Today is Bubba's last day at the Y, finishing up his 3rd year there. He loves it just as much today as he did on his first day there 3 years ago when he got in the car and said "I had the best day ever!"
We are no strangers to camping. Believe me, we know the travails that can come with 4 people piled into a what amounts to a large tin can. Believe me, we know. So it's not like we went into our trip as greenhorns or anything.
We made our reservations for St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in February of this year and we were really excited because the place looked beautiful. It's on Cape San Blas which has been voted best beach in America two years in a row. And we were especially excited because we were supposed to go there last year, but we canceled at the last minute because of the predicted path of the oil spill.
So we were stoked, is what I'm saying.
We had planned to break up the drive by spending one night in a town along the way and so we made a reservation in an RV park, sight unseen. It looked nice enough on the website. However. HOWEVER, upon pulling into the "RV" park (and yes, I'm using air quotes) it quickly became evident that it wasn't so much a campground as a trailer park? Only, instead of regular trailers they were campers? But permanently attached with lattice work attached and small, semi-permanent porches? There also didn't appear to be any predetermined spaces for us to put our camper and to top it all off, the office was closed with only a note on the door instructing us to put our money in an envelope and slide it through the slot on the door.
As we pulled through the campground trying to figure out what in the hell to do, we passed a sign that said "No overnight campers past this point." Uh, what? We meandered through the "campground" passing a couple of cars up on blocks until we finally had to turn around in what was obviously someone's back yard.
Um, no. Or as we say in my family, not only no but hell no.
We drove to a nearby hotel and briefly stole borrowed their wifi and found another RV park down the road. Guess what? Also a trailer park. Apparently "RV park" in south Georgia is code for trailer park? Who knew?
Hellloooo Best Western.
After hanging in the hotel room for a while we ventured out to find something to eat. Before we left home I had scouted out a couple of restaurants in this town, but when we arrived downtown we discovered that everything was closed because it was Sunday. We drove around for a good 30 minutes before we found the strip malls and the chain restaurants.
We spotted a Ruby Tuesday, headed inside, and as we sat down I reached for the beer menu. After 5+ hours in the car, getting lost in trailer park, and trying to find some place to eat, I needed a drink.
"I'll have a Red Stripe with a lime," I said to the waitress, when she showed up to take our drink order.
"Um, is that a beer?" she asked me timidly.
In my head I thought "Oh my God. Are you an idiot? I need to know right know if I'm dealing with an idiot" but I smiled politely and said "Yes?"
"Oh, you're not from Georgia are yewwww?" she drawled. "We can't serve alcohol on Sundays."
For the love of....
I resisted the urge to run screaming from the restaurant and kindly informed her that yes, we were from Georgia but that the city we lived in had voted to serve alcohol on Sundays in restaurants. I started to tell her how each city could vote on the issue, but she really didn't seem like she was up for a civics lesson, so I let it go.
Fortunately, a fairly decent steak and some delicious mashed potatoes helped me get over my sorrow. And to prepare me for the next day's adventures.
One of the things I love most about my kids is their bodies -- their tiny, perfectly compact little bodies. Sometimes I look at them and marvel "I made that." Well, I had some help, but you know what I'm talking about.
Punkin is getting taller by the day, fast losing the last of her baby belly. Bubba, so tan from being in the sun at camp every day, loves to walk around the house in just his underwear as he prepares for bed and I swear he looks just like Mowgli with his floppy hair and knobby knees.
I hope I can say this without sounding pervy, but I especially love their butts. They're just so cute! I have, over the years, developed a habit of smacking them on the butt. Not in a spanking kind of way, but in a "Hey there Sparky", coach-to-football player kind of way. Or if they're walking up the stairs behind me, I just can resist giving them a little goose.
Well, the kids have now decided to return the favor. I'll be cooking supper and all of a sudden - whap! And you know what? That shit is HELLA ANNOYING. So. No more put pats. No more gooses. LESSON LEARNED.
I'm having a little trouble getting back into the blogging groove, so I'm going to use other people's blogs as my inspiration.
Yesterday on Twitter, AndreAnna was talking about how much she hates butterflies -- well, anything with wings, really. And that made me think of Metalia's post the other day titled The Sum of All Fears, which I thought was brilliant and of course made me start thinking of what mine would be.
And then on the way home, Mindy of Absolutely Mindy on XM Kids' Place Live was playing their new game of "Would You Rather" and some kid came up with this doozy: Would you rather swim in a snake infested lake or a cockroach infested swimming pool?
One the one hand, I'm not really afraid of snakes. I don't love them, but as long as I can keep my distance I'm okay. I'll even hold one at a wildlife show if I know it's non-poisonous. But have you ever seen Lonesome Dove? Like, the first episode? The one with the water moccasins? Ay yi yi. Nightmares forever.
All I'm going to say about the other is whispery, feathery cockroach wings. Enough said.
However, the sum of all my fears? Would probably go something like this:
Being in a dimly lit room with Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers both just standing behind me, looking at me, not saying anything, with spiders covering the entire floor and cobwebs touching my hair.
Well. Now that I have sufficiently creeped myself out, I think I'll try to get some work done.
When we last left Madame Queen's family, they were in the midst of negotiations for purchasing a home. Remember? And remember how she said the whole thing was fraught with discord? Yeah, well, it was a sign. That house was not meant to be.
We had the inspection done and the inspector found some problems. Not a ton of problems, but enough and of a nature that it triggered my own PTSD from the time the sellers didn't disclose a bunch of a problems with the last house we'd owned and well...I just couldn't do it. We didn't have a contract and so we told the sellers we didn't feel comfortable buying that house. The sellers were not happy, to say the least, but what could they do.
A few weeks later we made an offer on another house, one that I'd kind of had my eye on since the previous October and within a week the sellers accepted our offer. This was in February? I think? But because of our foreclosure history, we had to wait until three years from the date of our foreclosure to buy another house, so we had to wait until May 1st to apply for the loan. You want to talk about some months that simultaneously flew and dragged by? And I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs the whole time that something was going to wrong.
But May 1st came, we applied for the loan, it was approved, we had the closing, and we moved in.
I'm not sure I can fully describe the feeling of owning my own home after what we've been through over the past 4 years. In that time we've paid off all of our debt with the exception of Mr. Daddy's car and I think, for the first time in a long time (ever?), I feel like a grown up. No, I'm not proud of what happened 3 years ago, but I'm not ashamed of it either. It sounds like self-help mumbo jumbo to say that if it hadn't happened we wouldn't have learned so much about ourselves, but it's true.
The most exciting part about living here, though, is our neighbors. There are tons of kids close by and Bubba and Punkin have loved being able to head out after dinner every evening to play with whomever is around. And I and three of my neighbor friends have started a running club, meeting 3 nights a week to run together. And did I tell you about Halloween? It was Halloween last year that I fell in love with this neighborhood. It is THE place to trick-or-treat in our area and everybody opens up their garage doors and goes all out decorating and dressing up. We came last year because several of our church friends live here and it was so much fun -- such a sense of community.
So, if my autobiography used to be called "How I Went from Living in Tree-Lined Suburbia to a Double-wide in My Daddy's Back Yard," I think I could now add the subtitle, to steal a quote from Bilbo Baggins, "There and Back Again."
You might not believe it, since I seem to have abandoned it so readily, but I miss my blog. I had lunch with the lovely Mir yesterday for the first time in about a year and she commented that I had retreated into my cave for a while and I suppose I did. My online presence has certainly diminished.
There was a period there where things were just kind of blah. I wasn't sad, but I wasn't really happy. I didn't really have anything that felt worthwhile to say to the larger world.
I also "quit" blogging for another reason. Now, this is going to sound extremely egotistical and self-centered, but hey, you're getting the real me here. I quit blogging because I quit getting comments. Oh, I'd get a few from my lovely, loyal readers (you know who you are!), but the traffic that I used to get was gone. And it hurt, I'm not gonna lie. My self worth as a writer was tied to the number of comments I received or how much traffic I got that day. I couldn't help but compare myself to those bloggers that I considered my equal whose traffic only seemed to be increasing. And I was jealous. And I didn't like feeling that way, so I just quit. That's the easiest way out, right? Instead of working to be like them, I just quit.
I was having lunch with a new writer friend a week or so ago and I was talking to her about how when I was younger I always wanted to be a writer and she interrupted me to say "You ARE a writer." And that stopped me cold. Am I? Maybe I am.
I'm not going to make any promises about posting here regularly. I hope I will. My intentions are good. But we all know what road is paved with good intentions, right? So. I'm back. Sort of. Maybe.