TIDBITS

TIDBITS
BY RALPH SHEALY

SPUR OF THE MOMENT

 The “spur of the moment” was a great part of my youth.
  A bunch of my high school friends and I would get together, and one of them would say, “Let’s go on a venture to Greenwood.”
  Then we’d hop in a car and make up the itinerary as we went along.
  In college, someone would say, “Let’s go to the beach tomorrow.”
  So, we’d get up at 5 a.m. and head to the beach for the day.
  The older I’ve gotten the fewer “spurs” I’ve had.
  Then came last week.
  My brother Jamie, his wife Allison and their children Kailyn and Gavin were camping at the beach.
  Emory had her “Women in the Pulpit” program, and since I didn’t qualify and didn’t have to lead the choir, the thought hit me midweek that I could go down to the beach.
  I vacationed with Jamie’s family last year in their camper, and my bed above the cab was available.
  Like in the good old days, I got up at 5 a.m. Saturday, headed to the beach at 6:00.
  The Shealys moved their camping from the north end of the Grand Strand to the south side this year.
  The previous location was nice, but was about nine miles from the beach.
  This year, they camped at Lakewood, and their spot was about 100 yards from the beach.
  I have not vacationed on the south side of Myrtle since our family stayed in a house at the Myrtle Beach State Park when I was a little boy.
  It was a “new venture.”
  Lakewood has  a water park, and that was the first place I visited when I got there. Visited, not participated. I do not even own a swimsuit.
  They had fun, but I about burned up. I took the golf cart back to the camper and picked them up later.
  The campground also has its own putt putt course. That’s another thing I haven’t done in years.
  It didn’t take me very long to remember I’m not very good at putt putt.
  I try to putt putt as a golfer, while Kailyn and Gavin flail at the ball and it goes in. My “golf” putts would lip out, or go over a hidden hill. I also get “puttaphobia” when my ball is five inches away from the rail. I lose my concentration.
  I had more putts than I did in the SHS “real” golf tournament a few weeks ago.
  Our next adventure was going to Murrells Inlet for supper.
  Being I’ve spent the last 30 or so years in the North Myrtle area, it has been decades since I’ve been to Murrells Inlet. That’s like the other end of the world from Cherry Grove.
  The traffic on the south side may we worse than the north side. I spent 15 minutes getting from one stoplight to the next. I later found out the second stoplight is at the entrance to Ocean Lakes Campground, and it was check-in time.
  Murrells Inlet was beautiful. It didn’t have the nice boardwalk and deck the last time I was there.
  We ate at Captain Dave’s Dockside. I had shrimp and grits, and Jamie and Allison had the seafood platter. We gave the food good reviews.
  The restaurant had a kids menu. Gavin got a cheese pizza and Kailyn got a bowl of macaroni and cheese. That is correct.
  When she was finished she was still hungry. Imagine that.
  Allison suggested she order a dessert. So, she ordered a mousse cake (after we explained what mousse was). It was surrounded by whipped cream and strawberry drizzle.
  Kailyn said it was about the best cake she’s ever had.
  The moral of this story is you can have your cake and macaroni, too!
  After the meal, we walked on the boardwalk and docks.
  There we saw a conch eating a crab.
  I’ll be totally honest. The only conch I have previously seen was in the form of a shell in a gift shop.
  I didn’t know the creature that resides inside the shell could eat a crab! Neither did the crab!
  We came home and took part in the golf cart parade.
  When we got tired of that, we came back to the camper and watched Coastal Carolina beat TCU to make it to the national championship series.
  Sunday morning, I awakened at my usual time - 6 a.m. I took a mile walk on the beach and around 11 a.m, I decided to come home.
  One thing became apparent as I left. The traffic leaving the south side of the beach on Sunday is horrible.
  Travelling to Cherry Grove has never been a problem. I always go through Marion and Mullins and get on Number 9 and coast on in.
  Sunday, it was in bumper to bumper traffic from Myrtle Beach to Conway to Aynor.
  I drove through a drive-thru in Florence, even though I was hungry hours earlier. I was a afraid if I got off the road, I couldn’t get back in the  traffic. When I stopped for gas, I made sure the station was adjacent to a road with a stoplight intersection. There were no fast-food joints matching that description.
  When I got on I-20, I thought I was home free.
  Several miles outside of Florence a flashing sign warned drivers the left lane would be under repair up the road. A few miles from the repairs, another sign warned drivers.
  So, the good, conscientious drivers got in the right lane, and the IDIOT DRIVERS come flying around on the left side and this action brought the traffic to a complete stop, as these jackasses attempted to get in the right lane.
  There should be a cut through in the median and highway patrolmen stationed at the repairs to send these drivers back in the other direction. Let's see if they try to cut in the next time.
  Fortunately, I followed some people who knew what they were doing and got off at the exit where the traffic was beginning to back up. At the top of the exit ramp there was a detour sign, which probably should have been more visible on I-20.
  I got a scenic tour of Lee County, and got to drive down Main Street Bishopville. If you want to know where the Cotton Museum is, I can tell you.
  The courthouse is beautiful and I’m sure some of the shrubbery downtown had been shaped by famous topiary artist Pearl Fryar.
  The detour came out at the Bishopville McDonald's that many of us have visited through the years.
  I got back on I-20 and there were no cars coming my way.
  It was spooky. It reminded me of that scene from “The Walking Dead,” when Rick rides his horse into Atlanta and there are no cars on the road.
  I got home a little after 4 p.m. and I was really, really tired. I had not had my usual weekend naps.
  I really enjoyed my little get-away, however. I may have to do that more often.



KOOZIE SOLVED

  It didn’t take me long to find out about the mystery koozie I found in the pocket of my jacket at church the other week.
  I DID get the koozie at church.
  Thomas Shealy sent me a text reminding me that his daughter Katie Rowe gave me the koozie after I did the chicken dance at the end of her children’s sermon one Sunday.
  How could I forget that????

STORY OF MY LIFE

  From an app called Wondermall I  bought an item of clothing from Kohl’s.
  The next morning I got $10 worth of Kohl’s bucks in my email.
  Being it was Tuesday, printing day, I decided to go by Kohl’s just to see if the bargain I got over the app was actually a bargain.
  I was pleasantly suprised to see the item was $15 more in the store.
  While there, I happened to look at the rack of 80 per cent off goods. Of course, there was nothing in my size. I was about to leave when I decided to check out a Chaps sports coat on a size 50 hanger.
  Unbelievably, the coat on the hanger was my size, not size 50, and the cost was $17.25!
  I had my Kohl’s bucks with me, and at checkout I paid $8.03 for a $175 sports coat!
  I was elated. I never have luck like that
  I drove to Staples pick up some office supplies, and when I came out I noticed a car had pulled in so close to my van, I could not open the driver’s side door.
  I had to go around to the passenger side, and climb over the console so I could drive away. Believe me, that was not easy!
  That incident took my joy away from my great bargain.
  Sunday, when I got back from the beach, a package from Kohl’s was in my mailbox.
  This was the bargain jacket I ordered that got me my Kohl’s bucks that led to my $8.03 purchase.
  I ripped open the bag and there inside ..... was a reversible beach towel. How ironic.
  Somebody, who ordered a towel for the beach got a black jacket.
  So, I’m trying to figure out if I really did get a bargain.....