3. South Carolina

Coloring in the state of South Carolina on my map of the 50-state travels is easy.  My family would head to South Carolina every year for our family vacations.  Also, I lived in the state for ten years before moving to WV.

As for our vacations… ahh, the road trip itself was enough to need a vacation.  First, let me just say that my family were campers.  Yes, we went to the beach and camped in a tent at the campground.  Actually, we always were camping somewhere.  Even in college, I would go camping up in the mountains because that is all my friends and I could afford for entertainment!

Our family had a small two door Toyota Tercel, which was a hatchback.  Zero air conditioning.  Pops would round us up and leave around 1:00 am so we would sleep and it wouldn’t be so hot driving.  It was a great idea, except I always had to sleep on the floorboard after they stacked pillows and blankets to fill it up.  This was because I was smaller than my brother, so he got to sleep on the seat part.  You don’t understand family road trips until you travel without phones, air conditioning, a Walkman (although that did come later), or even bathroom breaks!  I think it took us seven or eight hours to get to our destination.  I do the same drive now, and it takes me close to six hours.

Eventually, we would get to the beach.  This was sometime in the 1980’s in SC with my Mom.  She didn’t want to take a picture.  She really wanted me to get back into the pool so she could finish reading her book.

in sc

The 20-year reunion

I have been informed that my 20-year high school reunion will be in September of this year.

We had a mini-reunion at a sports bar for everyone who attended my school around the same year (not necessarily graduating the same year) about 10 years ago.  I went to that, but I just stayed at the bar and talked with the others who didn’t want to have real conversations.  Then I left early.

I haven’t decided if I am going to go to this shindig.  High school, and especially middle school, wasn’t anything to celebrate.  I am “friends” on Facebook with a lot of my classmates, but I have most of their settings set to acquaintances.

I’m still the same person I was back then, but now I just don’t care if someone thinks I am dorky, nerdy, weird, too short, too goody-goody (well, maybe that one doesn’t apply so much anymore), my clothes aren’t cool enough, too earthy, or any other reason I was picked on.  It didn’t help that my body didn’t go through puberty until I went to college.  Not only was I in the “weird” clubs, dressed like it was a different decade, and my mother worked at my school–but I looked years younger.  Boys weren’t exactly trying to get my number.  Below is a high school picture from the 90’s- Mom made that outfit, and I loved it- some type of one piece pants/jumper deal.  They were very popular at the time!  I wish I had a picture of the entire outfit, because it was interesting.


My quote in the middle school yearbook is, “I love going to ballet class every day after school.”  I’m not kidding.  The accompanying photo showed me wearing an awesome faded denim jacket with a shirt with pointe shoes on it.  It was true- I did love ballet, and I went every day after school.  Ugh….the huge thick glasses and braces also added to the equation of miserableness in school.


I try to convince myself that I wasn’t that awkward or laughed at for being me…. Man, kids are brutal.  I remember begging my mom to home school me, but we needed the two incomes.

I did get to see a childhood friend at a WVU football game this past year, and that went really well.  It was nice to catch up since high school, although I wish we were in a better place to talk.  The Blue Lot at WVU during pre-game tailgating isn’t the best for long lost friends.  The parking lot even has its own facebook page, which is where I found the photo.

the blue lot

Back to my previous educational establishment…I’m still contemplating my attendance at the reunion.  High school was rough, and middle school just sucked.  I’m sure it did for most everyone, but I haven’t decided if I want to visit those memories again in person.

2. Tennessee

I’m going to count the roadtrip to the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville to fill in the state of Tennessee on my map.  We lived right over the mountain from Tennessee, so we have been there many times.  I think this trip was pretty cool.  After looking through our pictures from this trip, and knowing everyone’s personalities… I’m surprised we didn’t kill each other.

This trip included my parents, my aunt, uncle, and their two kids, and me.  We all rode in a small two-door hatchback, and my cousin and I sat in the wayyy back- where they put the groceries.  It was a three hour each way death-trap!  This picture is right before we left, and we are definitely in the hatchback part.  I’m on the right.  I’m almost positive we did this trip in one day.  I can see my dad driving the entire way.


Yay!!  We made it to the World’s Fair!!


 A picture of mom and me in Tennessee…check this state off the list.  The headband I was wearing had the wires going up, and at the end was the gold glittered hearts.  Glittered.  Everything I was around must have been glittered with those bouncing around on top of my head.


Somehow I ended up having to go to the infirmary due to having three eyelashes in my eye while we were at the event.  How did I get three in my eye?  Let me look through the archives in the shoebox…


Looks like my cousin was having the time of her life, and I am having difficulty with my eyes.  I’m guessing this was taken prior to the infirmary.  Also, I think my cousins used to always have the knife/gun holster attached- see my older cousin above.  I guess I was pretty miserable at the time, but the nurse helped me out.  She gave me a pin that was a pickle for being so good while she fished out the lashes.

Here is my World’s Fair souvenir shirt with my pickle pin attached.  I’m not sure why I would pin it in the middle of my shirt.

with the cucumber

Update on my reading list

I am still reading the first book in my presidential reading list.  It is a really good book, and I feel it fills in a lot of blanks from school.

My 4 year old nephew came up to me and said he knew who George Washington was and also Abraham Lincoln.  He thought Lincoln was the second President though, so I looked up pictures of them in order. We went through all the Presidents and I mentioned a little about each of them.

We went in reverse order, and he asked why the pictures were in black and white.  I explained color and black & white photography to him while scrolling up. Then he said, “Look, color photos again!”

Nope, those would be paintings.  It was pretty cute.  He now wants to read a book about each along with me.

He doesn’t have to tell me twice that he wants to read!

His new book…



I am not sure if I can find books for his age about each one, but I will try.  We both are looking forward to Teddy Roosevelt.