On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lady Travels to Myrtle Beach on Southern Back Roads

Lady Leaf at Myrtle Beach

I always look forward to spending time with my Carolina cousins, whether we hook up in Sumter, Florence, or Myrtle Beach.  But this time was special because I drove to my cousin Ronnie's, who lives in Bishopville, and he drove us to Myrtle Beach, not via Interstate 20 or Highway 378, but down long, winding southern roads.  What a treat!  My southern accent kicked in immediately.

As Ronnie headed his big red GMC truck to the countryside, he pointed to a little corner cafe.  "See that?"  I blinked and almost missed it.  "Every morning I meet my buddies of 25 years there and we sit in a circle and talk about...well, just about everything."  Something out of Mayberry, I thought.  As we continued down the road, I noticed that he kept shooing flies with his left hand.  I was getting ready to ask him what was the deal with the flies when he said,  "I'm waving to my friends."  It seems that after all the years living in a small town, everyone knows everybody.  Well, I guess that's a good thing.  I'll ask him next time.

"This used to be tobacco country; now there's corn, soy beans, and other vegetables growing."  Tobacco to textiles to farmland.  Beautifully green and welcoming.  Horses and goats grazing.  Big, old houses built in the 1800's at the end of long dirt roads.  Newer, modern brick homes at the end of long paved driveways.  And trees everywhere, as far as the eye can see.  A little bit of everything.  There's room for everyone.  Black or white.  Rich or poor.

Too soon, we were in Conway, a few miles from Myrtle Beach, and traffic to compare with the Southern California freeways.  Bumper to bumper, thousands were heading for the ocean to escape the heat.  For us, we were heading to Magnolia's to meet up with the rest of the cousins.  Heat and traffic behind, we shared stories and laughter over some mighty fine southern cookin'.

Thank you, cousin Ronnie, for a drive back in time as we talked about our mothers--who were sisters--and the sweet southern legacy they left us.  These moments don't happen often, but when they do, I inhale every moment.

I encourage you to cherish the moments that God has given you this summer, whether with family or friends, you are making memories.  Make them good ones.

Until next time, I wish y'all smooth sailing down memory lane.

Beach your cousins well!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lady Traveler was stupid.

In the midst of dreaming
Be aware of your surroundings!
Early yesterday morning Rob traveled to the Apple store in Augusta, GA to take a class and to see why his laptop was acting up; it seems the old gal had bit the dust, so he bought a new one, left it there so the Apple rep could transfer all his updates.   After dinner we drove back (2-hour round trip) to pick it up.

While Rob was in the Apple store, I strolled the outside mall and talked with my So-Cal friend on Rob's iPhone5 (my iPhone4S battery died due to my daily over-use).  I was strolling, chatting, minding my own business, enjoying the summer evening.  As soon as I said good-bye to my friend, I turned around to find a handsome, well-dressed, twenty-something man staring at me, holding out a twenty-dollar bill.  He looked me in the eyes and said, "If I give you this twenty dollars, will you drive me home?"  

The whole 15-second incident caught me completely off guard.  The first thing that went through my mind was, he wants my iPhone!  I quickly answered, "No; I live in Lexington and I'm meeting my husband."  As I quickly trotted off, he added, "I feel embarrassed to ask," hoping I would enter into some kind of conversation with him.  Without thinking, I almost did, but something told me to keep walking.

Still, I didn't think so much about it.  I even called my SoCal friend back and jokingly told her what happened.  We laughed at the idea that a young stud would try to pick up an old gal, even though I had just had my hair done, my nails and toenails manicured, and sporting a stunning tan from my daily swimming time.

Okay, I'm saying all this to say this, ladies.  That fifteen-second incident could have turned into a very bad ordeal.  Later that night, Rob and I talked about it at length.  He reminded me, "He was stalking you and you didn't even know it."  I had no defense.  "You are so right.  I even walked to our car, opened the trunk and brought your backpack to you while talking to Debbie, not even looking around!"

Thinking about it, I suddenly felt a little shaky, then thanked the Lord for His protection and for my guardian angel working overtime.

I know better.  I've traveled to Russia, Siberia, Israel, Turkey, and other places where you have to be aware of your surrounding at all times.  Shame on me.  

What to do, girls?  Don't even engage in a conversation with any strange man, no matter how innocent they look.  Tell them to back off, then turn and leave immediately.  Report them to a local mall employee if you think he might be dangerous to other women.  

Remind your daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, to ALWAYS be aware of their surroundings.  Sadly, times have changed so we must be on guard at all times.  Our lives depend on it.  After all, it might be more than a cell phone that they are after.  Think about it.

It took me an up-close-and-personal experience to remind me of this.  I don't want YOU to be put in the same situation.


The Lord, before whom I have walked,
will send His angel with you to make your journey successful.
Genesis 24:40

Wherever you travel, near or far,