A few nights ago, I was lying in bed, and although I knew the fact, I guess the feeling hit me.
My daughter will be eighteen in November.
My heart ached.
She’s not a little girl anymore.
She got her permit this week, and I have the pleasure of teaching her to drive. I’m not being funny. This kid has a good sense of space and “where the car is.” I’m hoping driving is in the blood, and I’ve passed this on to her genetically. But she is excellent for a beginner.
But yeah, I’m losing my little girl, and I hope she will find her way in the world as she becomes a young woman and an adult. I can’t cover everything anymore. She’s going to have to face some things on her own.
But I’ll still be right here, kid. When you need me.
And if you can’t get here, I will tear the world apart to get to you.
Sam went out with me to pick up a push mower today. Our backyard is small, and the manual mower seemed like the trick, but it can’t handle some of the thicker grass. Still useable, but we bought a battery-powered Ryobi to do the job.
We had to stop by Walmart for some things on the way back.
When Sam was a baby, he had a couple of health problems. Rather than hire a nurse/babysitter for him during the day, I opted to stay home for a “little while” with him. That turned into five years. And those were some of the best years of my life.
When he was small, we did it all. Cleaned the house, did the shopping, most of all the house-related activities were covered by him and me.
Yes, ladies, he’ll be quite the catch someday.
This is when we first met Miss Sandra. She worked at Walmart as a cashier and still does. Sam was very tiny when he was born. His entire head would fit in the palm of my hand.
Today she saw me and then she saw him and yelled, “You better come speak to Grandma Sandra.” She really feels this way about him. She’s family.
You notice things about your kids that you haven’t sometimes. That moment of realization is painful sometimes. Looking at how big he has gotten in comparison to someone I see all the time. He’s growing so fast.
This week, I’m finding that most people aren’t putting their best foot forward in their work. You’d be amazed at how well you’re actually doing. Keep it up.
Quoting myself might seem narcissistic, but when I wrote the quote above this morning, it was a simple observation that people don’t do what is needed to remain at a place in their activity to keep them the slightest bit ahead at work.
That little bit of extra effort this week can save more than an hour of extra work next week.
I’m almost OCD (not making fun of the folk who are) about the way my workspace is at the end of each week. If it’s ready to go the next time I visit my store, I’m already ahead.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to work any other way.
To those of you who put in that extra effort, good on you. Keep it up.
And when your boss doesn’t notice that effort, quietly flip him off when he walks away. You’ll feel better.
Short and sweet, if you have the ability and the knowledge to DIY your car maintenance, do.
I had a bad oil pressure switch in the Ranger, and after watching a couple of videos, I realized that these guys (and one gal) weren’t working the same engine. All the others were on the bottom, mine in the back, up top. Easy fix. A booger to get in.
I also swapped a couple of plugs I think were fouled from my leak. Hopefully, this will fix the problem of the rough starts in the morning. But we will see tomorrow.
An oil change and some clean up later and I am hopefully good to go.
I saved time and I saved money. I also enjoy doing this myself. Experiences may vary.
We left the house a little before 8:00 AM and headed for Charleston down the backroads.
We always take the backroads. Why? Because the traffic on the highway is usually horrible, and even when it’s flowing well, a lot of people shouldn’t be allowed to drive. It’s a privilege, not a right.
Secondly, there is nothing to see on the highway.
Year’s ago, I found Mayesville by accident. Then the old downtown was deserted. Now they torn down a lot of the old buildings and refurbished a couple.
I would have never taken my original pics of Mayesville if I hadn’t wandered the back roads and rolled into it by accident.
We stopped by Salem Black River Church as well for a break on the way. It’s one of the oldest churches around these parts and is reportedly haunted. It’s of such interest to local ghost hunters that there are security cameras and patrols after dark. No trespassing is enforced.
We finally made it to Charleston about 11:30 AM and made our way to the SC Aquarium.
The aquarium opened in May of 2000 So this year they celebrated their 22nd anniversary. It’s a great place. They have live touch tanks where you can actually touch some fish: Manta Rays, tiger sharks, starfish, and the like. Pretty neat.
The big boast of the SC Aquarium is the main tank which is called The Great Ocean tank.
The largest exhibit in the zoo is the Great Ocean Tank, which extends from the first to the third floor of the Aquarium and is the deepest tank in North America (42 feet); it holds more than 385,000 US gallons (1,460,000 l) of water and contains more than 700 animals…
We were standing on the first floor and my daughter was really excited and was oohing and ahhing like a little kid. She’s 17.
A volunteer, named Angela, came over to my daughter and said, “hey you wanna see something cool?”.
Let me stop here for a moment, for a little PSA.
You know all those things you tell your kids about not taking candy from strangers? Don’t get into the van? Don’t help look for the lost puppy?
All that went straight out the window.
The next thing I know, we’re following some strange lady through a door and into an elevator. Where were we going? Who knows? I was just along for the ride apparently.
You can raise your kids. You can give them all the knowledge possible. All of a sudden, forgotten!
Some weird things have happened to us over the years just by chance. This is how we ended up in an abandoned park on top of a mountain. That’s an older story. Today was pretty neat.
The tank that I was talking about earlier, The Great Ocean Tank, is where she was taking us.
We got a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the aquarium. One of the cooler random things that has happened to us.
The wife loves turtles and got to meet Caretta today. A lot closer than most visitors do, I suppose.
Caretta will turn 28 years old next month, and weighs over 220 pounds. She came to the Aquarium in 2001 at the age of 14. As a hatchling, a couple had taken her out of her natural habitat on a beach in Florida to keep her as a pet. Not realizing how large loggerheads become, they soon discovered that she was outgrowing the small enclosure they had kept her in. Once too big to care for and deemed non-releasable due to her upbringing in captivity, she was brought to the Aquarium du Quebec in Canada. The South Carolina Aquarium was in search of a sea turtle and she was transferred to our facility to live in the Great Ocean Tank in 2001. -From the aquarium website.
The moral of this story, I guess, is that sometimes, very rarely, stranger danger isn’t a thing.
And to think I wanted to go to the zoo today because it would be way cheaper.
We got more than our money’s worth today. Special that ks to Angela. You made our weekend.
More from today tomorrow. We just rolled in. It’s late.
Earlier this week, I posted about wanting to go to the mountains. Later this week, I was outvoted, and we are heading to the coast tomorrow. Charleston, SC, to be specific.
Which is fine.
I am not a fan of the coast. I do not like the beach. I would rather stand on a mountain than get sand in every crack and crevice of my body.
But Charleston is great for a day. The Aquarium, historic downtown, maybe we’ll stay for the ghost tour, who knows?
I’m on a wander, and I’ll get some decent pics, I’m sure—plenty of history and graveyards. Maybe I can get the crew to travel on a little further to the Angel Oak. The only problem with that is the last time we went there were so many people you couldn’t enjoy the size of the tree. It’s an incredible sight. It’s a lot to take in.
We shall see what we shall see. And then I’ll show it to you—the pics. Not…never mind.