Adventure. Something about just saying the word stirs something in my soul. And adventure just is not the same without friends. And, when your friends live 650 and 1200 miles away (respectively), much of the fun is getting there! It was for me. A full iPhone of music and a 12v adapter were all I needed to get to my friend’s (Ashley) home. Those and a supply of road trip food – aka Large Fudge Rounds. Having the good fortune of a night of sleep at Ash’s house, we headed to Joe’s. Joe had only begun to do the math that we were coming to visit.
The surprise was worth it – and so was belting Weird Al on shuffle much of Day 2 of my drive. With Ash. At the top of our lungs.
Day 2 saw us arriving at Joe’s place in the middle of the afternoon. He didn’t have to work that day, but was chilling a his house when we pulled up, skimboard in hand. Ash had the awesome genius to ask him if he wanted to go to the beach (he was severely injured in a skimboard incident about 8 years ago) to which he replied (simply), “No.”
So, we hung out with him, his wife, and his granddaughter for much of the rest of the afternoon and then went out for that southern delicacy, Buffalo Wild Wings, for dinner later, offering Joe anything he needed of our time and our ears. Our mission and our adventure were not about us, but about our friend. Note: I hadn’t seen Joe in almost 5 years and Ash in almost a year. Driving to the gulf coast area is not a regular event for me.
As we were talking about what we would do on Saturday, Joe asked if we would be up for helping him with some drama club work. He was in the middle of building stage platforms for his annual production of Lord of the Rings. Sure! We could turn anything fun and, with three of us, it was fun and efficient. Joe had all the supplies, so it was a matter of holding 4x4s and plywood while he drilled and drove bolts in. 5 platforms. Stupid jokes and a lot of laughter, but we worked safely. Mostly. At least nobody got hurt.
We ran out of drill/driver power from the batteries, so we charged the battery while we took a side adventure. So, years ago, I worked for a company that had a presence where Joe lived. And nearby, there was rumored to be a statue to pay homage to the Boll Weevil, agricultural pest, and destroyer of cotton.
None of us had any better ideas, so Joe took me up on my humble quest. Not knowing how far away it was, after 10 minutes, I asked Joe where we were going. His simple answer, “You wanted to see the Boll Weevil statue. So, that’s where we’re going.”
And that’s where we went. The selfie above are the adventurers and, featured behind Joe, the only monument ‘dedicated to an agricultural pest’ according to the Wikipedia article that was read to us by Ash in his Colonel Beauregard accent.
After containing ourselves and getting a few selfies with the majesty of the boll weevil monument behind us, we piled into the Cooper and attempted to see the original before it was vandalized over the years. The museum was supposed to open at 10am, but nobody was there, so we headed back to the school, which included adding some gas to the car.
Then Ash got the idea of pure awesomeness of getting a selfie or two of us disappointed that the museum was closed and locked. Only, when we got there, it was open. Wait, what?
Two dollars for each of us was forfeited by the museum employee because she couldn’t make exact change and bartered our admission for help carrying some new properties into the main exhibit area of the museum. Not much to see, there, but for 3 minutes of work, it was worth it to see the original statue including a not-to-scale boll weevil which made its way into yet another photo with Ash and me.
With some barbecue and newly-charged drill/driver battery, we completed the stage construction and the rest of our day included more laughter and dinner. The photo above, with more consideration, makes me smile even more knowing that it was pure joy that we had that time together, though it was not nearly enough. I absolutely love these guys and am already looking forward to seeing them again. When? I have no idea. But it must happen. I need it to happen.