Everybody needs a “go to” person. For me, that’s my BFF, Carolyn. Over the years, we have traded and lent many things: dishes, make-up, clothes, furniture, music and books. We’re like two peas in a pod: Lucy and Ethel, Thelma and Louise, Carolyn and Ann. On a recent trip to visit her in Pawleys Island, I found one thing, but lost another — all in the span of forty-eight hours. I found a turquoise wicker desk but lost a red leather wallet. I’m thinking this was sort of like ying and yang, a balance thing. You know: out with the old, in with the new, or, you win some, you lose some. But that’s silly. There’s no comparison. Though the desk was empty and the wallet was full (not with money, but with photos and gift cards,) I wanted both. And I’m happy to say I eventually ended up with both! Here’s what happened:
I arrived at Carolyn’s house, fairly late, after an event. Then, Carolyn, her hubby Chuck, her daughter Suzanne, and I stayed up really late, talking, laughing and reminiscing. We caught up on hobbies — cooking and gardening, as well as careers — she’s a jewelry designer and I’m an author, and news within our families and mutual friends. When I went upstairs to bed, tired, but good-tired, I lugged only my suitcase.
The next day was even more fun! It almost (notice I say ALMOST), cured my homesickness for my beloved Georgetown County! Carolyn, Chuck and I went to Andrews to visit Clemons Pond, Carolyn’s home place. On the way down, we stopped at Raymond’s, which is known all over S.C. for its traditional Friday afternoon barbecued chicken. Yum-yum! This is a place where Carolyn and her family go often, since Raymond’s wife, Robin, is Carolyn’s cousin. (Did I mention Carolyn has lots and lots of cousins? Her family tree must reach to the sky!) Oh, and Raymond’s sells everything from gum to gas, crackers to crickets.
It’s a country store where you see good-old, hardworking, everyday folks. There’s nothing pretentious or high-falluting about it and I LOVE IT! Like Carolyn said, it’s a slice of Americana. Surprisingly, we even ran into Carolyn’s brother, Cliff. Even when it comes to family, it’s a small world. Then we met her sister, Dee and hubby, Woody there, but that had been planned.
We went back to Pawleys Island and visited some more. We were talking about decorating when she asked me if I’d like to use a blue wicker desk and chair to match. Aha! Another loaner. Yay! She knew I was hoping to replace an old, large, dark-brown one, and even told me I could paint it pink, since my office is pink and green. So I eagerly accepted the offer and Chuck took it out to my car. I made a note to buy a whole, whole lot of Kilz, then went on my merry way.
An hour later, I stopped to get a cup of coffee. All of that late-night catching up had left me sleep-deprived and yawning. When I went to pay, I noticed my wallet was not there. I hated to charge a dollar on a debit card, so I added an order of French fries to make the total higher.
I assumed the wallet had fallen under my car seat or was in the middle of my trunk, which was full of books, luggage and the desk. But when I got home, a thorough search failed to turn up my red wallet. I called Carolyn the next morning, but I knew she was having a garage sale, so I resigned myself to the fact that it would be a while before I heard anything. I even called Raymond since I felt like I knew him — I actually DO know most of her family. He was friendly and kind, even apologizing with the bad news: no wallet.
My fears vanished when Carolyn called me and said she had found my wallet under some pillows on her couch. I was so relieved! I think maybe I had pulled out a business card to give Suzanne, when, instead of dropping the wallet in my purse, I dropped it on the sofa. At any rate, I was a happy girl!
And as I type this column, I’m ecstatic to report that my new pink desk and chair are working out beautifully in my office! It’s true I had to learn the hard way that spray Kilz works lots better than painting Kilz on with a brush. My carpal tunnel has flared up, my pointer finger is numb from spraying the nozzle and my back feels broken from squatting and bending over. But I’m happy! I’ve got my red wallet and my pink desk, plus great memories after a fabulous visit. Yep, life is good, even if it is short!