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It’s been five days since my last post… that’s the longest gap I’ve had in a while, I think. Sue and I have been all over SC and back since last Thursday… well, let me just start at the beginning.

Thursday morning, Sue & I were up, packing & moving toward the door when I got a call from Jennifer, who was sobbing hysterically. Someone had cut the screen on their porch during the night while they slept and stolen Tom’s tools. The tools aren’t what upset her… it was just the fear of knowing that someone was ransacking their porch while they slept just a few feet away. And all the what ifs – what if they had forgotten to lock the door? What if one of them had gotten up to get a glass of water and surprised the burglar? What if the burglar had wanted more than just tools? And the biggest one – what if they had hurt Maggie? Terrifying… I know that it’s relatively minor in the big scheme of things, but it felt like such a violation. Sue & I headed over there & distracted Maggie while Jennifer talked to the police. So yeah, needless to say, we had a later-than-planned departure for Charleston.

Left a while later, and the sky literally opened up. Nasty, scary rain – the kind where people are pulling over to wait it out and brave ones who are still driving all have their emergency flashers on. By the time we arrived at the CofC campus, it was drizzling and soggy, but no longer pouring. We walked a bit, took a few pictures, and just generally acquainted ourselves with the campus (which is absolutely gorgeous, by the way). Sue gets her housing assignment next week… we’re both keeping our fingers crossed for one particular dorm that’s very centrally located and has a CVS on the ground floor – it would be like having the ultimate vending machine! :)

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Before heading out, we drove down to the Battery – can’t go to Charleston and not see the Battery – and were greeted by the hugest, most beautiful, most perfect rainbow I’ve ever seen. It literally stretched from the Cooper River bridge to Fort Sumter, and was brilliant and visible all the way across. Our mother was so obviously there… I watched Sue taking pictures of it and whispered “thank you, Mama.” I know she had something to do with it.

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Friday, we headed to Bowman/Elloree to stay the rest of the weekend with cousin Merrill. Spent Saturday afternoon at our grandmother’s for an early Christmas family dinner, then headed back to Merrill’s. Merrill and I, between the two of us, had 2.5 bottles of wine and great conversation ensued (well, WE thought it was great at least).

Jen, Mag & I left Sunday morning and started the 4-hr drive back to Anderson. Were just past Columbia when Jennifer (who was driving) said “Does your car always jerk and not accelerate?” Um, no, just when it’s out of gas. Yes, folks, I once again ran out of gas. I swear I’m learning-disabled when it comes to the gas gauge… I know it sounds very elementary, but I just forget to look. We turned on the emergency flashers and rolled to the shoulder of the interstate – however, the car was still running. Only 25 mph, but we’re still moving…. so we just keep driving on the shoulder of the road. We creep along the emergency lane, running over all the random pieces of tire debris and such, putting the car in neutral when rolling down hills because we thought that might conserve gas. And we were crying with laughter of course… I kept having visions of “Little Miss Sunshine” and the van, when the family has to run along beside it and hop in because it only starts when rolling downhill.

We actually made it 2 miles or so, rolling in the emergency lane at 15-25 mph, before the car gave up the ghost and puttered to a complete stop. We tried to crank it a few times, but nope, wasn’t happening. So there we were for the next hour or so, waiting on the Highway Patrol to rescue us. The SCDOT (Dept of Transportation) finally arrived and put just enough gas to get us to the next exit. The little SCDOT helper-man followed us to the exit, but not before giving us a (mostly) good-natured lecture on how the car doesn’t know to go to the gas station by itself, so it’s our job to HELP it by taking it there regularly. Ok, ok, the sarcasm was thoroughly deserved.

Arrived home and crashed. Whew.

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