Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Driving on Memorial Day Weekend

I left Little Rock as the Pendergrass Family were heading for church. Stopped and gassed up and headed east on I40.  Emily had fixed me some delicious snacks, including kombucha tea and nori seaweed and organic peanut butter. Sigh....You raise a child up weird, and it comes back to hit you in the butt.

There was a really bad wreck going westbound (opposite of me)  in Arkansas. Traffic was backed up for about 8 miles. Dunno the details. Made sure not to rubberneck. Prayed, instead, for the victims and their families.

I arrived in Memphis (my hometown) around noon. Called my dear friend Susy's mom, and asked if I could make a pitstop at her house. "Of Course, Toni Japper!" she exclaimed, and I exited I40 and headed back to my old neighborhood. Susy and I have been friends since 5th grade. She knows more about me than my own family.  Two years ago this April, she passed over to be with her Daddy, her husband, and her daughter..... Asthma....

HOW many times have I walked up this driveway.....sat on this porch.....eaten in this kitchen....

Bill Dugger (Susy's baby brother) was there with his mother (HE's the one who used to call me Toni Japper), and Buddy, Mrs. Doo's longhaired daschund, along with a beagle whom they were minding for a friend. Bill took some pictures of my boyz and their hosts....

I peed in the "blue" bathroom (still the same from 45 years ago) drank a glass of Memphis Water (and YES, it should be capitalized!), hugged Mrs. Doo (very gently, she'd broken a rib, falling on her walker), kissed Billy Joe, gathered up the boyz, and headed down the road.

It is always tempting to take the exit to Susy's home in Cordova, Tennessee....or at least the exit following that  which has an Old Time Pottery, but I forged ahead, knowing that the late start and frequent stops would keep me from my intended destination of Knoxville or further this day.

I love to stop at Cracker Barrels. They have a wonderful store, great coffee, and lots of green grass for the dogs.  And this time, I found the hat I'd been looking for. It is Exactly like my friend Roger's. I'll have to put a Collie pin on mine to be able to tell them apart.

See my purple polka dog purse there on the table?!  I found that in Emily's town, at a garage sale! Brand new! It had a white bow on it (other side, you cannot see), and I didn't like that. so Em put a chartreuse and purple silk flower on it. Very "me," I must say.  Purple is the Camp icon color, so whenever I see "purple stuff," I usually scarf it right up.

Forty miles outside of Memphis, I had to stop again.....About 5 or 6 cars ahead, there was a terrible wreck. Emergency vehicles had not even arrived yet, and traffic was at a standstill, one pickup truck was upside down and across both lanes, a Nissan sedan upside down in the median. Please note here...Ones very first response is to PULL OVER onto the shoulder. This is Not a good idea! The shoulder is where the emergency vehicles get access.

This was a very serious wreck. The injuries required the victims be removed via helicopter. 

We were stopped for about an hour and a half. Two cups of coffee and a couple of glasses of Memphis Water, and, well...I needed to go....Bad.....I climbed into the back of the van, told the boyz to scooch over, and squatted over their empty water bowl (note to self:  Always carry a wide-mouth water bowl), and filled it nearly to the brim. I cannot describe to you the expressions on James' and Baden's faces. I think they were completely clueless about this behavior...... I calmly put the wet wipie in a plastic bag, zipped up my jeans,  and exited the van to empty the bowl's contents over the guardrail.                                                                                                                                         

Motorists were emerging from their cars, and we began to make friends. Of course, Collies are always a great ice-breaker for meeting new people. James even graced us with a few dance moves before twirling his backside around for everyone to pet. There was a mother and daughter, coming home from a soccer game, who had their little "pom-poo" with them. Hollister. Cute little guy, and was actually okay with the huge Collie-friends, noses in his face, tails swirling up around him. 

We exchanged emails. Should get a few pictures from them any day now! 

Tow trucks took the damaged vehicles away, and very soon traffic was moving again. 

I arrived in Knoxville right around dark. Pulled into a Motel 6, fed and peed the boyz, then spied a Krystal right next door. Now, if you do not know about Krystal hamburgers, you have not tasted the most wonderful piece of white trash gourmet food in the World! Northerners know them as "White Castle," but Krystals are not found west of the Mississippi.  I get them every time I cross over the River. 

Prosper and I walked over to the Krystal (via a dirt path thru some woods.... don't tell Rob I took that "risk" at night!), I put him on a sit/stay outside the restaurant door, then went in and ordered 6 of those delicious pieces of heaven, asking for "extra mustard" and would they please bring them outside to me when my order was finished. Liddle Cubbie held his sit/stay (he sometimes likes to lie down...sigh) until my return, and we danced back to the motel where I shared a few burgers with eager companions. 

Travel the next day (Memorial Day) was slow and tedious. Many, MANY wrecks on the highway. So much so, that I finally exited I81 in Virginia and drove several miles on Highway 11. What a beautiful scenic route!


Arrived at Brenda's around 7 pm. She was waiting at the gate with a glass of wine in her hands and safe quarters for the boyz to run. We talked until nearly midnight, then collapsed into our beds until the sun woke us on June 1.

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