We left the house and drove up to North Carolina. The mountains were spectacular, the cooler temperatures refreshing and the folks we met along the way were most friendly.
Next time I’m going in a U-Haul truck.
I saw a washing machine sitting out by the road just south of Clyde that looked better than the almond-colored one we are using. I wanted to turn around but Cathy had spotted a restaurant that served rainbow trout and cheese grits.
Who would leave a perfectly good washing machine on the side of the road? Did it fall off the Ace Hardware truck by accident? Do they have some kind of “trade-in, pick-up” service in the Tar Heel State that differs from other places?
Then I thought it might be a trap. Placed there on purpose! You know, like you stop and pull over, run back to it, thinking you’re picking up a bargain… And when you lift the lid a tiny lady with glasses and a clipboard sticks her head up and says, “Did you know your car warranty was out of date?”
And, of course, I didn’t actually know if it was a “perfectly good” washing machine or not. It is kinda hard to tell when you blow by at 60 miles an hour. But I didn’t see any dents. And it’s human nature to try to see the best in every situation. Good golly, if it had all the knobs on it, it was way ahead of almond boy…
We spotted a left running shoe in the inside lane of US 441 in Macon County, near Franklin. I don’t think it was Nike… maybe an Asics or possibly a Reebok. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t New Balance. Those New Balance runners think too highly of their brand to leave one behind!
Why is it always ONE shoe? You never see a pair in the road. It does give you cause to ponder. Did a playful, or mad, little sister toss her brother’s shoe out the window? Did a dog steal one off a nearby porch and drop it when he realized there was no food value in it? Did someone run completely out of a shoe fleeing the scene?
I don’t want to contemplate any one-legged theories. That might keep us here all day…
The antlers were outside Scott Creek. There was no animal attached to them although this looked like deer country. They were nailed to what appeared to be an old wooden basketball backboard.
I told Cathy they might look good in the den opposite the fireplace. She could hang Christmas ornaments on them. Or Valentines. Flags on the Fourth. Maybe the grandkids could throw doughnuts or those little round hair holder things at them. We could give prizes…
We were rolling through Waynesville when we saw the grill. It didn’t have any rust hardly at all on one side. This thing was big. I’m pretty sure six burners. I could be the envy of my whole neighborhood. I was trying to see if it had all the wheels when I near ’bout collided with the log truck.
By the time I got the car under control and stopped safely at the next light, I swear barbeque ribs and smoked chicken aromas permeated the air around us.
The baby highchair was sitting beside a mound of leaves near Dillard, Georgia. It was padded! Ummmm…
“Don’t say a word.”
“Cathy, we’re not that old.”
“No. Nope. Nada. We are not going there!” She wouldn’t even look at me. Or consider the possibilities.
“Did you see it was padded?”
“Our baby chair days are behind us.”
“Cathy, I just thought—”
“You drive. Thinking and raising babies are not your long suit.”
We saw a sofa sleeper coming through Atlanta on Interstate 85. There was no chance to stop. Traffic was eight lines wide on a five-lane highway! Somebody dumped that thing at 90 miles an hour.
I didn’t particularly need a sofa sleeper but you couldn’t beat the price. ‘Course, the problem here was picking up the merchandise without getting run over. Don’t anybody tell CBS – or we’ll be seeing this scenario play out on “Survivor IX.”
We didn’t have these “roadside bargains” when I was growing up. We used every item we had to the complete limit and life of the thing. And then we would repurpose it. We were recycling in West Tennessee back in the ’50s out of abject necessity.
I reckon old habits die hard.
That’s why I’m renting a truck the next time we go out. And I’m turning around and going back… no matter what anybody in the car… uh, truck… says or thinks.