Condo vs Camper
Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Condo vs Camper

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Lola was visiting this week. Yes, the very same notorious Lola who for the last few years has called our house in Senoia ” Home” for an entire week while her family is off frolicking on the beaches of St. Augustine, Florida. Lola is a tiny Toy Poodle whose weight of 4 1/2 pounds, I understand, qualifies her as a “Teacup” breed poodle. I don’t know anything about that, but I do know that this little pipsqueak terrifies me when she insinuates herself into our bed and has every intention of putting her teeny little self up next to one of our giant 160 pound-plus bodies. (I may even be under-reporting our human fat ratio to Lola’s itsy-bitsy, teeny- weeny, bony little body.) But Miss Lola will not be dissuaded. She will sleep on or with one of us — regardless of the dangers she faces, and regardless of the fact that my elbow could easily break her leg in two pieces like a Sunday Dinner chicken wishbone, or that Bill’s knee could crush her sweet little head flat against our firm mattress. Oh! The horror!
But aren’t we just like Lola? Don’t we insist on ploughing down giant four, six, even eight lane highways in scrawny little tin can cars, wedging ourselves among two or sometimes three giant eighteen wheelers barreling along the expressways. I am terribly uncomfortable in that situation, and I know Bill is too, so much so that we no longer drive into Atlanta for a visit to the Aquarium, to a matinee at the Fox, and certainly not for an evening out at a fine-dining establishment. Too dangerous. Too scary.
Thank goodness there are such good restaurants on this side of Atlanta and even some really, really good theatre and concert opportunities. Of course, we do still have to hit the road as we did Tuesday morning when we packed up and headed off to visit Kim, our daughter who lives in Bluffton, S. C.
Bluffton is a neat little town nestled along the May River and bordered by Calibogue Sound and just a few miles from Hilton Head Island. I think I would love to live on the river, but real estate is as dear there as it has become here in Senoia.
Well, it’s only a four and a half hour drive if there have been no accidents on I-75, I-16 or I-95, so I always pray as we pull out of our driveway that we and others may get where we are all going without any fender-benders (or worse), for then the trip will take on nightmare qualities.
Aside: One Sunday afternoon on our way home from the coast and just a mile before the exit ramp at Griffin, the cars started slowing, both lanes eventually came to a halt; there were people leaning out of their cars, “rubber-necking,” trying to see what was going on. Emergency vehicles came tearing down the reserved inner lane and we prepared ourselves for a long wait….Four hours later after finishing our water and emergency crackers, we inched up and onto the off ramp. Finally! We were on our way home, everyone including ourselves cautiously driving under the speed limit. No more accidents today!
Our children and grandchildren have all been “on the road” this summer, traveling to and from the beach. I made sure to pray constantly for Safe Travel. Many of my family, my two precious daughters (are there any other kind?), our neighbors and a few of my women friends have taken nice beach trips to the Gulf or to the Atlantic seaboard this summer. Others have chosen the newly popular “Stay Cations,” opting for a week of local entertainment and fun day trips in order to save big bucks; makes a lot of sense.
Aside: Did you know that a trip for four to Disney for a week costs $3,857, not including gas, souvenirs or “incidentals?” All of you know that those “incidentals” can cost a fortune! Breakfast with a Princess? Tack on a cool $50 per.
Anyway, Lola’s family, the Bakers, sadly (for them, happily for us) had to leave puppy here. The eight adults and seven little ones, shared two nice Florida condos. Big pools. Playgrounds. The ocean not too far away, walking distance. Oh my! Those were the days. To be together with family! Except we could not afford the condo when the girls were little and so “settled” for either a 10 X 14 tent (with stakes that would make Dracula shiver) or a cute little Scottie-type camper. It was not nearly as big as the roomy tent, but did have a bathroom, teeny kitchen and slept 5.
Actually, when we became more solvent and traded in the camping days for a time-share condo in Gulf Shores, I missed camping. Waking or going to sleep with the sound of waves swooshing rhythmically just yards from our little abode has never again been possible, even at some of the nicer resorts where we have stayed over the years. And Bill will tell you that I was a veritable magician at conjuring up a rare beachfront site at the State Campgrounds near Myrtle or at Isle of Palms. I sometimes had to elbow my way to the front of the line, once even facing off some character wearing a World of Wrestling tee shirt, arms bulging and teeth bared. Ha! No match for my soft southern drawl; sugar wouldn’t melt in my mouth. Momma always said you could catch more flies with honey than vinegar. She was right!!
Anyway, Little Lola, like the girl in the song, got just about anything she wanted while here in our home, threw us to the side like so much chopped liver when her owner stepped through the door! She could not wait to get out of the warm embraces she had enjoyed for seven days. Traitor. We were saddened, but still determined NOT to add a sweet little, cuddly pet to our family. Too much potential for tragedy. We are just too old for all this Drama. Sigh.