An old style tale to start an MMP!
For you MMP noobs that don’t know all of my back story, I used to live in northeastern North Carolina before a job transfer took me to southern Maryland. I referred, then and now, to my former residence as Cottonfield County, and the place is chock full of rednecks that make Duck Dynasty look like urban sophisticates. I loved it there.
This weekend, VWife and I did a whirlwind death march day trip back to Cottonfield County to deliver Christmas presents to some of our ersatz grandkids and to pull some guerilla merry-making. This is the tale of yesterday’s trip.
We had a mostly uneventful 4 hour drive getting there, except for a bathroom stop in Petersburg, VA, where VWife bashed her noggin on the trunk lid of our rental car. No blood, but it hurt enough to make her grumpy the rest of the day.
The first guerilla merrymaking event was a stop at Doris & Roger’s Kitchen, the best restaurant in Cottonfield County, and the known hangout of my former ambulance partner Tollie. I told VWife I was going to run in, talk to Doris if she was there, leave money to buy Tollie’s breakfast on the sly. Well, Doris was out and Tollie was in, so I picked up his tab directly, then went back to say hi. His jaw hit the floor… We couldn’t hang out because of a tight schedule, but Objective #1 was achieved, and I still haven’t heard anything from Tollie about his tab.
From there, we went to see Natalie, the 2 year old daughter of our former neighbor and rental daughter Lauren, and then Shoogie, a 6 year old girl who was a country neighbor. All I can say is kids are fun.
Stop #4 was another guerilla merrymaking. We went to Mark and Serena’s house, because Serena was giving me crap on Facebook about some Swedish cookies that are a tradition in my mother’s family. The tie in is Mark is another buddy from the old rescue squad. Having earlier given her the recipe, I decided to take her a chunk of dough and some of the special spice that goes inside, unannounced. After beating on the door for a few minutes, I got Mark out of bed. At noon… Anyway, we talked for a few minutes, and I explained my story about the cookie dough. When we got home last night, Serena posted on FB that she was in happy tears, so Objective #4 was achieved also.
From there, our last stop was with our landlords in Virginia Beach. Their kindergarten aged daughter was also spoiled mercilessly, and I got roped into researching what is needed to put a woodburning stove in our house for them :rolleyes:
The bad news is all that was also a warm up, but the good news is the story is almost over. We were missing Old Neighbor Fred, who died unknown to us last spring, at the same time Shoogie’s dad also died. Andy was the one I had mentioned that had 1000 people in camouflage show up at 6 AM for a sunrise graveside event. That is relevant because it is why we didn’t hear about Fred.
Fred and Sarah were an old black couple that lived across the road from us, and we got very close with them. Sarah had died a couple of months before Fred, following a stroke I transported her for.
On the return leg, we stopped at a travel plaza in Ruther Glen, VA, because the gas was the cheapest and VWife wanted to get something from the attached Dairy Queen. When I was done filling up, I moved over to the side exit for the DQ to wait for VWife, then fumbled with my phone while I waited for her. She finally got back in the car with her milkshake, and in a very odd mood.
“Did you see old black man behind me in the Dairy Queen?”
“This old black guy came in, shuffling slowly and using two canes. (just like Fred) He ordered a small ice cream cone, and didn’t have enough money. I still had change in my hand, so I bought it for him.”
I knew exactly what was going through her mind when she mentioned shuffling and 2 canes. “Did he look like Fred?”
“Sort of, but his voice sounded a lot like Fred’s. He told me, ‘You didn’t have to do that’. I told him I did because he reminded me of someone that meant a lot to my husband and me. He then said, ‘Well, I have to give you a hug for that’, and he did. I told him Fred would have done the same thing. Then I said to him, 'My husband will see someone somewhere that reminds him of a deceased relative, so he’ll talk to them and finish with 'Thanks for the memories”. So it’s my turn, thanks for the memories.’ "
Unplanned objective #6 accomplished.