Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Red(neck)

So a few posts back, I mentioned that we bought a new truck. Well, new to us. Seth has been wanting a truck for some time now . . . his OWN truck, not one provided for him by Denbury . . . so he can ride the levee, go to the camp during hunting season, pull a boat. Oh. You didn't realize we have a boat?!? We don't!

It only took him two years (I'm so not lying!) to find a truck that met both his (4-wheel drive, low miles, extended cab) and my criteria (paid for!). I have to say that I am so proud of him for being so patient and honoring our family.

He came home one day in May and announced that he'd found a truck he wanted to buy. Very nonchalantly, I asked him where and what. Beaumont. As in Texas? Really? Really. What's up with that anyway? Why can't we purchase a vehicle in the state in which we live? We bought the Tahoe in Baton Rouge, but we were living in Mississippi at the time! Anyway. Okay. Beaumont. Go ahead. So he tells me that it's a 4-wheel drive, low miles, extended cab, older model. Can we pay for it? Yes, we can. So my next question was, "What's wrong with it?" Nothing.

And then I asked him what color it was. Red. Red?!? At that point, I just dismissed the whole idea. Red. That's what's wrong with it. You see, that's a deal breaker. My husband is very much into color. And a red vehicle is just something he's not in to! When we bought our first car, the Honda, it had to be a certain color. The Tahoe had to be a certain color. So I gave him my condolences, thinking he wouldn't pursue this particular truck any further based on the minor technicality of COLOR.

I was wrong. We sort of haggled over it, mostly with me teasing him about driving around in a red truck. And then he proceeds to tell me that I need to "get ready" because this truck is going to take me back to my roots. He asked me if I was ready to be a redneck again. Now. First of all. I have NEVER been a redneck. I might KNOW a few. I might even be RELATED to some. And I could probably even ACT like one. But a redneck I am not! Besides, he doesn't know a thing about a redneck. You see, we don't have rednecks down here in south Louisiana. We have . . . well, I can't say what they're called. But if you really want to know, message me.

Several minutes later, he produced some pictures of said truck that a friend sent him. It was definitely red. Not redneck though. I'm actually not sure how to describe it . . . there are these really . . . TACKY . . . decals on the back windshield. I wasn't too concerned about those because I figured the first thing he would do is remove them. So I agreed, and we bought the truck. That was Mother's Day weekend. And, for the record, the stickers are still there.
I affectionately call him Big Red. I was going to originally call him Fred, but Big Red just seems more appropriate. Big Red has ridden the levee from Ramah to Sorrel (only if you're from these parts do you really understand the magnitude of that statement!). Big Red has taken us to church. Big Red took us for a ride to Morganza to see the "big water" during all the flooding. And since we sold the Honda, Big Red now resides in the garage.

Yeah, there's nothing more redneck than driving over the Atchafalaya Basin listening to Lafayette's Bayou Boys singing Nuttin But a Couillon (pronounced coo-yohn but not really pronouncing the "n" . . . for all you Georgia peaches) . . .

You ain't nuttin but a couillon.
You ain't never got no shoes on.

Take a listen for yourself! Just don't ask me what half those words are because I have no idea! I'm a redneck, not a couillon! I'm sure all ya'll are just dying to come on down to Louisiana after that little ditty!

Oh, and please don't ask me what a couillon is. The nicest, cleanest way I know to put it is . . . idiot . . . cause with this being a family-friendly blog and all . . . maybe you should just Google it.

Now it was somewhere along in here (after Big Red came home and we had that original conversation) when redneck came up again . . . someone posted a comment on a friend's Facebook wall about the Redneck Gourmet. I thought they were either joking or had coined that phrase for a run-down dump in the middle of nowhere and made my own snippy little comment likewise.

And then Memorial Day weekend arrived. I decided very last minute to take the kids to Georgia for the week. After looking at our summer calendar, I knew that week would probably be the only time we could go before school started again. So we went. But not in Big Red.

That week was the perfect beginning to our summer! I didn't even realize at the time that we were in the midst of record-breaking heat all across the southeast. The thermometer registered over 100 degrees, but I thought it was a mistake. Mason and Hannah Kate spent hours, yes HOURS, everyday on Mimi's waterslide. I'm telling you . . . after this trip, I was so tempted to buy one myself because it's endless fun for the children, and all I had to do was sit under the car port and watch.Rob, Kristi and Jones came over for a Memorial Day cook-out. There's nothing like firing up the grill during summertime.The rest of the week was just as fun. No matter how long we go and stay, there is never enough time to spend with everyone, and we don't always get to visit with everyone we want to visit with. So we usually have to take a trip spending time with folks north of Atlanta and then take the next trip to spend time with folks south of Atlanta. We stayed south this time. I was so very excited to meet up with a dear friend from my college days and her three boys. The oldest is a year older than Mason, and the middle is a year younger than Mason. The youngest is just a few months younger than Hannah Kate. I knew they would enjoy playing together, and I would enjoy adult conversation with my friend.

They live in Fayetteville so I was a little shocked when she asked us to meet them at the park in Senoia.She also mentioned that we'd eat lunch in Senoia afterwards. Again, really? Senoia is maybe 10 minutes from my house, and I passed through there everytime I made the drive back and forth from West Georgia when I was going to college. It's a poke 'n' plum town. You know . . . you poke your head out the window, blink and you'll plum miss it! Besides, I couldn't imagine what in the world there would be to eat in Senoia. I remembered Crooks Grocery, but that was about it.

So we went to Senoia. The children finally warmed up to one another and enjoyed playing together. And then I followed Elaine into "downtown" Senoia. Little did I know that it had been transformed into a quaint little town with lots of charming little shops and antique finds along Main Street. There are even offices and restaurants.A lot of the town has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 2006, the Historic Senoia Project has been responsible for the renovation and rejuvenation of downtown Senoia. The goal is to maintain the city's early 1900s architectural style. The 2010 Southern Living Idea House was even located in Senoia, and several movies have been filmed in the town, thanks to Riverwood Studios located just outside city limits. And . . . the old Crooks Grocery even got a make-over, too! I just fell in love with the Queen Anne-style United Methodist Church. I would love to see the inside of it one day.

I mentioned that there are several restaurants along Main Street, one of which is . . . you guessed it . . . The Redneck Gourmet! And this is where my sweet friend took us for lunch. You know I had to get some pictures.I even bought a t-shirt, too! Actually, I bought two of them . . . one for Seth! I enjoyed my avocado BLT so much that I even took my Mama back two days later. After all, she'd never experienced the new Senoia either, and did I mention it's only, like, 10 minutes from my house?!? We had time to visit only one of the cute little shops (I came out with a garden bench for my friends' entry porch and a black toile tea set for my music room!), but I'm going to make time during my next trip to Georgia to visit more of the little shops.So if you haven't been to Senoia, you should go!

We invited the Connell cousins over one day for more waterslide fun and a cook-out. There are 16 grands now with another on the way. Here are most of them.We enjoyed visiting with Grandmother . . . . . . and MeMama. MeMama celebrated her 94th birthday in March! I always tell her that she's going to live to be 100. And she always tells me back that she hopes not. And then I tell her that I hope I live as long as she does. And she'll tell me back that she hopes I don't! So that was the beginning of our not-so-redneck summer.

Then again. You might be a redneck if you wear rubber boots with your swimsuit while you're playing in the kiddie pool underneath the back porch. 'Cause around here . . . that's how we roll some days!

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