The best laid plans of mice and men...
often go awry.
Time with family was coming to a close. Now, for a little background information.
When Hal and I moved from South Carolina to Nebraska, we took I 20 part of the way. Passing the exit for Harlem, GA, the birthplace of Oliver Hardy, I noticed a sign for the Laurel and Hardy Museum. We were on a time deadline, it was summer, and we had two cats in the car; it got put on my "things to do another day" list.
I knew Hal didn't really care if he ever went there, s o I thought this trip would be the perfect time. Having checked it out online, I called the museum a couple of weeks before I planned to leave, verified that they were open Tuesday-Saturday and verified their hours. I also found out that they don't have an admission fee, but go on donations. I took it as a good sign that, while waiting for some work to be done on our car, I found an airing of "Air Raid Wardens" while flipping through the channels.
I made plans to spend the night after the museum visit with friends outside of Atlanta, and from there to spend a night in Tennessee with friends from South Carolina before heading home.
The day of May 10 dawned, and I got up, said goodbye to my sisters and brother-in-law, finished packing the car, and hit the road. Partway to Harlem, I hit the drive-thru at Dunkin' Donuts and took it as another good sign that I got a toasted coconut donut with coconut ALL THE WAY AROUND as opposed to just the top and sides.
The museum was open until 4 pm. I arrived at 1:10 pm. I was excited! I was thrilled! I was...DEVASTATED when I saw sign on the door: Closing at 12:30;, 5/10/16. Please call # for Assistance Thanks. with another sign taped below that had for assistance call ##########. Called, no answer, got a call back from a woman asking me if I wanted to see another museum "while I waited" - waited for what? Was this one going to reopen? I said no, but she insisted she would meet me if I'd just walk up the street a little. By now a couple had parked and walked up toward the door. I told them about my phone conversation and took a couple of pictures (that I cannot figure out how to post on here, sorry). By then, I heard a "YooHoo!" and up the road comes a woman on a bicycle. She tells us that she doesn't have a key to THAT museum, but that if we were interested in ANOTHER Laurel and Hard ymuseum, that her husband had built one - and I promise that this is what I heard -
I don't know what the couple decided, but I decided this would be a good time to leave - while I still could...
Adjusting my GPS for my next destination, I texted my friends in Atlanta to let them know what time I should arrive. I also texted my friends in TN - only to find out that several of them had strep throat - ok, no stop in TN for me.
I hit Atlanta in "rush" hour. Kept hearing a beep - couldn't figure it out until I glanced over to see the GPS telling me that it had found a different route that would save me 1 minute...yeah, no thanks. 2 minutes, 1 minute, 0 minutes (really? There's an alternative that will save me ZERO minutes?), 5 minutes, 6 minutes (and yes, I could look at it because the road was a PARKING LOT). When I got 4 beeps of over 5 minutes in a row, I decided to go for it, and hit the alternative route. Did it save me time? No clue, it took me an hour to go the short distance in Atlanta area. I was glad to see my friend meet me in his driveway, and it was good to meet his family - even his daughter, who had wondered if this Jersey girl had a funny accent. After dinner, we sat out in their backyard and shared our thoughts on theology, education, and life in general. Hit the bed, and had a leisurely morning, as they didn't have to leave for work and warned me against leaving before 10-ish.
Headed north, and knew I was going to spend the night somewhere between Atlanta and home. Younger days, I would have done it in one trip...but I'm not nearly as young as I'd like to think I am. Talking with Hal, we decided he'd go ahead and call in a reservation for me in Wytheville, VA...but that's a story - you guessed it - for another day!