to the name.  I thought it should somehow reflect all the road work we had encountered, so I offered the Beepster.  No, David didn’t like that.  He came up with one that I can’t really reveal here.  I could see how it applied, though.
We finally decided on the Roadrunner because that was certainly its language.  Do you know any other creature that says “BEEP-BEEP-BEEP”?

Friday, October 18, 2013

She Loves You

When I was 12 years old, The Beatles came to America.

I was a big Ringo fan.  I had 3 girlfriends that I ran around with at school, and we all loved the Beatles.  We each had one we loved.  Debra loved Paul (actually, I think we all loved Paul, but she claimed him first), Mary Kate loved George, Linda loved John, and I loved Ringo.  I picked Ringo because I wasn’t fast enough to lay claim to anyone else.  (My love was very transferrable back then).
I had Beatle stuff all over my room.  There were so many pictures and posters, you could barely tell what color the walls were.  I had fan magazines galore.  I loved to read about them.  I watched anything on TV that featured them.  I nearly fainted with joy when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show (It was a really big shew…).

I had, of course, seen the footage on TV where the girls by the hundreds (maybe thousands) would try to surround the Fab Four’s car, all the while screaming at the top of their lungs.  Some were crying.  A few actually collapsed.  All of this had happened in England, so when they came to America, I knew what to do:  Scream when I saw them on TV.
I don’t know why I screamed.  I didn’t know why at the time.  I just felt it was expected of me, and what kind of fan was I if I didn’t participate in the screaming?

The real scream-fest was at the first movie they made:  It Was a Hard Day’s Night.  Imagine a theater full of pre-pubescent girls screaming so loud that you couldn’t hear the movie.  But that didn’t matter!  The Beatles were up there on that screen!  Yeah, yeah, yeah!
My love for Ringo and the rest of the Beatles was very deep for a 12-year-old.  There was nothing I wouldn’t do for them.  My life revolved around their latest record or magazine.  I would play Beatles records for hours in my bedroom. 

It was all my friends and I talked about.  We had debates over which one was the cutest, nicest, sweetest, and best kisser.  Of course, we had no idea if they were any of these things (especially the best kisser part since none of us had ever been kissed by a boy) so we just made it up.  It was great!  One of the happiest memories I have growing up.
Of course, there will always be people who don’t understand your passion – well, okay, your obsession -- and will try to stand in the way of your happiness.  That person was my mother.  She had very good-naturedly let me plaster my bedroom walls with all manner of pictures and posters, she let me wear my hair like a Beatle (their haircut was very controversial back then), she carted me and my friends to a drive-in theater where we sat in the rain, screaming at the giant screen because we just had to see It’s A Hard Day’s Night one more time.

So you’d think she would back me on anything Beatle.  Not.
I was going to become a member of our church during a little ceremony in which I would stand as part of a group in front of the church.  The pastor was going to ask us some questions and intone a blessing and then we would be members.

I got all dressed up in my finest Sunday dress (all females always wore dresses back in those days), put my white anklets on and my patent leather shoes.  Just one more thing to make the look perfect:  My Beatles necklace, a large (very large) white circle with a picture, mostly in black, of the Beatles.  I don’t remember where I got it, but it couldn’t have been too expensive because it had already turned my neck green on previous occasions.
Mom took one look and stated, “You’re not getting up in front of the church with that awful necklace on.”

I was crushed.  How could I show my love for Ringo and the rest of the boys if I didn’t have one of my dearest Beatle possessions with me?  The dress didn’t have any pockets.  I had to think fast because we were leaving soon.
So I did join church that day, up there in front of God and everybody, with a self-satisfied smirk on my face.  I knew my love for Ringo was true because I had had him with me despite the odds against it.  I had overcome the hurdle my own mother had put up to hinder me.

I don’t believe I’m exaggerating one bit when I say that I am probably the only person ever to join the United Methodist Church with a Beatles necklace in her bra.
Well, it was either that or my panties, and that just seemed wrong…

Friday, October 11, 2013

Southern Comfort

I moved to Alabama from Iowa in 1960.  My dad was transferred from Rock Island Arsenal in Moline, IL (just across the river from Bettendorf, IA) to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL.

We didn’t know much about the south.  I guess I should say my parents didn’t know much about the south.  I was 8 years old – how much could I possibly know about anything?
I was in the 3rd grade and had already started school in Iowa when we moved.  I remember my first day at school in Huntsville.

A boy swaggered up to me and belligerently said, “Are you a yank-ka?”
I said, “What?”

He repeated a little louder, “Are you a yank-ka?”
I said:  “I don’t know.  I don’t know what that is.”

He shouted (like volume was going to help the problem), “Are you from up nauth?”
Ah!  Finally, a glimmer of understanding was shining through the southern accent.  I ventured a guess.

“Do you mean am I from the north?”
“Yeah,” he cried triumphantly.

I demurely replied, “Why, yes, young sir, I am from the northern part of our great country.”
Well, okay, I didn’t say exactly those words.  If memory serves, I said, “Yes.”

Whereupon, he punched me in the stomach.  I never saw it coming, a true sucker punch.  It doubled me over and knocked the wind out of me.
I’m imagining that he strutted away, full of himself because he single-handedly took care of a “yank-ka.”

And you thought “The South Shall Rise Again” was just a saying…

Friday, October 4, 2013

As Time Goes By

I was a nervous wreck from the start. 

Order a wedding dress on the internet?  What happens if it’s not at all like you think it’s going to be?  How are you going to have time to buy another one?
Order fresh flowers on the internet?  What happens if they are wilted when they get here?  How are you going to find that many flowers in a short amount of time?

Have an outdoor wedding in October in North Alabama?  Are you kidding?  The weather could be anything from hotter than blue blazes to snow flurries.
“Oh, Mom, it will all work out,” my daughter said.

But what if it didn’t?
Alice refused to be swayed by her mother’s gloomy predictions.  She had everything planned out just the way she pictured it.

The wedding was to be held on the front steps of a local old antebellum style house.  Instead of a maid of honor, she asked her brother to be “brother of honor.”  She bought red shoes to wear with her wedding gown. 
First, her brother, the preacher and the groom, Daniel, would take their places on the porch, facing the lawn.  Then, David and I would walk down the brick pathway to the porch and turn around so that we could all watch Alice walk toward her wonderfully bright future.

It was getting to that point that nearly did me in.
Alice told me what time to be at the wedding site.  I was there on time, ready to help her get dressed.  She was not there.  And not there.  And not there.  The photographer arrived, but no Alice. 

I called her.  “Alice!” I said.  “Where are you?”
“Oh, I’m in Guntersville.  I had to pick up the tuxes because Daniel couldn’t because…..”

“Alice, you’re ten miles away!  The photographer is here!  The guests will be here soon!  Get up here!”
“Well, gee, I mean, okay,” she said meekly.

Fifteen minutes later, she finally arrived.  As she opened the door, she said, “You yelled at me!”  Her lower lip poked out and she looked truly hurt.
“I did not yell at you.  I was concerned because I didn’t know where you were and it was getting late.”   

“You never yell at me,” she said, which was true.
“I’m sorry.  I’m a nervous wreck.  How are we going to get you dressed and get the pictures taken before time to start the ceremony?”

“Oh, Mom, it will all work out,” my daughter said.
And she was right.  She was radiant in her beautiful internet wedding gown.  It was a lovely service, the weather was absolutely perfect, the flowers were gorgeous (not a wilted one among them).
So happy 10th anniversary, Alice and Daniel.  I love and admire you both.