The Return Home
Returning home from a trip to Oklahoma and Mississippi recently I found myself standing in the underground of the Birmingham, Alabama airport returning our rental car. If you ever find yourself in BHM and in need of a rental I would say it’s the worst experience I’ve ever had. The signage for where rental car pickup is located is horrible. It is on the bottom floor of a massive parking garage. It is poorly lit, kind of reminds me of the Philadelphia subway system back in the early fifties, damp, dark and eerie is the feeling. My head was on a swivel and my hand was on my gun, oops, not there any longer, I’m retired, I forgot.
Thrifty, not really as much as the name implies is the last kiosk as you drive through this underground maze. Were it rows of corn I would have used the word (Maize,) Wordsmith taught me that one. This being the Saturday after Thanksgiving, things were busy in the underground. Returning cars, worker bees and people standing in line were the order on this early morning. Fortunately I departed Starkville, MS early or I would have had an elevated stress level.
I had dropped herself and our granddaughter at the departing curb up above first, a smart move on my part I must say. Granddaughter Rachael had an earlier flight than us and the two of them started the check in process, they had my suitcase also. It was just me, the rental car and my backpack, I give that to no one.
There were multiple cars being returned at the Thrifty kiosk which is shared with Budget Rental Cars. I’m directed to a line of cars by a young man smiling and sipping from a hot cup of Starbucks, steam from the cup is giving his face a cloudy haze. I start to park behind the last car, the woman in the driver’s seat is looking back at me, waving excitedly for me to back up and beeping her horn like a mad woman. There is no place for me to go, another car has already placed it’s self in line. The young man drinking Starbucks approaches and after a few minutes gets things organized. We park, crazy lady leaves.
It seems the panicking lady had left her purse at her place of departure and needed to return. Those of us in the growing line of returnees were sorted into various spaces so the mad woman could go from whence she came and return once again at a later time. Any bets if she made her flight?
I get back in line, not quite in the same order as a car to my rear jumped in front of me thanks to the directions from Starbucks man. I hand my paperwork to a young woman who proceeds to do the fastest walk-around of a rental I have ever seen. Perhaps too much coffee and she needs a pit stop? She tells me I’m good to go, I grab my backpack, she hands me my papers and points to the growing line of returnees, I’m, number five.
I’m only in line for a few minutes when I’m joined by a family of five, mom, dad, two girls ten or so, and a teen age boy busy on his cell phone while he sits on a huge duffel bag. I’m guessing a girlfriend back home is on the other end. The girls are busy giggling, the mother looks as though she is not happy being up so early and is expressing the same to the husband. In a few minutes she leaves with the girls and heads towards the terminal.
My wife says I’m a talker, she’s right, I am, who, what, where, when and why are my trade mark. Back in my Law Enforcement days I conducted and evaluated hundreds of background investigations while a member of the CT State Police Selection Unit recruiting process. That penchant for people’s nomenclature has never left me.
The line has yet to move, I turn to the man in line who’s wife just left with the girls, he’s wearing a red sweatshirt with a monogrammed “R,” I point, “Rutgers” I say, “yep” he says. “You from Jersey” I say. “Yep, Exit 8A off the Turnpike,” “Exit 5” I say, Jerzyeez jargon for those who don’t know. Everyone in Jersey uses a N.J. Turnpike Exit # or Garden State Parkway Exit # to orient people as to where they live. The inquisition has begun.
We chat while the line moves slowly, Rutgers man was in Alabama for Thanksgiving with the wife’s retired parents. They have a lovely retirement home on a lake in Sweet Home Alabama. I learn the son is most definitely talking to his sweetheart back in Hightstown, seems he had no desire to come south and visit Granny and Gramps. Who would think that was the case. The Mrs. teaches school, Rutgers man works in pharmaceuticals and will be glad when he gets home. He will also miss the Iron Bowl, a football game between Auburn and Alabama for those not in the know. Oh, and his beloved NY Giants are not doing well this year. They will do Newark by way of Atlanta on Delta. Who, what, where, when and Why, all answered.
My phone rings, it’s herself, where am I she asks? It seems she and the granddaughter are all checked in, as is their luggage. My luggage however is still on the conveyor belt at the ‘AA” counter. TSA rules prohibit it being loaded until an ID’d person is matched with it. And where is this person, still in the Dungeon of Doom, Dilly Dilly. I explain its at least another ten minutes prior to me being on my way. She sounds frustrated as we hang up. It’s been a long trip.
Rutgers man and I chat football, growing up in Jersey, the beaches at the shore and stay away from politics, Roy Moore country you know. Eventually I made it to the front of the line, I thought I had won a prize. I got apologies from the kiosk attendant, a lovely calm young lady who gave me a $50.00 coupon for a future rental that I never asked for. I didn’t even complain. If you travel Thanksgiving this is something to expect. I say goodby to Mr. Exit 8 and make a bee line to the check in counter. On this day I will get my steps in.
The AA staff are happy to see me and get an ID from the baggage owner who’s luggage is accumulating dust. I get my receipt and we are off to find our cup of Starbucks, I’m smiling.
As for me and mine, we were off to the Eastern Shore via Charlotte and Philadelphia on American Airlines. I hope all who celebrated the day of Thanksgiving had a wonderful four-day weekend, and from our home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Photo Credits: Turnpike , Wiki. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, city of Birmingham, Rutgers Jersey, Rutgers, Thanksgiving Dinner, Pinterest
Historical Society Breakfast
In the Village of Allen tucked along Passerdyke Pond and Wicomico Creek, a select crew of dedicated residents keep working hard to bring nourishment and entertainment to our community. On Saturday of this week the residents were provided a Country Breakfast courtesy of the Allen Historical Society. The menu consisted of : Scrambled Eggs, Scrapple, Bacon, Fruit Cocktail, Toast, Coffee, Tea and Juice. All this for $7.00 and an opportunity to ask Santa for that special gift you desire to wake-up to on Christmas morning.
Our daughter and Rooster & Wife get their moments with Mr. and Mrs Claus.
A few of the worker bees who make these events happen.
Thanks Melissa, Frank, John & Aggie.
The village of Allen was developed in the 18th century at the headwaters of Wicomico Creek around the grist mill established by John Adams. He was a son of the Rev. Alexander Adams who was the rector of Stepney Parish from 1704 to 1769. The mill dam formed Passerdyke Pond, still a village landmark, and the spillway or trap gave the settlement its first name. The Trap, later becoming Upper Trappe, to distinguish it from a village of the same name in Worcester County.
The name was not changed to Allen until 1884 when it was named after Joseph S. C. Allen, the first postmaster. In the late 18th century the village had a tavern, a store, and a sawmill in addition to the gristmill. The waterfront of Passerdyke Creek thrived with commerce in the 19th century. The Methodist Church was established in 1829, and by 1860 there was a post office in the village. Several general stores have operated in the village during its history.
Much of the village we see today lies on two colonial land patents, “Monsham” patented by John Christopher in 1683 and “Dashiell’s Lott” patented by Col. George Dashiell in 1721. The latter was a resurvey of the “Bennett’s Adventure” patented in 1665 to Major Richard Bennett, formerly a Governor of the Virginia Colony. (From the Allen Historical Society)
The breakfast was a fund-raising effort for the Historical Society which recently purchased a home in the village that will become the home of Allen’s history. If you stayed home shame on you, you missed a good meal to start your Saturday. You would not have to clean the grease off your stove and you did not support the town you live in. If we live here, we are all part of the history for those who follow. Come out to these events if you missed this one the next time you read a notice on the Village Sign.
We have two churches in Allen, a fire department, the Historical Society and a Lions Club. We’ve had a Church Fall Bazar, Fire Department barbecue chicken, Halloween in the cemetary, the Lions Pit Beef Dinner and Saturday’s breakfast.
Out at the confluence of the creek and the Wicomico River is the Wicomico Yacht Club. This month a year ago the old structure was lost in a fire which started in the heating system. A new structure is under construction and it will be a grand one. There are many events held year round at this facility also to include the entire family.
Many people when they hear the word “Yacht Club,” turn their nose up and think, a snooty uppity place. Not so my friends. The Rooster has been a member for thirty years and my first vessel was a 15 foot canoe, my last a 21 foot Pontoon Boat that was great for the grandkids as well as yours truly. Your grandkids will love the pool also.
If you’re not a member, give it some consideration or contact a member when events are occurring. Crab and Oysters feasts are just two events to bring gastric delight to you.
So, in essence what I’m crowing about is that we may be small, but we have some mighty people who bring joy and sustenance to us.
The Marine Corps has a saying, “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” Be one of the few and proud of the Village of Allen and support your community. If you can’t work, buy a ticket.
Merry Christmas to all from the Rooster’s Coop to yours.
Yes we went to the Egg Bowl, a 31-28 Ole Miss victory over granddaughter Abby’s beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. Apparently someone forgot to let the dogs out.
On this Friday after, we celebrate Thanksgiving with Rachael, Sam and family who drove over from OKC, Kathy, Jeff, Abby and friends. We are blessed, even though State lost, we are winners for family and friends. To all our friends and family, happy day after from Columbus, Mississippi.
A share from the Huffington Post.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family from Our location in Mississippi.
with Anu Garg
Luggage? Check. Passport? Check. Travel guide? Check!
Looks like you’re ready for the trip. But we can leave all this behind, because we are traveling to the land of imagination. The land where places such as El Dorado and Xanadu exist.
We’ll visit places that started out in fiction, and live on in the English language.
This week we’ll see five toponyms (from Greek topos: place), words derived after names of fictional places.
Philip Howard; The Lost Words; Robson Press; 2012.
Just as a closing note, if I don’t write this stuff down, at my age I’ll forget it. Thanks again for stopping by. What was today’s word again? Oh yes, grimgribber!
On Sunday November 12, 2017 roughly nine hundred meals will be served in sit down or take out fashion in the village of Allen Maryland. For those that choose to sit, it’s all you can eat, and eat they have for fifty-eight years. If it’s Take-Out you want, trust me when I say you will not go hungry. The Rooster and family first experienced this epicurean delight twenty-nine years ago. We’ve had friends and relatives plan visits around this event. My father would actually drive from Florida for a few years just for the experience. My daughter will pick up twelve meals for family members today. For me and mine it’s kind of like Meals on Wheels.
Planning for this event which is the main fund-raising venture for the local Lions Club began months ago. Actual preparation is accomplished by Lions and volunteers from the community. A local town crier with help from the internet keeps everyone in the know for what and when is help needed. An example of these shout outs is below.
EMail from the command post – Come for the day or come for an hour – all hands welcome and appreciated at the Allen Community Hall as we head down the home stretch to tomorrow’s 58th Annual Beef Dinner by the Allen Lions Club. We’ll be boiling macaroni and packaging sides for carry-outs today – plenty of work to do , lots of variety, some sit down jobs. Come on down, enjoy the fellowship, and be part of a grand and glorious tradition! (Thanks for those middle of the night messages Melissa.)
Frank Knowles organizes tins of sweet potatoes for the oven and the peelers get rid of the skins.
Earlier in the week the Mrs. and I put in a few hours working with others baking and peeling 13 bushels of Sweet Potatoes. The Mrs. spent another day with our daughter and others making the gravy for the Mac and Cheese. There was a night for Turnip peeling and another for Stewed Tomatoes. Years ago the tomatoes were peeled, but now #10 cans of the slippery critters already peeled seems to work just fine. Ms. Pauline Nichols would certainly have a fit that they are now using tomatoes without skins were she still with us. Peggy Ford now rules over tomatoes with Crystal Judd as her faithful assistant. Carol Hobbs does the Mac & Cheese and Lucy and Lynn Davis have their hand in just about everything.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the dynamic duo of Frank and Susan, ever quiet, always there. And God Bless John Culp for playing Uber to get Ms. Sue Malone there so she could peel the Sweets, eat a biscuit or two and enjoy a hot bowl of soup. There would be an Aggie, Linda, Al, Chuck, Paul, Scott, Peter, King Lion Bruce and so many others, you know who you are, always pitching in here, there and everywhere.
When all of you get home tonight, remove your shoes and finally get to put your feet up, please know your efforts are most appreciated. This meal which brings so many together to prepare creates our own recipe for community greatness.
The fires burned late in the pit the night prior, with close to 1200 pounds of beef cooking down in the pit. When the last dish is cleaned and tables put away, the Village of Allen came together today. Every year for the past 58, a Pit Beef dinner filled many a person.
Bag Ladies of Allen.
The kitchen, a Bee Hive of activity. Cutting, stirring and packing to get the job done.
Multi function stations, fixing sides, doing dishes and passing the food to the drive bys.
When all of you get home tonight and remove your shoes and finally get to put your feet up, please know your efforts are most appreciated. This meal which brings so many together to prepare and break bread together creates our own recipe for community greatness.
I guess it does take a village and our’s is special, thank you Allen.