Yesterday I had a real treat. My family and I went to a Renaissance festival near Austin. The day was perfect…breezy and just the right temperature. There were people there but not so many that you couldn’t keep a safe distance. I have never been to one of those but it was really fun. We spent most of the day just walking around, watching people, seeing many people in costumes and lots of venders of antique looking stuff. I got home refreshed, tired and filled with joy at being out and about.
How about a blast from my past? I was remembering when I learned to drive and my first car. My father taught me to drive. He wanted to be sure that I was capable of driving anything that moved (except a motorcycle). Once I had mastered the basics (straight shift no cheating…most cars were not automatic) he took me out and had me drive a 1/2 ton truck. That was an experience.
When I passed my driver’s test he decided to get me a car??? I guess you could call it that. It was a second/third/fourth/ hand Willy’s Jeepster. It had a convertible top, isinglass side windows that you put in after the top was up. It had “air conditioning” (that is the outside air) and no heater.
The seats were bolted to the floor so you couldn’t adjust them. In order for me to reach the pedals..especially the clutch…I had to put a pillow to my back. You can imagine that four or five teenage girls thought this was the bomb. We absolutely loved that car. We drove it in the winter wrapped up in heavy coats, gloves and whatever else we needed to keep warm. We drove through snow and rain. We drove it while wearing swimming suits in the summer with the top down. We flirted with boys in other cars. It was great.
In my senior year of high school the car started to have problems. It wouldn’t always start. It took a while for my father to figure out what was wrong. Those cars had starter buttons in the floor that you pushed down to start the car. For some reason that piece was not connecting with the piece it connected to in the engine. We could push the car to start it popping the clutch (something most of you have never heard of or done). It didn’t take much. Just rolling a little bit would get the car going. The other more interesting option was to open the hood and hold a piece of metal between the starter and the starter connector and like magic we were on our way.
When we went downtown to shop we tried to find a parking place at the end of the block so that if we had to push the car it was easy. I’m sure you can imagine that we met lots of boys that way.
In those days the place to hang out was the Hot Shoppe. It was a drive in place where car hops brought you your food. Tons of friends met there on Friday and Saturday night. No problem getting the car started there.
Later on more problems began to crop up. While stopped at a light at a very busy intersection on a hill I couldn’t get the car started. My father was with me. The light changed and the man behind us kept blowing his horn. My father calmly got out of the car and walked back to the other car. I was worried about what was going on. My father returned and calmly sat down in his seat. I asked him what happened and he said “I told him I would blow his horn if he would start my car!” My father always had the “mot juste.” He was known for it.
Another day at another busy stop light I lifted up on the steering wheel and it came off in my hand. I stuck it back on and drove us all home holding it on.
The final event came when the car began having electrical problems. My father took the car to be rewired and all seemed well. That night we drove the car into town and on one of the main streets smoke started coming out from under the hood. We pulled into a gas station thinking it was overheated and opened the hood. The car was merrily in flames. A gas station attendant rushed out with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. My father came and picked us up and the car was gone for good.
I have never since had a car that was more fun and more interesting. I am sure I never will.
In the last week a dear dear person I knew died. Her life was everything we are called to be. She had a loving family and loved and cared for them every day of her life. She loved God and often wrote wonderful posts about his love and his care for her. She never lost this nearness to God even in the darkest of times.
Her name was Elaine. I first met Elaine as a Parish Nurse and her health journey would have crushed most of us early on. She was determined to live every moment of her life in spite of all the doctors who couldn’t see her going on for long. She not only went on but went on with joy. She traveled, boated, spent time with family and friends. She shared her joy with everyone and each day was one to be explored and lived. She lived! Each and every day she lived!
Now she is gone but never forgotten. Her example will remain with all of those who knew her and spur us on to live fully every moment. She has transitioned to be with the God she loved and who she knew with her whole being loved her. While those of us here are saying goodbye others are welcoming her home. Good journey Elaine.
I went crazy the other day and decided to try this burnt caramel custard recipe. It has been a looooonnnng time since I made caramel and the recipe was not as good about the caramel part. The first caramel crystallized. I found my old recipe for caramel pie and used those directions for making the caramel part and it went well. The rest was a breeze. I could have let the caramel darken more but that is just a visual thing. It tasted wonderful.
Today I took my husband to get some blood work done and just riding out in the car was a real joy. It has been a long time since I left the islands we live on. To see town again made me feel more normal. Amazing what a little trip can do. I think we will do that again for fun.
The virus growth has not peaked here yet. We started later than most places so I think it will be a while. We will be finding fun places to just ride in the car. I am old enough to remember when just going for a ride was considered entertainment. It is again. The beach is not too far and just to go and get some photos will be great!
Hopefully you can find and do something that gives you pleasure.
Today I bit off more than I could chew. I needed to make more communion bread (not a problem) but then decided to make Hummingbird Cake. Also not hard but somewhat time consuming. I don’t know why I wanted to do that. I have no company coming and we will not eat a whole cake. What was I thinking?
Nevertheless I did all of that and am planning to give away large slices of the cake. Some people are in for a good evening when I take it to them.
Now I am really tired. This is what happens when there are many things to be done that you don’t want to do. Any way to escape. Now tomorrow I will have to tackle the things I put off but I have no other plans….so that will work.
I think sometimes you just have to give in to a whim. It makes life more interesting. Just sticking to routine, no matter how comforting, can get boring. Don’t be afraid to jump into something you love. It will make life more fun.
I recently noticed a new message on the digital traffic sign near my home. It is a result of a social media competition launched in Georgia by the Georgia’s Department of Transportation. The idea is to get signs people will notice. The one near my house reads: “This is a sign you should buckle up.” I love these and Georgia is already using them.
These are the winning entries:
First Place: IF YOU MISS YOUR EXIT ITS OKAY, WE MADE MORE UP AHEAD
Second Place: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Third Place (tie): DRIVE LIKE YOUR MOMMA IS WATCHIN’; YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE TURN SIGNALS, WE CHECKED and DRIVE SAFELY OR WE CALL YOUR MOTHER
First Place (tie): YOU LOOK GREAT BUT THE SELFIE CAN WAIT and LOOKING AT THE ROAD IS A GREAT WAY TO STAY ON IT
Second Place: NO ONE WANTS TO SEE TRAFFIC ON SNAPCHAT, BRENDA
Third Place: POP QUIZ, WHAT IS THE SPEED LIMIT ON THIS ROAD?
Impaired Driving (many of the messages submitted were seasonal and can be used during the holidays):
First Place:DRIVING HALF LIT IS NOT VERY BRIGHT
Second Place: DON’T SPEND THE NEW YEAR IN JAIL, PARTY RESPONSIBLY
Third Place (tie): DON’T BE A TURKEY AND DRIVE BASTED, and THE PARTY SHOULD BE LIT NOT YOU, BRING IN THE NEW YEAR SAFE
First Place (tie): THIS IS A SIGN YOU SHOULD BUCKLE UP and IF YOU DON’T WEAR A SEATBELT, PLEASE BE AN ORGAN DONOR
Second Place: WEARING A SEATBELT MAKES YOU LOOK THINNER
Third Place (tie): HERE IS THE TEA SIS, WE CAN SEE YOU SO BUCKLE UP and SEATBELTS ARE IN, EVERYBODY IS WEARING THEM
Work Zone Safety:
First Place:LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT, KEEP WORKERS IN SIGHT
Second Place: WORK ZONE, SLOW DOWN, WORKERS HAVE FAMILIES THAT WANT THEM AROUND
Third Place (tie): WORK ZONES MATTER SO DO THE PEOPLE IN THEM, and AVOID DESTRUCTION MIND THE CONSTRUCTION