Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Before

Sing it with me - "Anticipation, anticipa-a-tion is making me wait." It's the Day Before the holiday and I love the Day Before. It doesn't feel like waiting to me, it feels exciting and intense and like Pure Possibility.
When I was growing up we went to my grandmothers every Thanksgiving. The fourteen hour trip began on Wednesday morning when we'd pile into our car with all our stuff, but without Daddy. He had to work half the day, but he'd get a ride into work so we had the car. (This was in the days when folks carpooled for the environment at home, instead of the world. See, with most families only having one car, if you carpooled then the wife had a car some days during the week and that truly enhanced the home environment.)
Anyway - with the car full and anticipation of the trip from Tennessee to the North Carolina coastal area at fever pitch we'd set off. Either that morning or the day before we would've stopped at our neighborhood store, Cherokee Market, and each of us three kids got one of those tiny little bags and got to choose a bit of candy. We never got to spend much and it had to last the whole trip, but this choosing of our own candy was huge. Our bag was carefully guarded and pawed through on the trip. We each cocooned in our space with our pillow, candy, and a few other items and Mama would drive off to Oak Ridge.
Daddy worked at the Union Carbide plants where the atomic bomb was built so we'd park outside the guard gate and sure enough, here he'd come - grinning ear to ear. He and Mama would switch places - and our trip would begin.
This was before interstate 40 was complete so the trip included driving over Saluda Mountain - which is one curvy, mountainous road - and totally exciting for us kids. We'd get to eat out on the way which was a big event for usbecause we never ate out -(and I'm talking McDonalds.)
The mountains would fall behind us and the Carolina countryside smoothed out into sandy fields which us kids would miss as we'd be sleeping, all piled against each other in the back seat - pillows and candy bags askew.
And then around two a.m. the turns and stops told us to wake up. We were off the highway and we were in Whiteville, North Carolina. Grandma's old house had a sand driveway and we'd pull into the light from the porch and windows, because Grandma and my aunt Cora Mae would be waiting for us. What a welcome to pile out of the car to in the small hours of the night. We'd stumble in and after a short visit us kids would be put to bed on the living room floor where the sounds of Grandma's cuckoo clock and the nearby trains would keep us awake - for just a bit.
So that's just one of my "Day Before" memories. See why possibility flows in my veins?
How do you feel about the "Day Before"? Full of possibility or full of angst?
It's a choice, you know.


Jennifer L. Armentrout said...

I love the ending statement. It's your choice. So true! Great blog

Kay Dew Shostak said...

Thanks Jennifer - I'm amazed how many things truly are ours to choose.