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REMINISCING

I think it is always good to go back in time and reflect on things from your past. Oh, I mean the good things…I don’t think it’s healthy for us to dwell on bad things from the past. Although we can remember them and recognize their place in our lives, we do not need to keep them in mind for too long. Life is too short to dwell on bad things. So this blog is going to focus on some good things that I remember from my childhood.

My sister and I often comment on what a wonderful time we had as children. Quite often we got to go places with our parents and visit relatives who lived far away…and we got to see our nearby relatives on a regular basis. Life was definitely good back then.

The main destination for our travels as a family was Florida. My mother was raised there, and my parents met in Jacksonville when they were both working at the Shipyards during the war. Both of my mother’s sisters lived near to Jacksonville, so it was a good place for us to go for a visit. Also, my Daddy loved to fish and going to Florida was a perfect time for him to get in some fishing. Many times we would travel all the way to Key West so he could go fishing.

These trips to Florida usually started in the late afternoon, because the traffic on the road wouldn’t be so bad in the evening. This was before Interstate 95 was built, so all of the driving was on two-lane roads through every small town along the way. My sister and I would be in the back seat with our pillows, because the trip from Lumberton, NC, to Jacksonville, FL, usually took about 8 hours and we always fell asleep at some point (I am calculating this from memory so it could have been longer). My Daddy did all of the driving, so it was definitely a long day (and night) for him. I remember us kids sprawling out in the back seat of Daddy’s big Cadillac, looking up through the windows at the stars in the night sky. Sometimes we would spot a falling star, and that was always a big excitement. It was kind of spooky riding along the dark road with forests on each side. Sometimes we would pass by a small forest fire, burning brightly in the dark night. Spooky, indeed.

My mother would always fry up some chicken for us to take on the trip. We would eat supper in the car, my Daddy chewing on a drumstick while he drove. Momma’s fried chicken was the best, especially at those times, and it was always served with some white bread to go with it. Along with the food, she would pack a damp washcloth for Daddy to wipe his eyes with from time to time. Water was available from a big green Coleman thermos…no plastic bottled water back then.

If there was a baseball game on, Daddy would try to pick it up on the radio. Of course, we would go out of range of the station before long, so he would have to try and find it on another station. He station-hopped as long as he could, but I don’t know if he ever got to hear a game all the way through on those trips. I do remember listening to the broadcast, and what stood out most for me was the constant static that would crackle and pop as we got further and further away from the radio station.

Sometimes on these trips, usually during the daytime part, I would get to ride in the front seat because I got carsick a lot. I still have a problem with motion sickness. A frequent family joke was that I had to initiate each new car by throwing up in the back seat during a trip. When I got to feeling queasy, Daddy would pull over to a gas station and he would get me a ginger ale and some crackers to ease my stomach. Then I would get to ride in the front. Both of my parents knew this wasn’t a ploy to get to ride up front, due to the aforementioned throwing up.

Another memory from riding through the forests at night is that the smells seemed to be more pronounced than during the day. I don’t know if it was because it was dark and there weren’t as many distractions, or if the nighttime air carried smells better…kind of like sound seems to carry better in the night. Whatever the reason, one smell that I vividly remember is when we would come upon a dead skunk that someone had run over. Oh my, there was nothing like it! Kind of like burning rubber, but way, way worse. I can just hear the cries of, “ew, what’s that smell?” emanating from the back seat.

We would arrive at our destination in the middle of the night. Most of the time it would be at a relative’s house, and I wonder now just what they thought of us showing up way past everyone’s bedtime! My sister and I were usually fast asleep in the back seat, but would rouse ourselves upon arrival, greet the relatives, and then head for whatever sleeping arrangements had been made. I am sure my Daddy was glad to be out from behind the driver’s seat! I am so glad to have such good memories from my childhood.

MY FAMILY ON ONE OF OUR FLORIDA TRIPS

A DREAM HUMMINGBIRD

They say that if you tell someone your dream before you eat breakfast, it will come true. So this morning, before breakfast or even coffee, I had to tell Linda about a dream I had right before I woke up (just in case that it would came true). I remember that Linda and her sister Wendy were also in my dream. We were all outside in someone’s garden, watching hummingbirds. There was a small flower, low to the ground, that a hummer was hovering around. I remember Wendy and I both remarked on how beautiful this hummingbird was. It was smaller than most, had a brilliant white neck, and the tip of each wing was light blue. There was a small puppy there, and Summer Girl was also there…right beside the puppy, if you can imagine that. The little tiny hummer went over to the puppy and hovered over its head, almost landing on it. At this point, Summer Girl decided she wanted that hummer, but I stepped in and grabbed her so she couldn’t get it. Then the hummer moved over to right in front of my face, and hovered there for a moment. I could feel the wind from its beating wings. I couldn’t help myself, I reached my hand up and petted its little back! And then the dream was over. It was such a sweet dream, I just had to share it. And I hope it comes true.

Speaking of hummingbirds, we are still getting visits from our three little rascals. Rodney tries to chase off the other two every time they come, but sometimes they manage to get a drink before he shows up. Here are a couple of pictures I took today of him at the feeder. You can just barely see his beautiful fuchsia throat feathers. It was 24 degrees this morning when we got up, so the heated hummingbird feeder is working beautifully!

We’ve also had some quail come under the feeder lately. On Friday, Linda called to me that there was a bunch of quail in the front, and looked like a whole covey…so many she couldn’t count them. I grabbed my camera but by that time most of them had wandered off. They seem to show up and disappear in a heartbeat. At least I got a few of them on camera.

Still no video for the blog as I am now waiting for Apple engineers to figure out my problem. I spent over an hour on the phone Sunday with one of their advisors, gathering data to send in so they could see exactly what is happening. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they can come up with a solution.

PARTING SHOT

Summer Girl has been very vocal this week about wanting to be in her regular spot on the blog. I got tired of listening to her whine about it and promised her she would be in her spot this week. So here she is in all her glory.

Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

8 thoughts on “REMINISCING

  1. I don’t know what’s more charming, your beautiful hummingbird dream or the sweet memories of family road trips. My family also used to take road trips and though we were in New York State and my mother didn’t make fried chicken for the road (sounded good!) I do remember the intensity of skunk smells. Maybe it was our young, impressionable minds. 😉 A lovely post, Peg!

    Liked by 1 person

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