On the road again

This blog came to be roughly thirteen months ago.  I had an idea that Elle and I would be road tripping all over the southeastern United States, like we had already been doing for a few years but coming away with little more than bits and pieces of where we’d been and when we’d been there.   There was no storytelling, very few pictures, and hardly any documentation of the adventures we had found ourselves in along the way. 

I can remember a few of them now, if anyone were to ask me:  The Charleston Incident, the McMansion in Macon, Sea World, eerie summer fog in Asheville, and Baby Tarot in Savannah.  Those were the days, before the beginnings of this blog ever came to be, that I could pack up my kid, my suitcases, and my love for the open road and just drive…

I’d go anywhere.  I did go to many anywheres.  Most were fun, some were not, others…eh, forgettable but I’m glad I took the time to go exploring.  The amount of driving I did just to get to these anywheres was never a matter of concern.  One weekend the kid and I would be walking in the lush historic squares of Savannah and the next weekend hiking a trail to the top of a mountain so that she could see bona fide waterfall in North Carolina. 

The question Are you up for a road trip? was never considered a question.  It was more of an invitation and one I rarely turned down.  The fact that I was a single woman traveling with a young child didn’t usually cause me to be bothered by the countless things that could go wrong and sometimes did go wrong.  I might be without a man but I’m not helpless.  My child was not going to miss out on the next great adventure of a lifetime because her mother fretted over a possible yet improbable truck stop abduction or hotel parking lot robbery. 

My blog was supposed to be about those adventures:  the trip to Helen, Georgia to indulge our irrepressible love of all things Alpine-related and tourist-trappy; the weekend spent in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my best friend and her family, watching bear cubs frisk in the fresh spring grass; a day trip to Cedar Key, Florida to introduce my daughter to the mean, cranky pelicans and to the wonderfully friendly residents of this old Gulf fishing village.

But none of these road trips ever happened.  In fact, only one trip has happened.  In thirteen months, only one.  My ambling journey south to Fort Myers was long overdue as I don’t get to see my family in South Florida very much.  It gave Elle a chance to play with her cousins, my mother the opportunity to reconnect with her dad, and me the break I needed from the monotony of my increasingly withdrawn little life.

Oh, and it allowed all three of us the good fortune of eating a Yoder’s pie.

Elle feeding her pie-hole

Seriously, IT’S GOOD PIE!

I guess what I’m getting at here is that I’m sort of disappointed with how this whole thing turned out.  I’m not disappointed with my blog by any means. My little space in the virtual world keeps me quite contented by giving me the pages on which I can organize a bit of a scrapbook of sorts.  The kind of scrapbook I should have been keeping up with years ago when I actually did things and introduced Elle to the world outside of the 904 area code. 

This all gives me a little more enthusiasm for my upcoming trip to Orangeburg, South Carolina.  To some people, Orangeburg is just a speck on the map between Columbia and the I-26/I-95 interchange outside of Charleston.  To most people, however, Orangeburg probably doesn’t even exist. 

A few years ago, during one of my return drives home from Rock Hill, South Carolina, my front driver’s side tire exploded as I drove down the hill side of the interstate with an 18-wheeler screaming behind me.  The only police officer I’d seen in three days of driving changed out my emergency tire and directed me to a nearby Wal-Mart auto center where the five local residents who were waiting for their own cars to be serviced insisted I go ahead of them.  My car needed a full set of new tires to get Elle and me home safely, four hours south.  They wanted me to go first so I could get Elle home in time for bed. I have never felt so cared for by a group of strangers. 

I cannot wait to get back on the road.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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2 Responses to On the road again

  1. Doug says:

    THIS is an excellent blog post. To be able to express yourself so eloquently.
    I am humbled.
    And strangers (the majority of them IMHO) will always help where they can. I know I would.

    I’m posting the above response to your FB, just so you know I read it.

  2. Chris says:

    You nailed my concept of Orangeburg…..it means the transition from 95 to 26 when we take that route to and from Jacksonville.

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