Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lake Keowee: June 15th, Day 4

On Tuesday morning we got up and Eddie, James, and I got ready to head into Anderson, SC. Eddie's family is from the Myrtle Beach/Conway area and his aunt, Mary Ellen, and cousin, Paddy, were in Anderson visiting more relatives for two days. We were thrilled to find out they'd only be 45 minutes from us and we could visit! James met Mary Ellen and Paddy in December when we were in Conway but he's grown and changed so much since then!

Okay, let me see if I can get this to make sense for everyone:

Eddie's mama (Mrs. Bobby) and Mary Ellen are sisters.
Their daddy (Jim - James is named after him) had two sisters - Betty Jane and Dot - and one brother - Lloyd. Dot was Paddy's mama. (Making Paddy and Mrs. Bobby first cousins.) Lloyd was not married and had no children. Betty Jane and her husband Kirk have two children, Bill and Dave. Are you still with me?

Mary Ellen and Paddy were visiting Bill, Betty Jane, and Kirk.

Betty Jane is 83 and Kirk is 90. I was so looking forward to meeting them both! Eddie hadn't seen either in several years and was not sure how their health was. They live together in a nursing home in Anderson now. When we arrived in Anderson, Mary Ellen and Betty Jane were the only ones at Kirk and Betty Jane's "home." Bill had taken his daddy to the dentist and Paddy had gone to visit a friend.

Aside from some hearing loss, Betty Jane seems sharp as a tack. She was naming names and dates better than I'm able to do. I think she got a little tired toward the end of our visit because she got Eddie confused for Mr. Tommy and asked how Doodle (Mr. Tommy's daddy) was doing. Eddie just went along with the questions. However, other than that she seems to be doing great!

Kirk has even more hearing loss as well as lots of memory loss. He, like one of my aunts, doesn't remember much past his early twenties. He lit up when he saw that we had a baby with us and entertained James for the afternoon. James thought it was wonderful!

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I DO have pictures, but I forgot to take my camera with me so we had to stop and buy a (gasp!!!) disposable camera. I was disgusted. I have no idea how the pictures will turn out, but once I finish taking the rest of those ridiculous things I'll have them developed and scan them in to share.

So on with the rest of the story...

Here's where things fall apart.

When Eddie and I left the nursing home it felt like we were literally on the surface of the sun. It was hot, hot, hot. When I went out to the car to crank it up and cool it off the temperature said 111*. It was nasty, disgusting, 145% humidity-type weather. The kind of air you could swim through.

We left the nursing home and headed back for Lake Keowee. I started feeling pretty rotten and told Eddie that I needed to stop at the first Sonic that we could find. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Suddenly, the air conditioning got hot.  I didn't realize it at the time, what with feeling like I was melting and all, but the car temperature gauges began creeping up.

Eddie pulled over at a gas station, TURNED OFF THE CAR, popped the hood, and proceeded to poke around in various things. It was determined that a bottle of water would have to be purchased for the car, as well as a Diet Coke for me. Eddie poured the water into the radiator, cranked the car, and we were off again...only to make it less than three miles before it began to run hot again. Awesome!

We pulled over at a fireworks store this time (welcome to South Carolina!) and Eddie called his cousin for some help. Fortunately, he was only about ten minutes from where we were stuck so he came to rescue us. We sought shelter in the fireworks store. It was only slightly less hot in there. You'd think they'd need to keep the fireworks cool, right?

By the time Bill arrived the car had cooled somewhat and we were able to drive it two miles to a car repair shop that he always uses. It was almost 5pm by this point so we just had to drop the car off and hope for the best.

Bill volunteered to drive us to the SONIC in Clemson to meet Laura, who volunteered to pick us up and get us the rest of the way to the lakehouse. We were exhausted and really just aggravated by this point. What a stupid thing to have happen. Why do those types of things always happen when you're out of town?

A chocolate milkshake from Sonic made things somewhat better. James got his first taste of milkshake. I didn't realize he knew how to drink from a straw but he learned quickly. He took about three sips and I ordered him his own water instead.

Finally, finally we arrived back at the lake. James had been an excellent sport all day long but totally melted down not long after we arrived back. It was by far his worst evening while we were there. He was pretty much inconsolable. I think not napping was the culprit, but it could be just that we dragged him all over kingdom come and he'd had to be so friendly all day long. At least we were back "home."

We spent the remainder of the evening doing this:

I included that picture because it is literally the only picture that I am in from the entire vacation. Brad picked up my camera and took it for exactly that reason. It's just too bad I didn't get the memo to look better for the picture. Probably the reason I'm usually on the other side of the camera. (We played lots of Phase 10. I love that game!)

Other than the car trouble the trip was really fun!

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