Adventures with a mysterious visitor

Published 1:09 pm Saturday, April 23, 2022

By Jan Miller Penton

The rain and warming temperatures have deepened the various shades of green seemingly popping out everywhere. Overcast skies and puddles linger from last night’s thunderstorms, while yellow, purple, crimson, and white wildflowers adorn the roadsides. It seems the perfect day for my friend, Annie, and me to roll down the Highway.

Moms and grandmothers everywhere know that making the magic happen for any holiday brings a great reward. All the shopping, cooking, decorating, and yes…even the cleaning brings so much joy when we see the smiles on our loved ones faces as they enjoy the fruits of our labors. But we also know that after all the preparation for a holiday a little me time never hurts.

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When that need for relaxation and adventure calls our names we often take a little road trip. This time we are traveling to the mountains to see my precious daughter and friends in Newport. Throw a little shopping, sightseeing, and eating in the mix, and it’s a good time waiting to happen. We might even see Dolly at her theme park. Anne and I are always up for that!

After packing a large suitcase with a couple of extra smaller bags I was feeling pretty confident that I had thought of everything. Clothes for colder weather had been selected along with lighter things because those chilly mountain evenings deemed it necessary. My son, Ryan, graciously took Queen Missy, our spoiled little dachshund, to his place in New Orleans for a few days so we could travel freely. Of course, hair dressing supplies  and makeup is absolutely necessary for any true southern belle so getting things together took a while.

They say birds of a feather flock together, and Anne and I have been flocking together for nigh on fifty years so she packed a fair amount herself. It’s a good thing she drives a Tahoe or we might have had to pull a trailer. Delta Burke might be a little envious, but maybe we will invite her next time!

Melinda has had a visitor for a few weeks off and on, but Anne and I aren’t planning on getting up close and personal with her. She seems to show up closer to dusk and prowls around looking for something to eat. She is really cute, but her hygiene is not the best. If you guessed that her frequent visitor is a bear, you guessed right!

I’m glad we got an early start and will be arriving before Melinda’s furry friend begins her evening prowl. Anne and I both played sports when we were younger, but neither one of us want to try to outrun a bear!