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Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I invite you to grab a glass of sweet tea and join me as I (along with my husband, John) renovate our love nest. We're both born and raised in the south and love to share with you some of our favorite recipes, stories and our life. We hope you'll come back often!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gram and the Traffic Barrell

I haven't ever mentioned Gram before on this dear blog. As I keep writing about our house, it only seems appropriate to mention Gram because she taught me so many of the things I need to know to keep our house running on a daily basis. Things like how to get a ketchup stain out of the couch (because this is where we eat dinner on a nightly basis.. no judging please), how to arrange the perfect flower arrangement, or how to keep voles from eating your bulbs and a slew of other fun (and helpful!) tid-bits for home ownership. She's quite the Martha Stewart in our family, and I'm so proud to follow in her footsteps. I'll see if I can't come up with a post of "what Gram taught me" sometime for y'all.

But for today, I need to introduce you to her. My mom's mom. She met my grandfather working in his CPA business back in the 1940's. From that moment on they were inseperable. From the country club, to golfing, hosting benefits and church festivities, they were quite the pair.

 As long as I've known her she's always had the same gray bun, the same glasses, the same smile. But there's more to Gram than meets the eye. She's spunky, and gets more so with each passing year. When she used to drive (she doesn't very much anymore because of her eye-sight) she'd speed to her destination. Literally FLY in her Buik LaSabre down the street, neighbors shouting and shaking their heads at my Grams lack of speed limit acknowledgement. If she's at a traffic light for too long, explatives seep from her lips. Even on the way to church. When someone isn't driving fast enough for her, she'd pass them (sometimes with a certain finger in the air, in her words "politely waving my disapproval of their driving"). This embarrassed me beyond belief when I was a pre-teen.
This brings me to the topic of this post,
There is one particular story that is a family favorite. It comes up for every celebration and always gets a good laugh out of everyone.
Back several years ago (mid nineties) I got sick at school. I was in middle school at the time (7th grade to be exact) and needed a ride home. My mom worked night shift as a labor and delivery nurse at the time and she was home sleeping. Gram lives 2 blocks from my parents house. Very helpful for days like this. So I call Gram to come pick me up. She says she'll be there in just a minute.
So I walk out to the front of the school to be picked up. It should only take about 10 minutes for her to get to me. I wait. I wait. And I wait. 30 minutes later and still no Gram. I start to get worried. Bad things start going through my head. A wreck? Breakdown? It'd be my fault for having her come get me. But I continue to wait.
FINALLY. I see the blue Buick. Relief. She's ok. I get in the car and ask what took so long.
I get a giggle from Gram.
Oh no.
What did she do?
More giggling.

Giggle. GiggleGiggle.
Graaaam?

On the way to pick me up, she crossed a bridge (a large 4-lane) under construction. The lanes where marked by the big orange and white barrells. Gram got confused as to which was her lane. Swerved. Got back into the correct one. Continues driving.
The Buick begins making  a terrible noise! A noise she'd never heard before. She continues to drive thinking maybe it will work itself out.

It gets worse.
I can only imagine the look of confusion and wonder on her face.
Knowing she's only about 3 miles from a gas station, she decides to ride it out and make it to the repair shop.
The noise continues. It sounds like horrible screeching. It doesn't seem to be the brakes as she comes to a traffic light. The noise disappears.
Oh good. The car fixed itself she thinks.
She's sitting there waiting on the light to change and the lady in the car next to her is waving at ther. Gram waves back. Thinking, oh, now nice of her to say "hello". She's a nice stranger.
The light changes.
Traffic begins to move. The noise begins again.
Crap.
It gets louder the faster she goes.
At this point, she's about 1/2 a mile from the gas station. She continues driving and feels relief knowing she made it.
A repair man comes to her window to see what the problem is. Gram explains how the car "just suddenly" started making this horrible noise."It wasn't doing it  when I left the house", she says.
The car repair man looks at the car. Gives the front a good look, looks back at Gram.
Looks at the front again.
Looks at Gram.
Calls his buddy over for some assistance.
Buddy looks at the front of the car.
Both of them look at Gram.
The first repair man steps to the window, "Ma'am. We can fix it. Won't take but a minute."
"Oh good. I'm on my way to pick up my grand-daughter" Says Gram.
"Ma'am, can you put the car in reverse for me"? asks the repair man.
"Certainly".
As Gram reverses the car, the sound starts again. The front of the car lifts a little. Out pops one of those HUUUUGE orange and white barrells.
Complete silence from Gram.
Giggles from the repair men.
"Well how did that get there?!?!" yells Gram
Giggles from the repair men.

After figuring how how it happened and a good laugh, Gram was on her way. The noise, no longer.
She was telling me this story on the way home and as we passed back by the gas station, there was the barrell.
I'm sure the guys at the gas station got a good laugh that day. As did everyone else driving on Glenwood Avenue as this little old lady was driving down the highway (probably speeding) with a huge traffic barrell stuck under her front end.
Never will we let her live it down.

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I put a lot of hard work into the blog, so I love hearing back from you! If you wish, leave me a comment and help make Southern Comfort a fun place to voice your thoughts too! Happy Writing, Elizabeth