Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 34 Dec. 8 "You'z skippin' school?"

In a groggy state and a bit of a froggy mood, I made my way down to the free breakfast the hotel was serving.

I had just gotten up and had done nothing more than slip on some "public appropriate" clothing to go to breakfast.

As I entered the dining room, there was a middle age, large, black woman sitting in a chair in front of the cereal stand. I wanted to get behind her and said, "Excuse me."

And that started the conversation...

She said, "Mornin' ma'am!"

Since my mind is buried in cob webs in the morning, I slowly replied, "Morning."

She said in her deep southern accent, "You from 'round here?"

"No, ma'am."

"You'z travelin'?"

"Yes. I'm on a long road trip."

"You'z skippin' school? Oooo..."

"No, ma'am. I'm not in school."

She threw her weight back in her chair, turned her head slightly to the side with her eyes on me while squinting them, as if she didn't believe me.

I said, "I'm 31."

Her eyes got big and as only a southern black women can say, "Oh, nu-uh. No way sista."

"Mmm-hmm. Yes, ma'am."

"Where you from?"


Her eyes got big again. I don't think she had a clue where on earth Washington was.

I said, "I'm on a road trip around the country."

"Wooozy!! Oh, ma'am. You'd best pack God in that there car of yours, cuz you'z gonna need him!! I don't drive on no freeway, cuz them folk out there is crazy."

My aunt chimed in and asked what way she would suggest going to get to Oklahoma City that would take us through the back country.

"Oh." She said. "I don't know no place called Oklahoma City. I just drive them back roads and stay away from them highways."

This woman has never been any further than 30 miles from Shreveport, LA. And has no clue where cities are that are only 60 miles away. I don't think she has EVER seen a map.

WOW!!! This is an unconceivable thought for me.

We chatted for a few more minutes and again she reminded me to pack God in my car. Bless her!!!

After a great breakfast and getting presentable for the day, it was time to hit the road.

Welcome to Texas!!!

A state I have always written down as one to avoid. They have tornadoes, hurricanes, tons of people you can't understand when they speak, it's humid, huge, and just wasn't on my books.

BUT if you come to a fork in the road, take it. The plan was to get to Oklahoma City by going north out of Shreveport, LA but a big storm was hitting north so it's off to the west and into the back country of Texas.

Let the quick journey begin through the red soiled lands of NE Texas...

some anonymous Texas person said, "Beer, rum, hats, boots, horse...What else does a cowboy or cowgirl want?"

WELL... how about some of this...
The small type says, "To protect and serve the donuts." This was a drive-through donut stand in the middle of some small town.

As we drove, I couldn't help but notice the fact that Texas isn't just a state, it's a country of its own. Almost separated from the rest of the nation. They are the most proud people I have ever seen. Probably 80% of the houses had the Texas flag out front and not a single US flag to be seen.

And just in case you weren't sure what state you were in, almost all the businesses have their sign in the shape of the state.
As we drove along, we came to a tiny airport with this out front. How cute is that!!!!
I stepped out of the car to take this picture and the air was filled with the most delightful sweet smell. As if someone had a soft-scented candle burning there by the bridge.
As we moved forward, we came to a town sign that said, "Talco, TX. Population 570."

Oh, here we come...

Oh, there we go...

And only 2 seconds had passed.

But the best part about this one intersection town was as we were leaving. I looked over to the right to notice the sign that said, "ATM now available."

"Anne, did you see that? ATM? Are you kidding?"

"Oh." Anne said. "U-turn! Picture!!" I have now got her hooked on my back roads, picture taking kind of traveling!!! :)

There was absolutely nothing in this town. The gas station was out of business, there was no store and I didn't even see a post office, but- by golly- they had an ATM!!
Here, you can see how little there is around it. The ATM is that little white stand.
Before we leave this state, here are a few Texas slang translations for you...

Toad choker= A heavy rain

Tump= as in "I jes' tumped over mah beer."

She's got enough tongue for 10 rows of teeth= that woman can talk

Dadgummit or dagnabbit= speech without swearing.

And my favorite...

Time to paint your butt white and run with the antelope= stop arguing and do as you're told.

Well, enough of that state, it's off to Oklahoma..

How does one describe southern Oklahoma?
Hmmm... plain and normal.
Oh, and foggy... All along the freeway, this red grass filled every field. It was beautiful!! While traveling through Oklahoma, I recommend carrying a port-a-potty with you. There are no trees low to the ground to hide behind and the public restrooms are MANY miles apart!!

I had reached the point of explosion when we saw the lights of McDonalds.

HURRY!! Come on Mr. Semi. Get out of my way!!!!

As I ran into the McDonalds, a rather homely looking man went in before me. The threads on his jeans were worn to the point they were a soft, fuzzy white and they looked as though they hadn't been washed in weeks. His warn shirt with holes complimented his unwashed, stringy hair and his face was stained with dirt and scars.

Coming out the door was his buddy that looked exactly the same. They joked back and forth as they passed.

The one guy said, "Can't believe who they let in here, fleas and all."

My first thought was that they were probably filled with them.

They both laughed and poked back and forth at each other's filth.

As I watched this, the judgmental part of me immediately jumped to the surface and I slipped my hand into my sleeve as I opened the door.

But the second part kicked in and made my mind wonder what their story was. Do they have families? Where were they from and how did they get here? They were young, so to be in that condition, they must have had rough lives. There is always a friend for everyone. Somehow, these two had found each other as friends and were able to laugh at their filthy appearance. At least they have a sense of humor.

After leaving McDonalds, it wasn't far before we came upon this example of the simple thinking around here. Say it as it is...

I can see the county sitting around at their meeting to discuss the name of this river.

"Well, we could name it after farmer John..."


"How about green bridge..."


"How about waukachuka. That's very Indian sounding..."


"I got it!!! Muddy Boggy River."

Done... meeting adjourned.

And that's exactly what it was!!! A muddy, boggy river.
As soon as our rear ends had become numb and we couldn't stand the sight of the monotonous views anymore, the clouds began to part and the sunset proved to be more beautiful than the camera could capture...
I am like a pig in mud now because my aunt got us set up at the Hampton Inn. Just a smidge different than the redneck Hilton (motel 6) down the street that I would have picked for $39.95. We have a microwave, fridge and a reclining chair that I am sitting in right now.
Ahhh, this is a true treat!!!!!!!!!!

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