Lord, it’s been so long since I’ve flexed my writing muscles that I think they’ve atrophied (lets hope that brain-rot hasn’t set in also!). For those of y’all who’ve had the patience to hang around waiting for me to post, thank you from the bottom of my little old southern heart. I love y’all for your tolerance and promise to try to do better, but as you’ve heard before: "The best-laid plans of mice and men” - not to mention us females. Now for my long delayed Westfest post.
I left North Alabama on Wednesday morning (8/27) driving to the town of West, Texas, for a much anticipated visit with Jackie Sue (aka Yellowdog Granny) whom I’ve been online friends with for years but hadn’t actually met face-to-face. Friends, family and coworkers were all freaking out about me driving so far alone but really, what’s the big deal? Most accidents happen just miles from home because familiar territory causes us to let our guard down; you’re just as likely to get mugged at Wal-Mart or the grocery store as on the interstate, and if I drive solo I can stop when I want and drive all day if I feel like it. I’ve never had a problem with the fear of being alone and I’m a firm believer in “just doing it”. I truly think that if more people would just do what they want instead of being hampered by fear of the unknown, worrying about what someone else thinks is right, waiting for the perfect time or weight or age or income, yada, yada, yada; if you just do whatever the hell it is that’ll make you smile, then the world would be a richer and happier place.
Everyone was also tripping about me going to visit someone who was practically a stranger; going on and on about how Jackie Sue could be an ax murder, psychopath or bull dyke lesbian (did I point out what a vivid imagination they all have, plus I think some of the guys were using my trip as an excuse to concoct some major girl-on-girl fantasy action. When I mentioned that another female blogger lived in the area one of my coworkers got all excited and exclaimed “You mean that y’all are gonna have a “Ménage a twat”. Yeah, I work with a bunch of redneck hard ankles). The fact that Jackie Sue and I had had multiple phone conversations, exchanged gifts and cards and so on and so forth for a long period of time didn’t seem to mean a thing to anyone but what the hell, let ‘em have their daydreams.
I took the southern route, driving down to Birmingham and then swinging west through Jackson, MS and Shreveport, LA. Traffic was light and the weather was beautiful with the sun shining behind me and the car’s A/C keeping the 90+ heat outside. I had the cruise control set on 80 MPH and the stereo jacked up loud, singing my heart out with no one to tell me how off key I was. People everywhere I went were friendly and I didn’t have the first minute’s trouble with anything or anybody.
I crossed the Texas border that evening and spent the night in Marshall, with plans to drive cross-country on minor roads and do a little sight seeing the next day. I didn’t have a problem getting a room; as a matter of fact since I was a single female the hotel put me on the ground floor close to the desk where someone would always be close in case I had a problem. The desk clerk said that starting Monday that everything was booked because of the oncoming hurricane. I didn’t realize then that I was going to wind up driving home in Hurricane Gustav.
This is going to be a multi-part post, so stay tuned and I’ll let you know about all the doings at Westfest.