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Trip of a lifetime

Posted Friday, August 31, 2012, at 4:11 PM

By now, you know that if anything is going to happen, it will happen to me or around me. Well, some things never change.

When we lived in Alabama, we spent lots of time at the beaches. It was one of our special delights. However, since we came back to Dexter nearly thirteen years ago, we have not had the priviledge of going back.

Collin has been talking about wanting to go back 'just one more time'. With

this in mind and the fact that our youngest grandson has never been to the beach, we made a hasty decision to head that way. So we began getting things ready, and with a house sitter in place, we headed to Panama City. We used to frequent all the beaches along the gulf coast, however, call us kids at heart, but we like the carnvival atmosphere of Panama City. So, van loaded, we pulled out at six-fifteen on a Thursday morning, ready for a long drive. We drove the entire way without an overnight stay along the way.

As you know, we have not seen rain here, except on a limited bases. But...we ran into rain and storms at Clarksville, Tennessee and it rained and stormed on us all the way to our destination. Now, keep in mind, we have done very little traveling in the last several years and highways and cities change. Not mentioning we are older. Roads we had traveled and knew by heart just didn't seem right, but we kept trucking. Logan helped with the driving so I had two chauffers.

We took Logan through Birmingham where he was born. We even made a jaunt through a tunnel we have taken all the other grandchildren when they were small.

Yes, of course we held our hands up, honked the horn and sang Delta Dawn. What memories. We then took him to see the huge vulcan cast iron statue at Red Mountain Park in Birmingham. If you have never seen the vulcan or read about it you should.

It is the world's largest cast iron statue and is considered to be one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. We always took everyone who visited us to see the giant statue. Needless to say, while going through Birmingham, Collin and I did a lot of reminescing.

On towards Mont-gomery, where we spent lots of time and had many friends. Then on to our final destination. It has now rained and stormed on us all the way, which made driving and riding very tense.

We finally arrived at Panama City Beach. Wow, how things have changed. I can't remember which one, but one of the latest hurricanes wiped out many of the places we were aquanited with. Our standby motel was replaced with a new one. It was still raining as we checked into our motel. I had asked for a room right on the beach and we got it. Only thing, we had to go down two flights of steps to get to our room.

In front of our room there is a little porch with about a four inch step. As Collin was carrying our load to the room, he couldn't see the step up or down and fell into the balcony! Totally ruin-ed his arm when he fell into the railing and hurt his head and shoulder. Of course you know that ruined our vacation right from the beginning with him being in so much pain. It stripped his arm of nearly all the skin from his hand to his shoulder. He wound up in the emergency room and had to spend most of his vacation in bed.

Apparently, as were were checking in, I laid my camera down and someone forgot (?) to return it to me. So now here we are at the beach without a camera. So, the next morning Logan and I went to Wal Mart and purchased a camera. After making our choice, we headed out to rent one of those little two seater cars to ride the strip with. While we were about four miles from the rental place, it came the worst rain I have seen in my life. It was so hard it was as though we were being shot with pellet guns. Logan could barely see to drive and we were getting soaked. I finally got my new camera in the bag for protection, and put my cell phone where I thought it would be safe, tucked inside my bra. Let me tell you, we were soaked through to the skin. We looked like what I have heard Mom call 'poor little drowned chickens'. Of course my phone got wet and was ruined. I lost all contacts and no way to communicate.

Finally, it did quit raining on Sunday and Logan got to parasail for the first time. Then we made reservations for him to swim with the dolphins.

Along with Collin's fall, I had a very bad health scare, then after Logan and I ate at Hooter's, I came down with the worst stomach pains I have ever had.

In spite of all this, we headed over to get on the boat and the dolphins. With the waves high and choppy, Collin got sea sick and you can only imagine what it was doing with my hurting stomach.

The lady driving our boat decided to get us to Shell Island so Collin could get off for a few minutes. While Logan is helping him off the boat, along comes a big wave. Oops!

Too late. He has his wallet with his cash, all necessary cards and license. I don't have to tell you what that little dip in the water did to all that was in his pockets. Thank goodness for hair dryers. Fastest way yet to dry money.

We finally got off the boat, but not before Logan had the opportunity to get in the water with tons of dolphins. How exciting. As we headed back to the room, we noticed Collin's phone was gone so we did some backtracking to look for it. No luck.

After we returned home, I was looking through the pictures we had taken. I couldn't believe my eyes. In one of the pictures I took while he was getting off the boat, there was his phone hanging on his belt. Therefore, we have deduced that the phone is now at the bottom of the Gulf waters. Just call me detective Kathleen.

Whew! I'm worn out just writing all this.

So, in recapping, we lost a camera, two cell phones, created doctor and hospital bills with his fall, scarred his arm for, if not life, a long time. We had to take time out of vacation to spend with doctors and hospital. But, we still mananaged to have some fun. I think Logan is warning all his friends to never take a first time trip with two aging grandparents and one of them totally over protective.

See ya next time somewhere in a Korner.

kdover28@gmail.com - 573-820-2404 - www.dailystatesman.com

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It sounds like you all had a trip that you will never forget, even with all the accidents.

-- Posted by Bobby Lasater on Fri, Aug 31, 2012, at 5:13 PM

Enjoyed the read!

-- Posted by TNMom2 on Mon, Sep 3, 2012, at 11:03 PM

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Kathleen's Korner
Kathleen Dover
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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."
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