Daily Prompt | The Happy Wanderer

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Happy Wanderer.”

The prompt asks how I tend to travel. I found this interesting, because I am the only person that I know (personally) who grew up in a family as spontaneous as mine is.

I live in Florida and I have family in North Carolina. As a kid, every winter there would be a question of whether my family would drive up to spend Christmas with them. It usually started with some skepticism; can we afford it? Do we feel like driving that long?, etc.

And then, one day I would be playing and not even thinking about it and all of a sudden, we were packing our bags. We usually had an old Buick or something, Mama would put two couch cushions on the back floorboard so that my sister and I could sleep on the way there (who needs seatbelts, amirite?) and at around 8 or 9 that night (my dad preferred driving at night) we’d set off on a great adventure!

And adventure it would definitely be, on the way there and the way home. Each time we left, we knew something would inevitably go wrong. Didn’t matter, though, we were troopers.

*Side note: we never had reliable transportation; there was the “Flintstones car” that had holes in the floorboard so that you could see the road as you drove; the “Mosquito Mobile” that constantly had stagnated water in the floorboards which generated many a mosquito, frog, other creatures; and, my personal favorite, the “Junkyard Jalopy”. Daddy bought it off a guy at a junkyard while looking for other parts to kind of fix some other car. Wanna know how much it cost? $50. Got us to North Carolina and almost home, once. That was my first train ride. Oh! And the one that sat in our back yard for so long that a homeless kid lived in it without our knowledge. We found out when someone looked in and saw a bed sheet and some pizza boxes. That one was called the “Palmetto”, because it was full of Palmetto bugs (cockroaches that stink like hell when you crush them). No one was safe in that car.*

Anyway, I guess those spontaneous trips must have rubbed off on my siblings and I, because we continue the tradition today.

There is a camping site called Ginnie Springs about an hour and a half away from our city that my family has been going to since my dad was a teenager. Eleven o’clock on a Friday night and we were all kinda bored? Pack up the van, we’re going to Ginnie!

A few years ago my brother, his wife and kids, Tate and I drove to North Carolina for Labor Day weekend. That sounds reasonable, right? Right…up until you find out that we decided to do this on the Saturday night of the weekend at about 10pm. We got on the road at around midnight, drove to North Carolina, hung out, shot some guns and drank all Sunday, had breakfast on Monday and headed home. It was a great time! We were all exhausted, but it was genuinely fun.

So, I guess you could say that I’m not a planner when it comes to traveling. I like spontaneity in most aspects of my life, especially that. If someone asks me to make an itinerary I will not do it. Or, I’ll just leave it in my bag and go do what I want when the thought strikes me.

Tate was the opposite; his family planned every vacation down to the last meal before heading home. It works, though. He keeps me grounded and in reality when I need to be, instead of up in the clouds, where I like to be. We balance each other out very well.

I like living without plans and structure. Sure, some things need to be planned, like finances and things like that, but I think travelling is not one of them. I go where the day takes me.


After Justin


Justin died on Sunday, March 21, 2010. I will never forget that day. Tate and I were at my mom’s house with a few friends trying to keep our minds off of him in the hospital. I remember sitting on the couch with Tate and looking up at him to ask when we were going to go back to the hospital. When he said he didn’t think we should, I got irrationally angry. “You’ve given up! How can you give up?!” I cried. Now I know that Justin’s fathers voice was ringing in his ears; “That’s not my son…” I feel terrible for how I reacted now, but when you are grieving you can do and say things you shouldn’t sometimes.  Read more

Before Justin


Grief quote

Today is a sad day for me and Tate. It would be one of our best friend’s 26th birthday. This March will mark five years from when our friend was taken from us. These posts are about Justin.

I view my life in two sections now: before Justin and after Justin. Before Justin I was pretty much a normal person. I dealt with anxiety, depression and mood swings occasionally, but other than that I was happy. After Justin, however, everything changed.

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“Why Don’t You Want Kids?”

A little back story to this long post: I was seven when I first experienced a baby. I vividly remember sitting at our kitchen table with my mom, sister and brother when we were told the news: my brother and his girlfriend were having a baby. The mood was somber in that kitchen; after all, my brother was only 17 and would need to drop out of school and start working to take care of his child, but all I could think of was the excitement of being an aunt. “I’m going to be an aunt! At seven! This has to be a record!” I remember thinking.

My brother and now sister-in-law lived with us at the time, and it was clear that my mom was not going to let them leave until they could take care of themselves. Mama is like that; when the rest of the family was telling her to kick my brother out for his “mistake”, she told them all to go eff themselves because “he needs me now more than he has ever needed me or ever will need me”. She’s just great like that.

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Finished Dining Room Set | Part 2

Wow, I cannot believe it has taken me this long to post! The holidays were crazy! I am back, though, and I am going to proudly show off my work.

So, as I left off with my last post, this project took us all day to do, and the paint fumes made us high (I think). But, the table and chairs turned out great, in my humble opinion.

The day after we painted, it was my job to put the cushions back on the chairs. I could say that I knew exactly what I was doing immediately, making the job super easy and super quick, but that would be a lie. I don’t like lying, so here’s what actually happened.

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A Tupperware of Cereal

Tate and I decided before we even bought our house that since I am part vampire and hate the sun and anything outdoor related, and he has no idea how to clean, nor where anything is located in the house, that I would be in charge of the inside and he would be in charge of the outside. So far, this plan has worked pretty well. I keep the inside passable, and our landscaping is always easy on the eyes. Boom! Compromise.

However, there are days when we maybe don’t feel like doing our part so much. Last Tuesday was one of those days for me.

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Creatures In The Attic

Let me preface this post by saying that a.) I love my house, and b.) I love all of God’s creatures. There, no judging now.

Our house is set up a little weird, compared to what I am used to. It is a concrete block and the original construction was built in 1936 or so, and a master bedroom, living room, garage and two porches were added in 1977ish. I guess that in the ’70’s, it made total and perfect sense for the garage to not be connected directly to the house, because in our house, you must walk through the porch to get from garage to kitchen, like so:

Left: View From Porch | Right: View From Garage
Left: View From Porch | Right: View From Garage | And a Game of Spot the Dutchie!

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Christmas Parties, Maker’s Mark & Hangovers

I have heard it said that people in their twenties are better at hangovers than people in their thirties, but I think the cut off point is age 25. Why, you might ask? Because I felt worse Sunday than when I had the flu. One day was worse than an entire week. That’s why.

It all started innocently enough on Saturday evening with an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party Tate and I had to go to at his aunt’s house. Now, this is his more religious side of the family, so alcohol shouldn’t have even been involved, but we shook things up a bit this year a la Maker’s Mark whisky.

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One For The Road

Very good words on drinking and driving. It’s not worth a life, think before you drink!

Skinny and Single

This was a common saying back in the day. People would be trying to leave a party, but no, “come on, one more for the road.” People would stay, there weren’t the drinking and driving laws there are today, people were driving half tanked all the time!

There is a drunk driving commercial circulating, I didn’t watch it, but I’ve enclosed the link. I don’t need to watch it, I don’t want to watch it.


A very close family friend was killed by a drunk driver who then fled the scene. He didn’t even care enough about a son, a father and grandfather to even stop to check on him. This is the most cowardly and disgusting act, I truly want that man to die. I’m not Christian, I want him to die in the most painful of ways.

This Christmas season, please ignore those that say “one for…

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Ipsy: My Make-Up Miracle Service

Fact: I am not a girly-girl. I abhor shopping for anything. Whether it is clothes, make-up, food…I don’t like it. Now, don’t get me wrong; I like looking nice every now and then, I just don’t like the process of buying things that will make me look nice. For example, I have two pairs of jeans to my name. One pair was given to me from my sister and the other pair I bought maybe three or four years ago, and my thunder thighs have caused a good amount of shredding in them. Don’t care – they still fit and jeans are my least favorite thing to shop for.

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Our Children Have Four Legs

A Perfect Portrayal of Their Personalities
A Perfect Portrayal of Their Personalities

Before Tate and I had our furbabies, I would always get so frustrated with people who called their animals “kids”. It just felt so ridiculous. I may not have real kids, but I have been around my niece and nephew constantly since they were born, so I know what the difference is, and it’s everything. But then I got animals, and I slowly started to realize that I was being super judgmental and that those people were sorta right. Having animals is, in it’s own way, like having kids.

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Tate is currently a student in the Graphic Design program at a local university. Because of this, we were invited to a Portfolio Show last night to view the portfolios of some of his classmates/friends who are graduating this semester. It was held at MOCA, a very nice museum downtown. Now, I am very much a homebody and also very much not a fan of being around a lot of people, so I would usually be inclined to decline these invitations, but because I know the graduates and I know how hard they worked to get to where they are, I am a good wife, I decided to join him. Due to the fact that I am a homebody, it is not often that I go out – especially to fancy dancy occasions like this one – so I decided to get dressed up. It was a crisp 40 degrees or something (I’m not really an adult so I never know what the weather is until I am in it, and even then I only know if it’s cold, hot, wet or dry) so I decided to wear my big fancy winter coat. Underneath I wore a very pretty teal shirt made of a material that I do not know what it was…definitely not cotton…leggings and boots. I looked pretty damn good, if I say so myself. (Trophy wife status, here I come!)

Same outfit, different day | It's a wardrobe staple
Same outfit, different day | It’s a wardrobe staple

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