Monday, December 8, 2008

Boiled Peanuts, Lewis’s Britches, and My Toe In The Gulf

destinban All the peanut butter in the world wasn’t going to stop me from going to see my Mama!  Beth and I had been trying to get the same time off for a year now to fly down and see my Mama and we finally worked it out and were going!  We had made big plans last year for Thanksgiving to fly over to Columbia Missouri to my baby Sister’s house to spend Thanksgiving with them, but icing conditions prevented that from happening.  My Mama and older Sister were both there too and we’d all be getting together.  The morning that we were supposed to take off in the Viking Witch unfortunately turned nasty and icing conditions existed in layers between 4,000 and 11,000 feet so we wouldn’t be going via private air. I checked on commercial air prices and they were soaring past $800 return so I pouted for a bit and shaved the dog.



chicken 3


Click on Any Of These Photo’s for a larger look and what our crazy friends did next door in an attempt to try and get me to give birth.   I shat SLAP a moose shortly after opening my front door to a VW sized chicken!  We were late for the airport and I had to now go and take my 2nd shower of the morning! 


We’d awaken the morning of the 6th of December at 3:00 am for the drive down to Philadelphia International Airport to catch our 6:00 a.m flight down to Pensacola Florida, by way of Memphis Tennessee. Unbeknownst to us, our friends next door had devised a way to make me doo doo on myself before leaving for the airport.  I opened the front door to go out and start the car and this  large, big-headed bird shot into the door at me and nearly caused me to give birth to a live Shetland pony. I could have sworn at the time that whatever it was, was coming in to get me and my whole life flashed before my eyes, including the time that I had gotten beat up by a girl in elementary school for commenting on her mustache.  Click on the “View Full Album” to get a larger view of the big ole creature.  My “backside” locked up more water tight that a duck’s behind!

After changing my clothes, I ran back downstairs and started the car, moved the Amazon Penguin back over into their doorway, loaded the bags into the car, plugged in all their outdoor Christmas lights, hollered for Beth to “C’mon Shugah”, and finally, we headed down the road.  “Honey, did I unplug the curling iron?” 

Our initial departure was late out of Philly, something to do with a baggage door being stuck up (perhaps by a curling iron cord), so we landed in Memphis with only 20 minutes bixteenst our next flight.  Because of this, we unfortunately didn’t have a chance to load up on some Southwestern Tennessee BBQ. I know it would have been good though because I saw a bunch of people eating it that didn’t even have teeth.  They’d just smile and say Gmornin’ to you as you walked by drooling bbq squeezin’s down there toothless chins.  No doubt it was falling off the bone!  Lou Rawls and Ray Charles used to sing a song about “Save The Bones For Henry Jones Cause Henry Don’t Eat No Meat”.  I think I saw Henry this morning. 

We made it onboard our next flight with a Starbucks in hand and we settled in for the quick flight down to Pensacola airport, just 45 minutes West of where my Mama lives in Shalimar.  Lots of bad weather was coming up out of the Gulf, so we flew a southerly route out of Memphis and then flew Easterly along the shore at about 25,000 feet.  It was purty, but I’d have much rather been doing the flying myself; lower and slower and wearing flip-flops and Bermuda shorts.  Soon we landed, found our bags, rented a car and away we went.


We had brought the camera along with us and I was taking pictures of the coast like a hillbilly paparazzi  at a celebrity panty-raid. This new program I found allows me to consolidate a bunch of photos into one panoramic view so the photo above is actually 6 that were taken at different angles.  Look at me making a wide screen shot and not even knowing how to load film!  I’m special! 

About 20 miles outside of Shalimar we saw a sight that was beauty to my eyes – it was the largest Wal-Mart I’d ever seen. I thought I was at the Wal-Mart Mecca.  I grabbed the change in the car ashtray and wind sprinted for the front door.  I then wind sprinted back and got Beth. SLAP!  “Sorry Dear, I’s a little bit excited.  LOOK!, they are having an overalls sale!”  I was able to wiggle my way out of her clenching grip and hurdle the buggy aisle and entered Thee Wal-Mart.   They had everything from false teeth to nice suits on sale for $4.00.  I was grinning so much I looked like I was a plastic surgery project gone wrong.  I wanted to sing but I knew that even being in Thee Wal-Mart wouldn’t get me any “delayed beating credits” meaning I’d get whooped now and not later.  I ain’t afraid of that crazy damn SLAP woman, uhm, yes I am.  She’s lucky I’m seatbelted in this buggy now.

After buying all DaWalMartskinds of sports apparel and a suit for $11.00, we continued on our journey to Shalimar.  We weren’t all that far out, we just didn’t want to get there too early as we had told them we’d be there around 1:00 and it was just a bit past 12 now.  We could every now and again see some  construction going on that was a replacement project from the massive Hurricane Ivan that came ashore September 16, 2004. Mom and Jim’s home had received a bunch of damage and it took forever for construction crews to become available to fix anything as they were so busy everywhere!    I’d rather walk through a lions den wearing a pork chop jacket than take on a hurricane.  No thanks!  We arrive in Shalimar and run in to see Mom and Jim and their new 4 legged boy Lewis.

Mom and Jim have been living in Shalimar for, oh must be about,  10 years I’d guess by now.  They have a gorgeous home it’s just as purty & groomed on the outside as it is on the inside.  Mom loves to cook and does always with excellent results.  Jim loves the yardwork side of it (as do I) and their hard work definitely shows in the beauty of their home.

I couldn’t wait to get in the door and nearly got my clothes caught on the door handle. That  would have caused me to arrive in the foyer naykid which wouldn’t have been a very proper way to introduce Beth to my Mama, Jim, and Lewis.  Jim had stepped out for a lil bit as work had called and he was needed, so we got to sit down with my Mama and Lewis and chat for a bit.  They had already put their Christmas tree up and it sure was purty.  Ours isn’t up yet, but I’m sure that event will most probably make it’s way to the blog somehow.

Mom had every burner on the stove going and the oven was full too.  She’d made a feast for lunch and I was salivating like a bulldog at a hotdog eating contest.  It was lunchtime and I had a spoon in my hand.    I tried to get recipe’s but my Mom always says, “oh just throw a little bit of that in there, and a touch of this, and don’t forget that too if you want to spice it up a little”.  I’ve no idea the volume of a “this” or “that” so that’s why I keep my cooking outside on the grill.  If “this” or “that” falls through the grates on the grill, then it wasn’t meant to be.   Lunch was scrumpdiddlyicious and although my Mama offered, I just couldn’t do fourths.  “Honey, we’ll go jogging in a little bit to work it off.”  SonuvabiSLAP!  I started to retaliate until I noticed my Mama huntin’ the fly swatter and I knew that whatever was about to happen, I’d most likely be gettin’ hurt so I let them both win this little battle.  I can still remember when I was a kid that I’d have to go out and bring back in a switch that was fixin' to be used to wear my behind out.  I never did nothing wrong but sure did seam to get in trouble a lot for misunderstandings or situations beyond my control. 

Back to Mama and Beth; I believe they winked at each other and made a girl alliance or something. 

Mama and Jims Christmas Tree

Just a bit later, Jim came in and now the tides were going to turn.  Lewis wasn’t about to join forces with me since 1. he didn’t like me, and 2. he knew his Mama fed him and not I, and 3. he didn’t like me.  Jim would certainly put his foot down and keep both those crazy women (SSLLAAPP) from teaming up against me.  He took one look at me and declared that I was on my own!    Beth had mentioned to Jim that we’d be going jogging in the morning and, as a jogger himself, Jim suggested to go on the short route around the neighborhood first (37 miles I believe) to see how we liked it.  I knew I had to act quickly to get injured in time to not have to run so I reached down and stuck my toe in Lewis’s mouth. Unfortunately, he didn’t bite it but now likes me even less. 

My Mama told us that my Aunt Mary (her Sister) and Uncle Kenny (not her Sister) were coming by on Sunday to meet Beth and sit and chat a while.  I sure was happy to get the chance to introduce Beth to them but was a little nervous cause Aunt Mary had spanked me plenty too.  I believe it was probably always my Cousin Bobby’s fault that I got caught holding the chicken, or watermelon, or Ms Lumpkin’s false teeth, or whatever.  I bet he made me hold it and then hollered “MAMA”.  I’m such a victim.

Speaking of Victim’s.  I think I know why Lewis hides every time more that 2 people are in the same room.  It becomes picture time and dress up time!  Click on them to see what that poor child goes through every time a camera comes near the house.  He didn’t help me, so I didn’t help him.  Ha!  SLAP

Goodness Gracious, I wasn’t mean like my two sisters, Tracy and Kelly. 

lewsi10lewis 11lewis16



This poor 4 legged child has been dressed up, shaved, bathed, nails painted, teeth brushed, hair permanated, tail trimmed, groomed, weed-eated, and photographed.  He’s been turned into reindeer, farmers, Hawaiian Grass Skirt Dancers, and Toga’d.

My Mama had bought that poor child antlers, overalls, sweaters, britches, hats, boots, moccasins, snow-shoes, and a walking stick and the little thing would look at me like he was just all spent-up and couldn’t resist any longer.  Those pants were something else, especially when Mom realized that she’d put them on backwards and upside down.  His little Johnson was stuck up in his armpit and if he’d a tried to tinkle, he would have pee’d on his own ear.  She did get them on straight and Lewis no longer walks sideways.  Po Lil Thang.

The next morning Beth did make me go running and I think we ran probably 80 or 90 miles, uphill, in the snow.  The air is noticeably thicker down here (humidity) and as I ran and tried to breath, I finally gave up and held my breath till we were done.  I had been down here a couple of years ago closer to the summer months and remembered how humid it was too, compared to the less humid days that we get in Pennsylvania.  It does get humid back home, but not quite this thick.  That’s my excuse for whining the entire time and I’m sticking to it. While we were out running, we did find a little gazebo area on the shoreline of the bay and walked over to it and sat out and looked at the ducks playing in the water.  That’s when the large lady yelled at us to get out of her backyard.  Some people’s kids!  No No, I’m kidding,  we weren’t in her backyard (her neighbors) and she was yelling at the ducks that we were calling over.  We acted like we had somewhere to go and quickly left.

We did a little shopping and later went back to the beach because Beth wanted to walk barefooted in the sand.  I wanted to go skinny dipping in the gulf but there were signs all over the place written in Spanish and I’m only guessing they said, No Skinny Dippin’ In The Gulf.  Instead we walked along the shore and took a couple of photos.  Beth made me hold her hand and do all the crazy mushy stuff like look off into the sunset and make a wish and look up at the birdies flying and call to them. That’s when I got shat on by a damn SLAP pigeon.  If I could have caught that little turd, we would have had a pigeon bbq tonight I tell you.

he Emerald Coast is such a gorgeous line of beaches along the Florida Gulf Coast.  There weren’t a lot of folks out today besides Beth and I, and a Pigeon.


Beth made me run the same route the following morning and I’m sure I got tennis elbow from throwing food at (to) the Duck’s who wouldn’t come any closer than 30 feet away. After running the equivalent of the Iditarod, we went home and showered and all jumped in the car and headed for the Officer’s Club to Sunday Brunch!  Brunch was awesome and I wish I could have carried out a doggie wheel barrow but they wouldn’t let me.  In addition to the tons of seafood that I had, I had these Red Link Sausages that I’ve been unable to find up in Pennsylvania.  I have tried and tried but have not been successful. If someone could please let me know where to get them things, I’ll cook some up for both of us! There was a pianist playing during brunch and we really had a fun and delicious time.

Not too long after returning from eating (we never really stopped eating), we went out shopping again.  Beth and I were working on a plan to pay back Brandon and Annette (our friends next door to us) and my Mama had some ideas of where to get all the goodies we’d need shipped back up to Pennsylvania to execute our plan of action.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find what we were looking for so that’s why I’m not telling you what it is.  When we do find the stuff we’re looking for, it’ll definitely make the blog so stay tuned.  Probably around the Spring time, I’d guess.  We hurried home because My Aunt Mary and Uncle Kenny were getting close and we didn’t want miss out on any time we would get to spend with them.

Uncle Kenny and Aunt Mary My Aunt Mary and Uncle Kenny had arrived within minutes of us getting back home to Mama’s house and we were all so excited to see them.  Every time we all get together, I hear such funny stories of how all those bad spoiled cousins and sisters of mine would get me in trouble because I was such a good kid and all.  Aunt Mary had put enough whoopin’s on me too, for me to know not to mess with her or run at less than a sprinter’s pace should she call me by name.  I remember my Uncle Kenny had once lifted my entire weight set over his head with one hand; he’s the man; cept he still won’t let me hide behind him if I’m in trouble with any of those crazy women in this house right now.  SSSLLLAAAPPP!!!
Sonny On the wall in the hallway hangs a huge picture of my Mama and her little Brother Sonny.  Uncle Sonny  stands at 6’11” tall and swallows his chew tobaccy juice.  He ain’t no punk either but all of us menfolk are highly respectful and, uhm, aware of the womenfolk in this house right now. Even Uncle Sonny’s look appears to be saying, “Yes Dear?”  Beth is getting to meet more and more of my family and I’m so proud for them to all get together.  We’re gonna try to plan a longer trip in the summer time and get down into the woods of Georgia so I can show her where I spent some of my summers growing up out on Berry Hill.  Uncle Sonny lives up in Ellijay, which is in the Appalachian Mountains in Northern Georgia. We’re going there too!

On the wall in the hallway hangs a huge picture of my Mama and her little Brother Sonny.  Uncle Sonny  stands at 6’11” tall and swallows his chew tobaccy juice.  He ain’t no punk either but all of us menfolk are highly respectful and, uhm, aware of the womenfolk in this house right now. Even Uncle Sonny’s look appears to be saying, “Yes Dear?”  Beth is getting to meet more and more of my family and I’m so proud for them to all get together.  We’re gonna try to plan a longer trip in the summer time and get down into the woods of Georgia so I can show her where I spent some of my summers growing up out on Berry Hill.  Uncle Sonny lives up in Ellijay, which is in the Appalachian Mountains in Northern Georgia. We’re going there too!

As all fun things do, our trip down to my Mama’s was coming to and end and it was time to say goodbye for now and start planning for the next trip.  We really did have a fantastic time and wish we would have had more time to stay.  It’s sad really that months, sometimes even a year or two, go by and we haven’t gotten together.  It’s my fault for not planning better, so please learn from my mistakes and go see your folks very soon!  They miss you more than you probably realize.  I’m hoping in the near future that my Sisters and their families and my Mama and Jim and Lewis and Beth and I can all get together for a visit. We’d have a ball and I’d even bathe.   Lewis took a liking to Beth but still wouldn’t get within 10 steps of me.


We jumped in the car and headed back towards Pensacola airport and to my surprise, happened upon a little boiled peanut stand along the side of the road.  I nearly crashed trying to get the car turned around fast enough.  Beth had never had boiled peanuts and had only heard me talk about them.  We pull up long side of the little stand that was equipped with 2 pressure cookers, a whole lot of raw peanuts, two toothless folks cooking them, the back seat of their 1980 Malibu that they were using as their bench, and a grocery cart full of “secret” spices that they were adding to the boiling water.  I ordered up a bag and the fella reached down inside the large pot and scooped up a pitcher full of boiled peanuts and dumped them into  a plastic zip lock bag and then stuck that into a paper sack – all for $3.95 plus $2.00 tax.  I couldn’t wait to get a few shoved in my mouth.  We took off down the road and Beth couldn’t give me another one fast enough.  I thought I’d have lost the proficiency of opening them up, sucking out the juice, shelling them, chewing the peanuts, and spitting the shells out the window using no hands, but I still had “it”.  Beth, on the other hand, had peanut juice in her eyes, the roof of the car, in her shoes, and all over her little face.  Bless her heart, I’m not sure she ever got the chance to actually eat one.  Besides working on her own peanuts, she was giving them to me and steering from the right side of the car cause I was so excited I had both arms flailing like that Pigeon would have if I’d have gotten a hold of it, the little turd!    I was averaging about 11 peanuts a minute and had to finish this two gallon bag before we got to the airport.   We did.

We made it on the airplane and here we sit getting getting ready to start our final descent into Philadelphia.  We had a wonderful time and I learned something new today.  Boiled Peanuts, combined with altitude, gives me terrible gas.  Beth is sitting up front and won’t come near me right now. She said she’d meet me in the car so no one knows she’s with tootaloticus.  I’m a victim I tell you. 

Ya’ll Be Particular.

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