Monday, September 20, 2010


My snake-killing sister-in-law is on a six-week vacation in an RV with her ferocious Shih-Tzu, Rudy.

Jodie is driving from Atlanta to Sault Sainte Marie to check out scenery, visit family, smoke in peace and veg out from her crazy/busy life as an ER nurse. In short, much like Jake and Elwood, she is on a mission, officially referred to as the BAT, or Birthday Adventure Trip.

This is Johanna in her BAT mobile:

So far, she hasn't been snuffed out in any North Carolina RV parks, or at least, she continues to send us emails about her journey. An axe-murderer named Larry could be sending us daily updates, but I doubt it. Jodie is a wonderful writer. It would be tough to imitate her observational style:

Yesterday I learned to downshift. And I learned to turn hair pin curves and I learned how to spend a whole day going 30 mph. The Blue Ridge Parkway is stunningly beautiful but would be much better as a destination trip than a route to somewhere else. Rudy and I drove for over 6 hours and made just over 200 miles. We stopped at some fabulous overlooks to admire the views and leave Rudy marking in far away places. By the end of the day, we were both worn out. Arrived at our evening campground (love my GPS), cooked dinner and was sound asleep at 9 pm.

She grudgingly left North Carolina and reported this from West Virginia:

At 8:30 last night, I'm sitting in the easy chair in my RV reading and someone knocks on my screen door.  I turn on the porch light and here is this guy in blue jeans and no shirt.  I let Rudy snarl and bark and I didn't open the door and be friendly. He says, "Just wanted to ask how much it costs to rent this thang."  I gave him an evasive answer and listened politely through the door while saying to Rudy, "Quiet killer. No attack (yet)." He gives me his life story and finally goes away.  For heaven's sake, if you're going to come calling, wear a shirt!

Believe me, when Jodie tells you to do something, you pretty much do it.

My sign of the day in this part of North Carolina was in front of a little country church. "If Jesus had came 5 minutes ago, where would you have been at?" Makes you ponder the educational system doesn't it?


She was in Ohio last night and wrote:

I had one of those experiences that makes camping so much better than any other way to travel. At about dark they built a campfire in the center area of all our campsites. Out came 2 guitars, a fiddle and (I think that's what it was) a dulcimer. It was kind of like a big xylophone. Everybody brought lawn chairs and sat around the fire and listened to music for 2 hours. It doesn't get any better than that!

I don't know about you, but I like to keep my dulcimer close by when I travel, too.

Traveling mercies, sis. Kiss Rudy for us. Enjoy those glorious clothing outlets you love so much. And above all, keep writing.


Kathy and Freddy said...

This is my dream come true! I have always wanted to take my dog in an RV and go cross country...
Jodie, Travels with Charlie is the best when you are on the road avec dog...

"It is my experience that in some areas Charley is more intelligent that I am, but in others he is abysmally ignorant. He can't read, can't drive a car, and has no grasp of mathematics. But in his own field of endeavor, which he is now practicing, the slow, imperial smelling over and anointing on an area, he has no peer. Of course his horizons are limited, but how wide are mine?"

About Charley, his poodle
What fun.

Sue said...

Brilliant choice of quote, Kak. Thank you.

Johanna said...

I am a published author! Believe me, being a feature on Naperville Now is beyond my expectations. Thank you Darling Sue for making me feel important!!! Love you.

Kathy and Freddy said...

I can't wait to hear more on Johanna's trip.
I have a vision.
A bunch of middle aged (or older) ladies with their dogs....traveling around the US in their cute little RVs....gathering around the campfires with their violas and flutes and such......maybe a Single Serving or two...
Bandit could be the official Watchdog.