One of these days I’m gonna’ go to the beach.
Seems like I’ve spent the last 38 years taking vacation for graduations, wedding, funerals, birthday parties, and the like.
Oh sure, we stopped along the way at an historic home or two, and my kids can point out Civil War battlefields on a map, but in the end, it was family that made us hit the road.
We never just went to the beach, New York City, or the Grand Canyon; we went to see someone, not something.
It seems a tad unfair in the long run, but I’ll have to admit, we always had a good time.
Of course, I did it again just this week.
My Aunt reached her 100th birthday, and a big celebration was held in Goshen, Virginia.
Now, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, Aunt Diddie is something special, and so is turning 100.
It was a quick trip. I headed UP to North Carolina on Thursday and spent the evening with the “Baldwin Sisters” and their dog, who is older than Aunt Diddie, in Yadkinville.
On Friday morning we loaded UP their car, re-packed mine, plugged the dog’s life-support into the cigarette lighter and headed UP Interstate 77 where we picked UP Interstate 81.
Four hours later, we were in Lexington, VA, the place of my nativity.
I headed off to Buena Vista to spend the weekend with my brother and his wife while Zola and Judy headed on to Goshen some 30 miles further as they had reservations at the Historic Hummingbird Inn, a B and B.
I don’t do B and Bs.
Getting to my brother’s place is no easy task. You go UP the mountain,
under the Blue Ridge Parkway,
and take the first right off the paved road.
Then it’s down a winding mountain goat path gravel road consisting of eight or ten “kiss the back of your neck” turns.
Once you’re at the bottom, you start the twisty trip UP another mountain by taking every right you can.
Finally, you’re at their home and it is a straight shot UP the side of the mountain on what can almost be called a drive way.
You might remember I faced near death on said drive way a few years back when I got stuck and nearly tumbled off the side of the mountain.
This time, well, let’s just say I’ve learned more about mountain driving over time. But if you’d like to read about it, well here’s the link.
But, once you get there, well, you’ve got this…
June, usually pleasant in the Virginia mountains was hot hot hot!
It was 97 degrees, a near record!
Friday evening we met the sisters and our first cousin, Margie and her daughter Tammi at Ruby Tuesday’s.
It was great catching UP with them, and we all talked excitedly about the big doings going on the next day over in Goshen.
The tiny town of Goshen, VA decided to honor my Aunt on her 100th birthday, and along with her Church and children and grand-children, they put on a bash at the Goshen Boy Scout Camp. (BTW, it was 100 years ago today that President Woodrow Wilson granted the Boy Scouts a Federal Charter. They are the only youth organization to have one. The Boy Scouts celebrated their 100th birthday a few years back as they were founded prior to the charter from President Wilson.)
She was given a key to the town, June 11 was proclaimed Willie Ward Day in perpetuity, and she was showered with gifts and much, much love.
I was able to see cousins galore from as far away as Michigan and Maryland, all of whom I’d not seen in years.
Aunt Diddie was surprised by the event – and I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think it too good an idea to surprise a 100 year old person, but she weathered the storm, rode to the park in the parade with sirens blaring and lights flashing.
It was an event.
It made the 11 PM news! ( http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Goshen-woman-celebrates-100th-birthday-382599721.html )
It was worth the trip.
Like I said, one of these days, I’ll go to the beach, but I’m so glad I didn’t go this time.