Sometimes vacations aren’t everything we want them to be. Consider the one Mark and I took last week. The plan was fairly simple: meet up with my cousin in Georgia on Saturday for a few hours, then hook up with Mark’s nephew to go fishing for a few days in Alabama, and wrap up the trip visiting several of my Alabama relatives.
While Mark and I waited for Ryan to show up at his own house, we poked around Ryan’s bushes looking for birds.
This is the mother mockingbird about to feed her baby a nice little bug.
What I learned is that police officers don’t like snoopers.
Now, if you haven’t been arrested in a while, you might want to note that the back seats of police cars are now made of really hard plastic which makes sitting a thing to do gently. I will also share that the view out the window of a police car isn’t as good as a normal car.
After I got the message that poking around bushes isn’t a good hobby, we were invited in for some of Ryan’s most excellent home-made beer cheese soup. We also had a chance to look through some family photo albums, including one that belonged to my grandmother, who was also Ryan’s grandmother. In one, I found a photo of our grandmother with a guy she ran off with after she was married to our grandfather. His name was Billy McDonald, a.k.a. Lt. William C. McDonald, a stunt pilot and member of the legendary Flying Tigers. I learned about her affair a few years back, and I also knew my grandfather took her back. But who would keep a picture of the person they had a fling with after they made up with their husband?
With a wee bit of fun family history under our belt, we left Georgia to meet Mark’s nephew and fish a pond in Alabama. To get to the fish pond, we had to go cross-country, which in this case, meant going across a farmer’s peanut plantation, because, well, we didn’t exactly see where the road went.
Luckily, the farmer didn’t shoot all three of us, allowing us to spend two and a half days fishing the fish pond, which is smaller than the lake in my backyard.
I’d share all the photos of all the big fish we caught, but, well, there weren’t any big fish caught. But we had fun fishing, eating at Hardees and Sonic, shopping each evening at the local Wal-mart (which has a great tackle selection), and relaxing at a condo on a big lake.
Soon we were off to see my relatives. Now, my uncle was in the hospital, so I didn’t take any photos of him, and my aunt didn’t want to leave the hospital for lunch, so I didn’t take any photos of her, either. We also had lunch with my cousin, Greg, but I forgot to take my camera. The only southern relative I got a photo of is with my cousin Janet, who is named after my grandmother but much nicer. Janet drove us hither and yon around Alabama so we could meet with her brother, mom and dad.
We also spent a little time at Janet’s house taking photos of the birds that showed up in the backyard.
Our plans also included having lunch with my Aunt Joyce, but her sister passed away the night before we were to meet for lunch. Big hugs and lots of love go out to Aunt Joyce.
Friday morning Mark and I drove home to find four tiny piles of dog poop on our dining room floor, the back door open, a mess of dishes on the counter, and a nearly full cat litter pan. After cleaning up and firing our animal caretaker, we settled in for a beautiful weekend in Michigan to reflect on our trip. In spite of a lack of photos of some of my relatives, and in spite of the lack of big fish, it was a good trip, and it was great to spend time with family we seldom get to see.