• Jim Farrell

Deep South Lessons Learned

We just completed a trip through the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Wow! We learned a lot as we traveled through those states. Here we go folks - latest lessons learned!

1. Don't travel through Louisiana unless you are in an airplane overhead.

We have a map of the United States on the outside of the Beacon where we place a picture of a state as we travel through it. When we placed the state of Louisiana on there, I told Jim it was a badge of honor. We have never driven on such bad roads as we found in LA. The interstates, the side roads, all incredibly in need of repair. Go around it if you can on your next journey south.

2. If you are an armadillo and you live in the south, you don't stand a chance.

In 1972, Loudon Wainwright wrote a song entitled "Dead Skunk." Remember that one?? "Dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin' to high heaven...." Guess what? Down south, it is "Dead armadillo on the side of the road, reachin' for high heaven." We started counting dead armadillos in Louisiana, and by the time we stopped in South Carolina we had reached 35, most with their little arms reachin' up to heaven. Yikes! It was a mass armadillo graveyard. Jim was hoping to see an armadillo on our travels - well, he got his wish only these were all...well....dead.

3. Love bugs. The bug no one loves.

It is Spring mating season for these little buggers. They are out, millions of them, mating everywhere and splatting themselves all over the front of your car, truck and rv. When they die, their body chemistry changes from neutral to acidic, making it incredibly difficult to clean them off your vehicle. These little march flies are loving each other to pieces all over the south right now - double yikes!

4. Blue Bell Ice Cream is the best!

We bought a half gallon when we moved to Texas. Oh my...Breyers and Turkey Hill just went by the wayside. A woman in Livingston told me that the reason it is so good is because the Blue Bell Ice Cream Company only uses jersey cows for their ice cream, and the jersey cow has the highest percentage of butterfat content in its milk. It is crazy good. We bought 3 half gallon containers before we left Texas - in case we couldn't find it outside the state :) - and I told Jim if he eats 1 teaspoon every night it might last him until we get back to Texas in September! The simple pleasures of retirement life!

5. If you want to travel, don't put it off.

I have 2 quotes on my pantry door which I read just about every day:

"The trip you can enjoy today because of the person you are, may be a frustratingly unhappy one tomorrow because of the person you have become in the meantime. Go as soon as you can, as far as you can, for as long as you can." Malcolm Forbes Jr.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

Vanleigh Owners Rally at the Gulf Shores Alabama - 126 rigs and 260+ people

DaiseyMae's new goggles to help her eyes in the sunlight!

Viewing the Gulf of Mexico from the fishing pier at Gulf Shores AL

We will be back in Pennsylvania for about 6 weeks - Jim is hoping to be on Penn's Creek when the green drake hatches. More lessons to be learned I'm sure, from home waters!

Blessings! Kathy

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