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We had two errands to run this afternoon. 1. Drive to The Land Flowing with Milk and Honey to drop Lauren and John off at art class and 2. Continue north to The Outer Reaches of the Earth to pick up stencil creme and repositionable stencil adhesive.

I recently finished painting Faith and Claire's room a bright, cheery Extra White. I decided to paint the words A friend loves at all times over their window in blue and green to add a touch of color. Smallville does not carry stencil creme as it is not necessary for survival, nor does the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey because it is neither milk nor honey. We keep our UPS man hopping but ordering paint via the internet will not bring the hoped-for green to my mailbox. I know. I've tried. I just unpacked a carton of Leprechaun Green but it had olive tones to it rather than the true green I was after. Hence the need to travel to The Outer Reaches of the Earth where the really good stores are.

After delivering the oldest two to their class, we drove out of town and turned north onto the four-lane highway. Cotton fields and garbage cribs dotted the landscape. Each residence in the county sports some type of garbage holding device at the end of the driveway. Some of these containers are made of wood or wire but many of them are literal cribs. While I was comtemplating how these cribs create a unique scenic impression, we came upon four fire trucks, three police cars, and several pickup trucks lining the southbound lanes. I looked but did not see any reason for all these vehicles. I continued on my way north speculating whether the emergency congregation was necessary or whether it was it just a drill to see how quickly they could rondevous at this particular destination. Three more fire trucks, two pickup trucks with blinking lights and two additional police cars came screaming and speeding past me on the southbound lanes.

We have a lot of accidents around here. My neighbor blames the hill people for many of these crashes. The roads that crisscross the hills are dirt paths just wide enough to allow a single vehicle to wind around the countryside. Its no wonder the Clampetts get confused with four lane navigation. They lurch down out of the hills, come to the first two lanes of the divided highway and turn in the direction of their destination. Destination is the deciding factor in whether they turn north or south into the southbound lanes. The Clampetts often do not realize that there are two additional lanes just a few feet from the open window that supports their elbow. It is not uncommon to see a car heading north in the far left southbound lane. Stuart witnessed this just last week. Cars were diving off the road all over the place to get out of Jed's way.

So this is what I figure, one of those pickups must have been heading north in the southbound lane. Because this is dangerous, he was pulled over. Then maybe the officer discovered meth... or explosives...or waaay too many shotguns in the back of the pickup and called out every available emergency worker in the county. And they all came because emergency workers are good in an emergency. I don't know any of this for sure but the speculating made the miles go by faster.

We drove and drove and finally pulled into the Hobby Lobby parking lot. You have to understand that this is the first time that I have been shopping in eons. I was completely overwhelmed when I walked in the door. So many things to look at. I wanted to inspect every item because wonderous household decorations might have been invented since the last time I ventured out. I wanted to take my time deciding which one or two impulse items to add to my cart. I wanted to come to an understanding as to why the shelves were stocked with Christmas decorations. It is only July, after all. As I was wandering around with three kids in tow, picking up and putting back, Charlie got to thinking and decided that he wanted to go to Disney World. Right. Then. So I hurriedly (and distractedly) made my purchases while listening to a rhythmic, chanting chorus of, "Let's go to Disney World. I want to go to Disney World. Let's drive to Disney World. I hate home."

When we got back to the car, I learned that my watch and the clock in the car were out of sync and that the speedier clock displayed the correct time. I had fifteen minutes to make a forty-five minute trip back to pick up the kids. Charlie continued his chant but I couldn't hear most of the words as our air conditioning has been going by degrees and now we drive with the windows rolled down. I also couldn't hear and didn't notice that my turn signal was blinking. The wind roared, Charlie chanted and the right turn signal blinked for thirty endless miles.

We hurriedly scooped up Lauren and John and zipped into Wal-Mart to pick up a quick snack because we were starving and Charlie had added extreme hunger to his whiny chant. Back in the car, Lauren passed out snacks and five of us opened flavored water bottles simultaneously. No one noticed that the label explained this was not ordinary water. No, it was sparkling water and the hasty opening of the bottles created an EXPLOSION of sparkling cherry water all over the car. We ticked off the remaining miles in wet clothing and sticky puddles.

When we finally parked the car in the driveway, the odometer shocked me. We covered One hundred and eleven miles on this art class/stencil creme excursion. One hundred and eleven miles is a long, far way to go for 1.5 ounces of paint and a 4 oz. bottle of glue. Don't you think?


bubandpie said…
You are funny. That description of the Clampetts just made my eyes pop out of my head.
Whew!! I'm exhausted!!

We too have had the joy of discovering that sparkling water

What an adventure!

I would wonder if you were in my area of the world, but I don't have any hill I'm guessing you're just some place similar. How I can relate to making long trips for things I wish I could just pick up in our Smallville! I'm practically on a first-name basis with our UPS man!

And I didn't comment before, but the monkey pics were priceless!
lori said…
funny, living in "not so smallville" makes smallville sound really nice! HA, we always want what we don't have. Thanks for the comment you left at "i will take it lord." I popped over and LOVED reading what you are writing...will be back!
As a homeschooler, I love the "in the school room" too!!
happy friday!
not so smallville, ga
It was hard to come back. And I can't wait to live in my little small town of Westcliffe, soon. I already order online a lot and I live in the metroplex. But I love doing that. I do know our UPS guy and baked him brownies last Christmas!

Cute monkey pics!
This was pretty funny!! I can relate. We used to live in a smallville, too, and shopping was an all-day event. No fun with little ones. As I tell my kids, this will make a great story later so just endure for now! And you did - thanks for sharing it with us.
Too funny! YOu really do live in Smallville! :)
Love ya!
Humor aside, these roads are scary. Once, several years ago, my husband and I were in Alabama for an interview. We were driving in the far right lane of a 4 lane highway at about 11:00 PM. All of a sudden a car shot past us going in the opposite direction in the left lane. Scared us half to death! So yes, Clampetts by day, drunkards by night. Moral of the story...always drive in the right hand lane.

I love when a series of events turns into a blog. I knew we had one by the time Charlie was chanting for Disney World. As the rest of the events occured, I just smiled and tacked them on to what I was already mentally compiling in my head. I was surprisingly refreshed by the time I pulled in the driveway. You are right...difficult moments can make for great stories.

Janelle said…
Sounds like my life.

Too funny describing the Land of Milk and Honey.

Why do they have Christmas in July? I don't understand why we have to rush EVERYTHING! It is hard to enjoy the moment when we are always living 6 months in the future.

It is hard to enjoy the moment when we are always living 6 months in the future.

You are so right. It is a battle isn't it?

Alana said…
Hi Kate!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I enjoyed reading your last post. 111 miles is a long way to go for a little paint and glue, but it sounds like MEMORIES were made ;-)

I LOVE Hobby Lobby, but by the time I leave that store I feel like I ran a marathon. It wears me out!

I look forward to reading more!
Anonymous said…
I have a simple solution to these 111 mile outings. There is a GREAT small town I know about that is surrounded by Milk and Honey and various other tasty treats along with great decorating stores (with many more being built as we speak). The biggest benefit to this place is the cousins that come along with the package (not to mention a few brothers and a sister-in-law). I know the Lord is teaching lessons and creating us into his image, but it sure would be fun to be molded and plied and sent through the fiery furnace with family nearby. We love and miss you.

Hey Dee,
I agree wholeheartedly! We would LOVE to be closer to you guys.

Rachel Anne said…
There are a lot of tradeoffs when you live in the country...convenience for solitude. Hobby Lobby is worth a 111 mile trip, but only so often and only when they have a50% off decor item sale. Or 50% off artist paintbrushes.

I hate the Christmas in July bit. By the time December rolls around you're sick of tinsel. But thankfully by then, mechandisers will have already moved on to Valentines Day. Pretty soon, they will be a whole year ahead and then all will be in sync.
Meg said…
Errands often turn into a little adventure! Living in the sticks can really be a challenge...sometimes just getting out of the house is all I needed..but I have never been 50 miles from Craft supplies...yikes! Living with children is never boring (for us anyway!). Have a great day! Meg
L.L. Barkat said…
Sounds like good persuasion for the make-your-own-everything approach. :)

And thanks for making me smile with this terrific story.
Rachel Anne,

I agree there are some times when a trip to Hobby Lobby is worth matter the distance.

On this last trip it finally became clear to me why I cannot ever find Christmas decorations right after Halloween. And I thought I was planning ahead. HA!

If I knew a recipe for stencil creme I would make it. I'm adventurous that way. I'm glad this brought a smile to your day. I am praying for you.


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