Driving the Old Folks

Both John and grandson David find speed limit signs inspiring. They push to the outer edge of the legal limit no matter where they are. Because John was coming down with a cold, David drove us to visit son John $. His place is only 30 miles away, but it takes at least an hour to drive over three mountain ridges to get there. David whizzed around hairpin turns until I thought I’d get whiplash trying to see the gorgeous scenery and derelict barns, laced together with bubbling streams. He slowed down when we asked him to. After going through $’s town, David realized we were not due there for another 15 minutes. He drove slower and slower on River Road until I burst out laughing. John could have out-walked the car at five miles per hour.

“David!” I said. “People are going to look in the car and feel sorry for you, having to drive the old geezers at a walking pace!”

With that, he hunched over like a buzzard and pushed his face forward. I couldn’t quit laughing, and John joined in. It was a lovely, warm day, and people were sitting on the porches of their vacation cabins. If they noticed our pace and heard our cackles, they would have thought the inmates of the insane asylum had escaped.

We picked up $ and drove to the Iron Horse, one of our favorite places to eat. David was the first to see the headlight of the train engine as we parked. He and John jumped out to watch it pass. That was a high point of their day. I didn’t listen to them, but I’m sure they were counting the number of freight cars that passed.

041319 Train passes ub Hot Springs.JPG

Back at $’s house, we relaxed on the porch. David saw a number of butterflies. $ explained that there is a rare white butterfly found only in that area and in California. He has a friend who is an expert on butterflies, and that man brings people in to see them.

041319 $ David on $'s porch.JPG

$ took David on a quick hike, while John and I gazed at the river and listened to the water rushing over small boulders. They hoped to see a small black bear that $ has seen often this winter. He thinks it’s the same one we saw when daughter Lise came for Thanksgiving. They had a nice walk together, but they didn’t spot the bear.

041319 Pink dogwood from $'s porch.JPG

We drove up a private road for a grand view of the river valley.

Stopping by the place where John works, the fellows played a fast game of Foosball. I had never watched that game before and found it amusing.

041319 David $ Foosball.JPG

We had a lovely drive home as the sun was setting behind the mountains.  David may have been glad his chauffeuring day was over, but he didn’t say so.

55 thoughts on “Driving the Old Folks

      1. Mountain driving (or riding) is not for the faint of heart. I wanted to go slower so I could see the mountain views, homes, and farms. My drivers always go a bit too fast when I am trying to see everything on both sides of the road.

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  1. I love your pics and stories, you always have me giggling! Speaking of pics, what do I do to make my pics where people can click on them and it takes them to a separate window? I don’t know why they don’t function like that anymore.

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  2. Sounds like David enjoyed the drive,even with the snail’s pace hr put you through on the way to your son’s.I bet he regretted not having a further opportunity to drive going home.I imagine he doesn’t own a car so perhaps only gets to drive at yours.That whole area looks beautiful, a shame you missed so much of the scenery getting there.It takes a full hour to get to my sister–in-law’s thought she only lives 29 miles away as the crow flies by road it’s quite a journey but with some beautiful scenery too.
    xxx Massive Hugs all round xxx

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    1. David drove us home yesterday and did all the driving to church today. What John hoped was an allergy turned into a bad head cold overnight.. He was planning to go to church, but I told him that he would have told me to stay home if I sounded as bad as he did. I KNEW he was ill when he gave in without any dissent. It sounds like you have a similar drive to see your sister-in-law.

      xxx Driving Hugs xxx

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  3. Sounds like a beautiful trip – too bad you saw it on 78 speed instead of 45 speed (I just dated myself but I know you know what I mean). Hope John is feeling better today. He would have brought the integrity of the choir down with a hoarse voice not to mention felt worse to boot.

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    1. I understood record speeds.

      John was worse today and was persuaded to stay home from church. He slept most of the time David and I were gone. We’ll probably get the cold eventually. We’ve already cancelled having friends over for dinner Tuesday. The wife had serious bouts with a cold a few weeks ago, and it would not be good for her to be exposed to whatever John has.

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      1. Record speeds – so many folks today would just look at you in puzzlement and even if you said 8-tracks or cassettes. Yes, that was wise on both accounts … church and dinner. I was teasing as you know about John bringing down the integrity of the choir, but I will bet the choir practices a lot this week in advance of Easter services so they’ll miss his singing input. Hope John is better for singing and you and David don’t get sick for Easter.

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      2. John might have made the choir loft collapse with his coughing. It isn’t bothering me, but he has been talking about how he can’t drive if he begins to cough. He will be very disappointed if he isn’t able to sing this week.

        It won’t matter if I catch the cold. The people who usually come to Easter dinner at our house have made reservations at a new restaurant. If John is still coughing, they wouldn’t have wanted to come here, anyway.l

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      3. John will likely be A-OK by Sunday and I’m sure the choir members practiced a lot before this week so they all will be ready to go. I used to commute to/from work with a neighbor down the street. She was an ex-nun and loved singing in the choir. They practiced almost every evening for Christmas and Easter services.

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      4. Oh wow – hope it is not the flu but people are getting the flu even with a flu shot as a second strain was going around beginning in March. I will keep my fingers crossed it is not the flu. And hopefully you don’t get it either. We have the measles outbreak here – not as bad as NY, but bad enough. They are advising everyone to get a vaccine … I did have it as a kid though. I remember that and chicken pox. Did the doctor give John a prescription to help get over this?

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      5. At least the flu shot was more comprehensive this year – last year’s shot was a big fail. That’s good he is on antibiotics – it will help clear it up. My mom took Delsym – it has nothing in it that counteracts with other meds and it will quell the cough.

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    1. Hi, Ron!

      $ is short for John Spencer. When $ was born, his four-year-old cousins called him John Spensive, as in expensive, so we began to spell his middle name $pencer. The abbreviation was inevitable.

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      1. You are lucky.We have mountains (more hills compare to the one I grew up with),sea and countryside all together and I love it.I feel blessed and lucky every day driving around these roads.🤩have a great day

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      2. Ireland is so small that on the sides of the same road you can see the see and the mountains…more difficult in the states but still from your pic and that little I visited your nature is amazing too….how can people not value it more?!💗

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  4. I had to laugh when I read your description of your grandson driving. It sounds like my hubby! I hate to be a backseat driver (or front seat driver for that matter), but he drives at breakneck speeds only to arrive too early! I can’t imagine hiking out into the woods TRYING to see a bear. I would have headed in the opposite direction!

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    1. Son John said he was always on the lookout for the young bear since seeing him for the first time in November. John is often in the woods and thinks this bear has become used to him. When other people were with him, the bear ran away. He told me he wouldn’t do anything so foolish as try to feed him or get near him. Whew!

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    1. The worst ride I ever had was in Norway. John was driving our English car (driver on the right side), and I was the target sitting on the center line of the road. I told him my leg hurt from trying to pull the car away from traffic on the other side.

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  5. Anne,
    You had lots to write about and too few words to put them down with.But we read between the lines. I read at breakneck speed too to keep up with the pace of the post. I was imagining David driving with his head forward and at a very slow speed and all of you laughing out loud. It must have been like one of the old time movies but in reality. John $ is not scared of the little bear ? The bears and humans live in harmony on the mountains perhaps?
    Great descriptions and hope John didn’t feel too bad about missing the Palm Sunday services.
    Susie

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    1. John $ has a healthy respect for wildlife. Even young bears are dangerous, and he keeps that in mind. He assured me he wouldn’t think of feeding the bear or trying to get close to it.

      John was too ill to regret not going to church on Palm Sunday. He slept most of the day. He would love to be able to sing with the choir on Easter, but it isn’t looking good at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, that so reminds me of the farm in AL I miss it so much. It now belongs tos omeone else, so not much chance of seeing it again, since it’s on a private road. Neat fun! You got me on two things, not the roads, I’dve been nauseous on those, but trains and foosball. I love them both.

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    1. Not many people admit to liking trains. I’ve learned lots about trains from living with John, and grandson David is a train enthusiast.

      John replied to me about the train he and David looked at before we had lunch with our son:

      Yes, indeed, we were counting cars

      4 SD70MAC locomotives x 4300hp = 17200 hp
      110 rotary dump hopper cars – fully loaded, each car can carry 122 short tons or 13,400 short tons; total train weight 15,700 short tons. The train was empty, maybe returning from unloading coal at the Lake Julian Power Plant.

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      1. Wow! That’s technical. lol I find them comforting and I didn’t know why until daddy showed me where we lived when I was born. Grandpa had a sawmill/lumberyard and the house was right there. It made for easier shipping, so there you go, My lullaby was he sound of trains.

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