Day 2 of this summer’s vacation took us from Raleigh to Winston-Salem, NC and eventually to Christiansburg, VA where we spent the night at my sister’s house. Before heading out for the drive in our borrowed Prius, though, my wonderful mother-in-law wanted to show us some things.
My MIL is really good at sorting through things. If she were Donald Trump she could also accurately say she has all the best things.
Just Some Things for the Road Now, or a Flat-Rate Priority Mail Box Later
On the dining room table a carefully curated collection was laid out for viewing. It included:
Some claw-style hair clips for my daughter. At the time ‘Buela got these she did not yet know that Daughter’s favorite hair styling tool, of late, is a pair of scissors.
A cow figurine, from Ivan’s dairy farmer grandparents’ home. People would gift them all sorts of cow-themed items.
Two blue glazed bowls ‘Buela and Grandpop had recently crafted in a Ceramics class. They are beautiful, and perfect for serving food.
A pewter cup engraved with Ivan’s name and birth date. As I understand it, in 1977 Ivan’s parents and most of their friends were teetotalers, but this looks an awful lot like a mint julep cup to me. Am I right?
A funny pewter vase that is not great for holding flowers of any kind but that always rolls back upright if you knock it over.
A bag of toasted almonds.
Some special credit card sleeves. These are to prevent theft of identity and other data via the newfangled Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip. Who knew?
Forgetting that I’d just had breakfast, I went ahead and started noshing right then on the almonds.
I love my in-laws.
What’s Old is New Again. Well, What’s Old is Still There At Any Rate
I guess you could say the theme of this year’s family vacation was Seeing Old Things With New Eyes. Or something like that. We’d blocked out an entire month to see family and then go to Ecuador, where Ivan lived for most of the 1980s while his parents worked as Baptist missionaries.
So I think our time going over the old and new items at his parents’ house definitely fit in with the theme.
After much hemming and hawing around the dining room table, we finally hit the road for Winston-Salem, one of the “old” places. The Hermans had spent two furloughs there in between their mission assignments. We stopped briefly at the house where they stayed while stateside, and at the high school where Ivan went for ninth grade.
Yes, his high school is named after R. J. Reynolds, the tobacco magnate. This is tobacco country, after all.
Next we stopped off at Wake Forest University, where Ivan went for his undergraduate degree. We bought some logo gear in the book store. The Wake Forest mascot is an angry white Baptist man, just FYI. Very strange.
We ate lunch at a new spot in town, The Porch Kitchen and Cantina. The Porch serves hipster Tex-Mex fare and is tucked away off the main drag, so that only the cool people can find it. Or, dorky Yelp users like my husband and me. I ate something made with quinoa, I think, that was pretty good because it was also breaded and deep fried.
We skipped the craft beer and cocktails and got on the road again to Christiansburg.