Posted in First Car, Friendship, Growing up

A Fine Ride

Impala

 

I haven’t always been a rule follower…in fact when I was 14 years old, I started to drive. This urge to drive took over my common sense like a speeding dart heading for the bullseye!  Not having a driver’s license did not seem to bother me and I was even able to convince my best friend that I could teach her to drive, as well.

 

At the time, my Dad drove a white, ‘63 Chevy Impala, so logically that was my car, too.  It was perfect!  I could get three people in the front and four or five in the back.  What could be better than taking your friends for a spin?

 

On this one particular day, my Dad had taken his ‘company car’ to work, leaving the Impala parked carefully in the garage.  As soon as he left, I found the keys to the Imala and began making my plans.  I’m not proud of this now, you understand, but for some reason, at that time I had no remorse.

 

My friend, Nitia,  walked over to my house and we took the ole Chevy out for the day.  Long, LONG ago, 50 cents would buy a lot of gas, so we came prepared to fill it back up if necessary.    I can’t remember where we went, but I’m sure it involved ‘seeing and being seen.’  There was probably a boy or two and maybe a trip to the mall incorporated into our plan.

 

After our joy ride, I was making the turn leading back to my house.  Unfortunately, it also went right by Nitia’s house.  This would have been ok except her dad was outside watering the yard.  When we noticed him, it was too late to turn around, and I instinctively yelled, “Duck!”  For some reason, I thought that was a good idea, and I ducked too.  It must have been a subliminal message or sheer ignorance, but surprisingly we crept safely by her house, ducked down in the front seat.  When we made it to my house, we parked back into the garage and congratulated ourselves on having a great day and dodging her dad.

 

Later that night at dinner, Nitia’s dad turned to her and said, “The weirdest thing happened today.  I saw Nancy’s Dad’s car drive by and no one was in it.”  Of course, she acted like she didn’t know what he was talking about and miraculously, her parents never called mine, but that was a very close call.

 

All during my 9th and 10th-grade years, I sporadically took that grand ‘63 Chevy Impala out for a drive.  I learned to drive in that car and finally got my driver’s license in that car.  It was my signature ride until I went to college and had to leave it behind.

 

If that ole Chevy could talk, it would keep us entertained for days with stories of friends, secrets, near misses and more fun than should be allowed.  I eventually told my Dad about some of my car adventures.  He was shocked, to say the least, but managed to chuckle since it obviously was past the statute of limitations for being grounded.  

 

There might be another story or two about that ole Chevy, but for now, just revel in its sleek, thoroughbred beauty, and imagine yourself at the wheel!  It was a fine ride, yes indeed!

 

Posted in Friendship

Junior League and The Junk Yard Dogs

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Junior League and The Junk Yard Dogs:

It’s almost time again for the Austin Junior League Christmas Affair.  What a grand tradition; full of beautiful decorations, artisan gifts to purchase, throngs of women dressed in their holiday finest and delicious food and wine.  It’s a sight to behold. In Sittin Ugly Sistah fashion, we make the trek to our Jr. League Mecca, along with a few friends, every year.  It gets us in the holiday spirit!

We loaded into my car, giddy with anticipation, wondering how best to see it all, shop as much as possible and of course decide where to eat afterward.  We made our way cross town and arrived at the venue.  Crowded streets and a FULL sign at the parking garage, made us circle around again until we saw a half-empty parking lot……….at Hooters!

How ironic or serendipitous that Hooters is caddy corner to the Junior League Christmas Affair.  “Perfect!” we squealed.  “Let’s park here!”  I do have a little ‘safety Sue’ in me, as I questioned, “Are you’all sure we should park here?”  The answers came back fast and furious:  “Sure!  Everyone does!”

“Why not?”

“We could go into Hooters and have a drink first if you feel guilty about parking here,”

Bottom line?  We parked and excited about our close proximity, almost skipped across the street to the “Affair.”

More than three hours later, laden with packages, relaxed from a little wine and starving for Mexican food, we walked back across the street to Hooters.   The parking lot was now full with the late lunch crowd, but as we sauntered to our spot, something was missing…..my car!  Somehow, we had missed that little sign that said: “All cars will be towed unless you are a Hooters patron.”                               

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Refusing to believe it, we walked the parking lot two more times, until we were finally convinced the car had been towed.  Ever the optimists, we found the phone number in tiny print on the sign and called.  I naively thought we would call and maybe they would bring us the car or maybe it was parked at a nearby lot.

My face went ashen, my wine glow slowly disappearing…as I listened to the unhappy voice on the other end of the phone.  Sure enough, miles away, in some obscure impound lot was my new Honda Accord.  Gulp!  Not wanting to call Boo, (for obvious reasons), one of the girls said, “Let’s call my daughter, Audra.  She won’t mind, I’m sure.”  We all watched and listened as my friend made the call.  “Hi, honey!  You’ll never guess what!”

Waiting in the Hooters lot, our holiday finest was beginning to droop and we were beginning to lose our appetites.  In fact, under the stress, one of us (who shall remain anonymous) bummed a cigarette off of a Hooters kitchen worker on his break.

When Audra pulled up, we cheered and then we realized she was driving a Honda Fit. We crammed our packages into the trunk and folded ourselves into the back seat.  We kinda had that ‘clown car’ feeling!  Audra was laughing but probably more than a little concerned about the Hooters Hooligans or Geriatric Gangstas as she called us!  Inching our way, during 4:30 traffic, we finally made it to the lot.

Barbed wire fences, growling junkyard dogs and no door in sight, I left everyone in the car and said, “Call the Police, if I don’t come out.”  I don’t know what I was thinking, but I can tell you it wasn’t $260.  I cautiously walked through the gate, bypassed the fenced-in dogs and found a small building with a dirty window.  I stepped up and a twenty-something girl asked which car was mine.  I told her, and then tried to make polite conversation, but she really wasn’t interested.  Finally, she said, “Lady, are you by yourself?”  “Oh, heavens no,” I said, “I’m with friends!”

She solemnly told me the amount, $260.  I solemnly slid my credit card through the dirty slit in the bulletproof window.  She smirked at me and pointed to the sign…..CASH ONLY.  “Oooops!” I said.  “ I’ll be right back.”

Silently I was praying, “Dear God, please let my car still have its tires.”

The girls and I emptied our purses, regretting that last purchase and round of drinks, but we managed the $260 between us.  I paid and we all rejoiced as I was led to my car and started it up.  Yippee!  No dents and all the tires were there.  

We hugged Audra, said our thank you’s and gathered our purchases to transfer into my car.  “Goodbye you Hooters Hooligans!” she laughed and off we went to get that much needed Mexican food.

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Posted in Children, Friendship, Travel

Top 10 Vacations by Ginger Keller Gannaway

Top 10 Favorite Vacations

I love, love,love to travel with family and friends.   Here go my favorites using the “Six Word Memoir” approach.

  1. Pensacola Beach:  Waves of sun and seafood smilesBEACH2

2. Big Bend: Desolate hikes intrigue 4 adventurous boys.

3.Yosemite: Heavenly balance connects green with gray.yosemite1

4. Gubbio, Italy: Pasta, gelato, wine paint our walks.GUBBIO

5.New York City: Stage lights amid millions of stories.nyc

6. Granada, Spain: Palace of mystery joins summer souls.SPAIN

7. New Orleans: Jazzy bursts of decadently spicy timesnola

8. Hawaii: Sun-shaded eyes sip umbrella-clad cocktails.

9.Haciendas Las Trancas, Mexico: Free-time, fiesta, food fireworks for friends!mexico.jpg

10. Neal’s Cabins on Frio River: Kids share frigid splashes of drama!neals

Laignappe:  Keller Camp at Indian Village: Diggin’ sand bar Good Times, Cha!

THE CAMP

What are your favorite vacation spots??

 

Posted in Friendship

That’s What Friends Do part II by Nancy Malcolm

 

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My mother and Auntie Sue

 

This I know to be absolutely true:  there are only a few people with whom you can shop.  Not just anyone will do when you need a pal for a day of shopping.  When you are looking for a special outfit, a pair of shoes or a new tchotchke for your home…you must be accompanied by a trusted friend, not merely an acquaintance who has not passed the test of time.

I have just the perfect shopping friend.  In fact, I have two shopping buddy groups.  Group A is really my best friend and I.  She has stamina, excellent taste and will tell me the truth when I ask.  She’s the friend that went with my daughter and me to pick out her wedding dress.  She’s the friend that convinced me to get the curtain that now look fabulous in my den.  She has the endurance to keep looking, the wisdom to check the price tag and she always says “Yes,” when I say, “Let’s try one more store!”

Group B consists of three Sistah-friends who are so much fun when we  shop, that we might pee our pants from laughing so hard.  We go antiquing, we shop in thrift stores, we help each other choose gifts for our spouses, but we know what is first and foremost of importance:  “Where are we going to eat and do they serve wine?”  In fact, we have been known to just skip the shopping and have an early lunch!

Shopping?  Don’t go it alone!

Posted in Friendship, Uncategorized, Web of deceit

Oh What a Tangled Web by Nancy Malcolm

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Have you ever seen a spider web and noticed all of its intricacies?  Fine, delicate strings of beauty and grace, criss-crossing into a unique design, all part of a divine plan to nurture one of God’s creatures.

If you have ever walked into a web, you felt its stickiness and probably squealed or jumped and tried to detach it as quickly as possible.

In personal life, as in nature, there are webs everywhere.  Sticky situations that can entangle even the most savvy.  Fellow human beings fishing for information, masquerading as friends.  Co-worker deviations aimed at tripping you up…..even the web of deceit that we ourselves weave.  “I’ll just eat one more.”  “He’ll never know” or “She deserved that!”  

Oh, sometimes it’s not that bad, you get by with a web or two that harms no one in the making.  But, other times the entanglement is real.  The interlacing of fact and fiction snarl us into deception.

There is an old African proverb that says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”  What strength!  What durability!  What power!

Perhaps, it’s best to leave the web making to spiders.  They are the true webmasters of this world.  Beware, my friend, lest we fall into a web of danger or weave one for ourselves.  “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”Walter Scott.

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Posted in Friendship, Uncategorized

That’s What Friends Do: by Nancy Malcolm

 

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Forever….That’s how long a friendship lasts, even if it ends.  We always have that feeling, that knowing, the absolute truth about our friends that stays  in our hearts forever.  You can always retrieve it whenever you need it.

It is a place where we are safe.  A true friendship is non-perishable, its organic, its eternal.  Imagine that when you die, you can still take a part of your friend with you.  A friend loves forever.  I believe Heaven must be filled with BFF’s!  And God said, “This is good.”

A friend listens to you even when they have heard the story before.  A friend will even smile and ask questions, all the while, knowing the answer.

A friend will ask you how you are and really want to know the truth.  ‘Just fine’ or ‘Ok’ will rarely do, and especially concerning matters of the heart.

A friend will go with you to choose your second or even third wedding dress  because a  true friend is always your biggest cheerleader.

When  you just have to tell someone…when no one else will understand….when blue skies are grey and getting cloudier…when no one would believe it…you must tell your friend.

That’s what friends do.

Listen.  Talk.  Share.  Smile.  Hug.  Write.  Drive.  Pray.  Laugh.  Love.  Enjoy.  Like.  Give. Take.  Save.  Help.