Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fears and Fun

Road trips are one of my fears, due to the inept driving of those who think they are invincible, but they're also one of our favorite pastimes. (They are also inevitable when you have family within a 2 hour drive!) Since the interstate highways are particularly uninteresting and quite a fearsome trek, we choose more scenic routes whenever possible.

Yesterday, at the end of few days visit with family, we planned our return route through the mountains. If the speed on those twisting inclines and declines is slow, I'm usually fine, unless it's dark. But it wasn't dark, so let me speak on the daylight trip. We snaked our way to the top of a mountain in Georgia, with a pick up truck hard on our bumper, and my good, safe driving and accommodating husband going a bit faster than I'd have prefered, just to keep the guy behind us happy. Meanwhile, I was trying to maintain sanity while my longest-nails-ever were attempting to penetrate and scar the palms of my hands. Finally we pulled off the road to let the bumper-rider by. Obviously, he knew the shoulder-less roads with no guard rails and had no trouble navigating them. I yanked my fingernails out of my skin, flexed my digits, relaxed my leg, back and neck muscles, and breathed a sigh of relief. I was still alive and had silently lost only a small portion of my sanity. I also announced to my husband that passed the test with flying colors and he was now qualified to road test new vehicles over obstacle courses.

From that point on, I enjoyed the trip. I took notice of the mountains we drove between. I reveled in the beauty around me. I giggled at some of the sights and signs on the back roads. There was an antique shop (picture Fred Sanford's place in the tv show, Sanford and Son) It was a rickety, run down wood construction, with little appeal, unless you are like me and you love haunting those places filled with rusty, musty old stuff. I'd have been tempted to call a halt to the drive for a time, had the place been open, but it wasn't. So I chuckled at the sign which read, "Antiques, and stuff for Men too!"

I never cease to be amazed at what some folks are calling 'home'. Shanties and shacks that appeared to have no running water or electricity (of course I might be wrong) littered the side of the road here and there. Porches on their fronts were stacked with stuff: furnishings, firewood, boxes... just stuff. Some of the yards, too, were piled with car parts, machinery, rusted and surely frozen with time and weather. Mobile homes, looking not much better than metal chicken houses, in some cases, were being inhabited by humans, and who knows what else. But, home is home, and my heart goes out to those who can afford no more than that and are thankful for that.

I found another cause or two for a giggle. One was a roadside habitation in a place called Clayton, Ga. Over the entry to the rotting front porch was a sign that read "Claton Hilton". There they are, living in Clayton and hanging a misspelled sign! Someone has a sense of humor, I'd say. On down the road a piece was another sign that made me laugh. An old rough board was painted with dripping, now faded, black paint. It read " All Around the world" and off to the right, about 3 feet away, was another, smaller, rougher bit of lumber painted "Musem." (museum... in the south is pronounced 'mu zeem', but whoever painted this sign didn't know how to spell, I guess.)
When I read 'All Around the World Muzeem' to Mike, he quipped, 'around the world, huh? And next week the Mona Lisa will be on loan.'

Despite the phobias I have to fight at times, the fun makes it all worthwhile, and makes good fodder for blogs! See you next time.