Oy! My trip to South Carolina was such a whirlwind of awesome it’s taken me over a week to sit down and decompress my thoughts on the whole thing.
The entire thing started because I wanted to help out a few friends. One of my good friends in Ohio needed to rehome her dog with little notice. She shared a picture explaining the details on Facebook, and seeing it I in turn shared it as well not really thinking that anyone on my list would take interest. Instead, the founder of my mental illness awareness/support group decided to take the dog and we set up the time and date to meet and exchange the pup.
Originally my friend in Ohio was going to come with me, but then she couldn’t get off work, so I found another friend in Indy who volunteered to join me. She also couldn’t get time off work to recover from any long distance travel, so I made plans just to go down by myself. Until at the very last possible moment Hubs decided to join me. Random date, mini-vacay with my Hubs: WINNING. So we pack everything up after he gets off work at 10:30 Friday night and head South. Immediately after getting our offer accepted on the house. Even if we hadn’t been on the road, neither one of us would have been sleeping. Lol.
So we took turns driving and several extended stops to rest through out the trip until we finally made it to Columbia around 2pm. We dropped off the dog, visited a little while (not nearly as long as I would have liked but my body was like SLEEP NOW OR I WILL FALL OVER) and headed back to our hotel. We pretty much collapsed as soon as we walked through the door and slept straight through until 8am the next morning.
When I woke up and checked my phone I was greeted by a million social media notifications on a heart warming post:
What can I say about our community —
Kelli and her hubby drove almost 10 hrs (even though they dont even get to stay together all the time because of his job) to bring me my sweet Reba —
Kelli and I have never met — I trained her for a bit and did a tiny bit of nutrition help for her —but even after that ended — we stayed friends — and even though it was a long ass drive…she and her hubby drove the trek to bring my family her newest addition. We unfortunately didnt get to hang out alot because of the long drive but we are gifting her with a piece of art for her new house that we just KNOW they will be blessed to receive.
I have done alot of shitty stuff in my life and my life as a drug addict was blotted with some horrible realities — so to even think that someone would be so kind to do this for my family — i just wanted her and her family to be recognized and told thank you from our family ❤
I started all happy crying, especially reading through the comments. I never thought something so simple could have such a profound impact. Getting from Indy to Columbia takes less than 12hrs if you drive straight through, my car is great on gas, it was an opportunity to go somewhere I’d never been before, and help my friends out. I had the means, I had the ability, why not? It didn’t seem like a big deal to me, until I could see it through the eyes of a friend in cyber space whom I’d never met until that day.
I showed Hubs the post, and asked him if what we did was really that weird and he replied: “Honestly? Yeah. Driving 10hrs to deliver a dog you never met before to a person you never met before is pretty weird for most people. It’s pretty normal for you, but kind of crazy for anyone else. It’s just who you are, Love. It’s also why I worry about you all the damn time.”
I sat there and thought about what he had to say for a moment, and then we got up and started our journey home. I still can’t wrap my head around the life philosophy that doesn’t include kindness toward your fellow man. It has something to do with psychological conditioning at the hands of my mother. I’ve run into this issue with my therapist before, but that’s another post for another day. Mini vacation! Happy, fluffy things!
Originally we had planned on visiting the beach Sunday afternoon, but on the way through Tennessee, Hubs spotted Smoky Mountain Knife Works. He’s collected knives since he was six years old, always received their catalogues and it was something he’d always dreamed of doing to visit the store in person. We didn’t have time for the beach and stopping at the store so I gave up my beach time and we headed back to Gatlinburg.
On the way out of Columbia I pulled up the GPS and discovered that detouring through Charlotte, North Carolina would only be an hour out of our way. That was another city and another state I had yet to visit so we went for it. We already had extra time since we skipped the beach, and we decided that we would stop for lunch there. We didn’t know where we were going to stop for lunch until Hubs spotted a sign off of the interstate.
For a brief few months after his parents divorced, Hubs lived in Florida with his dad. Driving down from Indiana they stopped at this place, and it was Hubs immediate favorite BBQ this side of the Mississippi. He’d told me about it ever since we met, anytime we were eating anything even remotely resembling BBQ. He told me how much he loved it and how much we needed to go there and how it would never compare to anything else. So, we followed the interstate signs and ended up at Sonny’s.
A few hours later we arrived at Smoky Mountain Knife Works, Hubs found two knives for himself and his dad, plus we bought some cute plush bears in hoodies for the kids. Stopping for lunch threw off our travel time a little bit so we didn’t really have a lot of time to explore the entire store. It’s definitely a place we plan on returning to in the near future. It was like the Jungle Jim’s of cutlery really. Lol. Or if you took Trader’s World condensed it into one two story building and focused on weaponry. It was an amazing mishmash of awesome. I wish we would have made more time for it.
Making that little pause in our journey checked off another travel milestone for me. I’ve now visited every major city/tourist stop in the state of Tennessee. Well at least the ones that weren’t destroyed in the recent wildfires, and I’ve visited every state in the South except Louisiana and Mississippi. I’d like to visit New Orleans, but I’m not entirely sure what Mississippi has to offer aside from the river anyway.
All in all, six states, 48hrs, seven major cities and 1500 miles. It was amazing. Simply amazing. So many wonderful opportunities to share and experience with my Hubs. Having the chance to actually meet one of my closest cyber friends and deliver to her a fur baby, the missing piece to her beautiful family. The entire trip just made my heart soar! Floating right up to cloud nine. I don’t care what anyone says about why I took this trip, this trip was life changing.
That’s the thing about generosity, compassion and kindness. It doesn’t cost a thing in the long run, and you receive ten fold the effort in return.