Friday, April 22, 2011

The Secret Life of Killer Bees

Nothing like a dozen or two near death experiences while driving a beast of a moving truck cross country to make one appreciate the dawning of a new day.

It was my second time driving a U-Haul truck.  I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I wrecked/destroyed the first one, BUT thanks to something called insurance U-Haul was willing to overlook my first strike against them and decided to give me a second chance in the form of a set of one-way keys for a haul from Central Texas to Southern Georgia, and it went something like this:

-killer bees
-helping paws of doom
-loud profanities
-separated shoulders
-drunken GPS systems
-food poisoning

After being tricked by U-Haul to rent a much larger truck than originally reserved, getting behind the wheel of a fourteen footer didn't help with easing me back into a comfortable zone of confidence with driving any of their beasts.  It's one thing driving across town, which I wasn't really good at anyway.  It was an entirely different kind of terror and adrenaline laced horror getting it from one part of the country to the next.

But I survived.  Likely in part to having planned my travel time through Alabama perfectly, I'm sure--in and out before the sun fully sets...

         (Dear Mom, if you move to Alabama, I will never visit you...)

The dealer also tricked me into paying for extra miles.  Tip: Research EXACTLY how far it is to your destination before picking up your moving truck.  They're sly, those dealers...  I ensured him, however, that I had absolutely no intention of joy riding through town in a U-haul and only settled with an extra twenty miles for any unexpected detours or gas stops. 

Somewhere between Louisiana and Mississippi, I gave in to the sad eyes peering up at me from their cage of shame and made the poor decision to let Edgar out of his carrier.   Road trips, much like tubs of water, are rarely found on a cat's bucket list of top 100 things to experience before they die.  E-boo (as his friends call him) had lost his voice from singing "Highway to Hell" from Dallas to the Louisiana state line and was, at that point, only interested in hugging my hip.  So following yet another gas up at yet another Love's, I cracked the window, turned up the radio and continued on with Ed at my side.

That is, until I was shanked by a honey bee...
                                         honey bee^

He may not look threatening, but zoom in a bit and his intentions are made much clearer...

Straight up gangst'a!

Little bastard swooped out of nowhere, flashing a blade and threatening to cut me if I didn't cooperate.  It was sometime at this moment when Ed decided to take his chances and clawed his way across my lap to wrestle it to the ground.  As in....the floorboard.  The battle lasted long enough to earn me confused glances from two passing vehicles as the U-haul went from sixty to forty to sixty again before Ed pulled himself back into the sunlight, victorious. 

Following a few spatted profanities on my part, he stayed on his side of the truck for the remainder of the trip...

It wasn't until after my next stop at the next Love's to gas up and grab a bite to eat (which is really a tale for another paragraph), as I reached for the handle to pull myself back into the driver's seat, that I realized I had separated my shoulder during the battle.  I had just reached the Alabama state line and wasn't looking forward to passing through the towns of Where the Hell Am I!? and Is That a Hooker!?, especially since their construction projects were still forcing people to crawl through them at twenty miles per hour...

                                  (Dear Mom, I meant what I said.)

The pain in my shoulder quickly went from 'Ouch' to 'JUST CUT IT OFF!' before I could get to Georgia, forcing me to drive with one hand.  Now, I know that most of you kids like to set the seat back and drape a wrist over the steering wheel in an attempt to look good at what you do.  But trust me when I say, you don't.  It's ten and two for this chick.  I could be driving a puttering golf cart, and it'd still be ten and two.  Which is a reference to what I feel is a funny story, actually, for I've thrown a grown man from a moving golf cart before.  My grandfather.  Into a holly bush.  Just because I was gettin' comfortable.  So, ten and two, folks.  Ten and two.

Unless you've separated your shoulder...  Then it's ten and a pinky.  That's all I could sacrifice.  I made it to the Georgia state line as my legs started quivering.  Why they would have anything to say about my shoulder, I haven't a clue.  The sun had set, my shoulder was threatening to evict tears from their ducts and my legs were causing the cab to shake.  My GPS was leading me into the final lefts and rights and exasperated reroutes and frustrated u-turns (she was just as tired as I, apparently) of the trip, as she guided me onto a random street and just left me there!

Claiming that I had arrived at my destination, she patted herself on the back and passed out.  Looking around, I realized I was nowhere near my destination.  There was a man in house slippers pushing a complaining shopping buggy across my headlights and a cat with half its tail missing diving out of his way and under a porch of a nearby house.

Three words came to mind.  Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot.

I didn't type in the street address but rather just the city and state, and I was lost on the other side of town.  And then I heard a voice.  My voice!  Mocking me!!

I have absolutely no intention of joy riding through town in a U-haul...


So I arrived a little later than intended.  No big deal.  I had twenty extra miles to spare!......

And here I am.  New home, sweet home.  Where I spent the first two days with my face in the toilet screaming for Ralph.  Mississippi's Love's, apparently, had no love for me...

To my friends and family back home,  I love and miss you all.  Wish me luck, and I'll see you all again.

                                                            ---The Beginning---

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Midnight with the Blog of Good and Evil

It is in my opinion that there comes a time in every young adult's life when they should create a blog to rant or 'list' or ramble on about one thing or another, whether or not blogs border on extreme narcissism.   I myself have chosen to build mine around and ramble on about my time spent in the Deep South. 

I’d like to say that my decision to head south for a few winters wasn’t impulsive.  That there was at one point a logical conversation I had with myself weighing the pros and cons of such a decision.  To drop everything I knew and start anew in a land relating to the West as much as forks are to spoons, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that somewhere within my subconscious self is a voice who is quite outraged at their being completely ignored and  shut out of the happenings in my life.

I had two months to pack.  Two months to tie off loose ends and set fire to bridges.  To embrace loved ones and throw together a year’s worth of doctors visits and checkups.  Two months to get my fill of Whataburger, Gold Peak Tea and Deja Blue bottled water.  Two months to brace myself for phase two of my adult life.


Land of peaches, swarms of lightning bugs, rolling thunder, and a people ready and willing to warmly embrace any stranger they brush shoulders with.  Where it’s almost a crime to refuse a free refill of sweet iced tea before heading out of the local barbecue joint.  Where pickles and onions are served with just about anything that can be spooned onto a plate.  Where country gravy is a major food group.  Where history is found in more than just reading material.  And where neighbor isn’t just a word describing the persons living on either side of you.

These next six months I shall reside at my parents’ house, hidden within a cul-de-sac, which is itself hidden behind a historical, nineteenth century school building.  It is a modest house, whose porch swing points west towards the Chattahoochee River.  One wrong step and one could find themselves rolling down hill and splashing into the waters below where history and modern times meet.  The house rests high enough to challenge the summer’s lightning bugs to a slow climb but close enough to the river bank to catch the bull frogs' song in the evening breeze. 

I think I’m in puppy love.

I’m committing to making this a three year move.  Three years to finish with the majority of my schooling, to rinse out the bad taste the West has left in my mouth, to embrace the change, to line up a few more ducks to help me better march towards my ever drifting goals, and to allow the puppy love to fade.  And then?  Who knows.  Perhaps this is permanent, the South and I.  Only Father Time can tell, for Father always knows best…