Thursday, May 31, 2012

Left Behind

Having reviewed previous posts (in a somewhat vain-blogger-approach), I have decided to have another guest post.

"Occasionally, one has the opportunity to become an observer of the goings and comings of such as pertain to various members of a household. You may assume that I am speaking of the household of Guidingers. 

The members of this family come and go at all hours (one in particular, I have been party to the frequent galavanting). It is most unusual, in fact, to not be invited on such trips as are relevant to, what you may term, 'road trips.'

Being of distinguished, and necessary, importance to Miss Guidinger, as her vehicle of transportation, you will understand when I say that I was baffled (though privately pleased) with the prospect of a holiday. A chance to rest my trodden down tires from the wearisome protuberances these Americans refer to as 'roads' was a welcome relief. 

But I digress. My intent, as is fitting, is to inform this audience of the recent road trip taken by the adventuresome Miss Guidinger and her younger siblings to a place called The Cowpens. 

In light of the circumstances, it was of complete necessity that she take 'The Intimidator' (as her father's vehicle is known...truth be told, I myself could comfortably fit into the bed of 'The Intimidator'). Not only were they to be celebrating the holiday which American's have termed as Memorial Day, they were also to be acquiring those two of the siblings who have been traveling extensively the previous 4 months. 

I have, myself, visited this Cowpens (which happens to be a battlefield from the American War of Independence). It is, in truth, a field on which an important battle took place. The American militia and Continentals were led by Daniel Morgan against the British forces under the direction of Banastre Tarleton. A relatively short battle commenced. The outcome aided in the changing of the proverbial tides in the War. 

The children, no doubt, were questioned regarding the facts of the battle, participated in a Moment of Silence in honor of those who died during the battle, and toured the field (how appropriate this should be coined a 'Field Trip'). 

While I entertained the day off, the young Guidingers paraded about the countryside, enjoying such frivolities as large iced drinks and ice cream. 

I have been assured that such holidays will not occur frequently, and I am satisfied, on the whole, with the arrangement. Rest assured, such excursions without the appropriate chaperone (referencing myself, you understand) will not be frequent. 

I shall endeavour to maintain a continued sense of dignity in regards to any further road trips. For the present, I remain yours, 
Mr. Darcy
of Travelers Rest"
for more info on Mr. Darcy click here

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hidden paths

I will be upfront with you. It has been too long since my last post. And my excuse is that I have been working and sleeping.

I am a night shift nurse. And while most people say that it takes special people to be night-shifters, I say it takes someone who is a little more than special to stay on night shift. It takes someone bordering on the edge of crazy. Nurses promote healthy living to their patients, but many of us are not allowed to practice the most basic functions of healthy living.

Let me explain.

I like to stay up late. Always have. I also like to sleep. A lot. I do not like mornings. Other than the occasional amazing sunrise (which is not as amazing as a sunset), there are very little redeeming qualities to mornings. I do like my friends and family. Most of whom are on "normal" people schedules. And did I mention that I like sleep? But while most people follow the normal circadian rhythm and sleep at night, plenty of healthcare professionals (myself included) stay up most or all of the night, then juggle the remaining hours (most of which are daylight) between sleep and living with "normal" people. does one balance a night-shift life with a bunch of "normal" people? Add some careful planning, subtract a bunch of sleep, and you will have about the right equation (multiply your final answer by x amount of caffeine).

my friends, Karin and Lauren
The last few days, I have been working all night, and sleeping only a small portion of the day (usually I sleep all day). The first 2 days, I managed to use my extra "non-sleeping" time as "time to exercise." The last 2 days, I have used that as "time to catch up with friends." Neither of these do I regret, however, I always find myself wishing for more hours in the day to be dedicated to sleeping and exploring.

Having the next 4 days off and having no plans for three of those days, I think I shall be taking some time to follow the advise of the poem:
"Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun."
(from LOTR, the "Walking Song")
While I plan on taking some "hidden paths" to various places, I shall also be storing up some sleep (because as any true night-shifter will admit, there really is no such thing as catching up on sleep).

Today, a hidden path led me to say "Goodnight sun!" and, in a little bit, another path will lead me to say "Goodnight moon!"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunshine and Clouds

For Trip Info: check Over the River


I love clouds. And I love sunshine. And I especially love sunshine coming through clouds. And during this particular road trip, I got to see a fair amount of both clouds and sunshine! The clouds came from a Cloud Maker I passed, and the sunshine came from the Knoxville, TN Sunsphere!

This trip, I visited my mom's parents in Tennessee (which I like to do, both because I love them and because I like the drive). And Grandma cleared her schedule the whole day Tuesday! So (after I slept in like a bum), we headed towards downtown Knoxville.

When my grandparents moved to TN around 14 years ago, they took my siblings and I to the Knoxville Sunsphere. Mind you, at the time there were only 4 kids. But I digress!

Over the years, I have wondered about this huge glowing orb in Knoxville: why haven't we gone back? what makes it so sunshiny? how did it end up here?

For a full history of the Sunsphere (which I will NOT bore you with here), I would recommend checking out the World's Fair Park website. Loads of facts.

If you're ever in that area, I would recommend checking it out...parking cost us $3 (which you may be able to find some free parking if you look), but it's completely free to go to the observation deck in the Sunsphere.

(and for those of you wondering: the windows were filled with a 24 carat gold dust)

After traipsing around the Sunsphere, we headed to another downtown attraction: the Market Square. Filled with little shops and cafes, it is a fun area to walk around and grab a bite to eat. If you're ever not sure where to go or what to do, I recommend Googling attractions or things-to-do in the area to where you are headed.

As always, my trip to Grandma's was WAY to short, but knowing it's just a little jaunt over the rivers and through the woods, makes the shortness somewhat bearable. Until next time!

ps...I bought my plane tickets for Colorado...and I secured my plane tickets for Haiti...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

This week has felt like several Saturdays strung together. It started with Sunday. I slept all day in preparation for work...then I was placed on paid call (aka: I am off but may be called in to work at any point throughout the night). So, I was able to go to the evening service at church. And afterwards, I took mom out to Chipotle (my new addiction) for supper. Not my normal Sunday!

Then I slept all day Monday and worked Monday night. Ditto for Tuesday. But as Tuesday was my last night to work for the week (and I tend to work several Saturdays without working Sundays), all Tuesday night felt like Saturday night. Until I went to Starbucks the next morning. The line was so long, it could have been a Friday morning! Which it wasn't.

Wednesday, I only slept 3 hours before getting up to get my hair trimmed (3'' off...qualifies as a trim for my locks). Then...well...I really couldn't tell you what I did the rest of Wednesday. I was really tired. I know I went to the service that night because I have notes on the sermon, but as for what I did between my hair appointment and church...I am not to be held accountable for anything that happened.

So Wednesday was an odd day, and while I was getting my hair done, my brain decided that it was Saturday. Which it wasn't.

Then Thursday...

I am NOT a morning person. And about the only thing that will get me out of bed before 7 am (okay...THE only thing that compels me to arise before that ungodly hour) is the starting of an adventure.

Orientation for grad school officially qualifies as "starting an adventure." Therefore, I was out of bed by 6:30am. I had to be at University Center no later than 8:30 am...which included driving through Rush Hour traffic near Cherrydale and figuring out exactly which classroom I was supposed to be in by 0830.

I have a suspicion that this particular "adventure" is going to be a bit bumpy. There were 22 people in the class, including various specialties of a Master of Science in Nursing. Everyone (and I am not using hyperbole) else has adult experience. But (after a few internal moments of panic), I am reassured that I am exactly where God wants me and am excited about how He is going to prove Himself during grad school!

After four hours of being bombarded with information, I spent the rest of the day with friends. Relaxing. Unwinding. And again, feeling as though it was another Saturday. Which it wasn't.

Friday morning, I was drafted to help dad with the lawn business at a subdivision that I have helped with for 11 years. He gave me the opportunity to mow with his new Walker mower...which I did with relish! We knocked out all 14 yards in less than 2 hours.

For lunch, my friend, Alana, took me to Hendersonville, NC. We ate lunch at an adorable cafe/tea room called "A Day in the Country." After eating and talking for awhile, we shopped around the store, laughing our way through the random signs and other odds-and-ends that were for sale. After making our purchases, we headed home...with a stop at Bloomfield's Dish Barn. They had numerous types of china, glassware, and cooking items, in addition to a large selection of Christmas ornaments and more odds-and-ends.

It was a productively fun Friday. Which again, felt like a Saturday. Which it wasn't.

Today. Today has not only felt like the Saturday it is, but it is more like several Saturdays rolled into one! For starters, it was the NICU/PICU reunion. I was helping with registration which meant not only making sure everyone was registered but also given name tags, tie-dye t-shirts, a bag of goodies (including a stuffed animal and water bottle), and a raffle ticket. To add to the fun, just as parents and kids were starting to roll in, Regional One (the hospital's helicopter) landed next to my table so the kids could get pictures. After picking up everything, we were able to get everyone registered and into the reunion. I think it was a hit. :)

The reunion was scheduled from 10-12, but I had to leave early to make it to the Mother's day luncheon at church. What a blessing to hear from a missionary to Mongolia (who is a potter) about the importance the clay has in the potter's hands and the relationship we have as clay in our Master's hands.

After the luncheon, I scooted over to a birthday celebration and wrapped up the afternoon playing Uno and Matching games with my friends' kids. It felt like Saturday. Which, finally, it was.

Keep a lookout for my next road trip...I leave Monday for a couple days in Tennessee at Grandma (and Pap's) house :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

In Smooth Waters

“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in smooth waters all our lives.”  from Persuasion

As mentioned in the very first blog, I love to read. And I like to read different types of genres. But one of my favorite would have to be classics. I am no where close to reading as many classics as I would wish, but that is another matter. I finished 2 classics this past week. One, Wuthering Heights, took a couple weeks to finish (reading a couple chapters here and there during free time at work)...the other, Persuasion, took less than week. And I much preferred the latter. 

This particular quote was one that I reread a few times. If you haven't read the book, I would recommend to you to read it forthwith...and I will promise not to spoil it for you. 

I decided I quite liked this quote, and it aptly applied to myself (no, I am not a feminist...just saying women deserve more credit than is often given in regards to thinking and being rational). 

This is all a prelude to the news I found out this week: 
1. I can now officially call Mr. Darcy, "my Mr. Darcy" having received a title in the mail from Honda (I paid the final payments April 27th).

2. I have been accepted at Clemson University in the Master of Science in Nursing for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. I was probably more shocked than anyone else. Having waited 7 months since applying (paperwork got mixed up), I had convinced myself that I was not going to be accepted (it is a competitive program). Yet all along the process, I have prayed earnestly that God would open and shut this door as He saw fit. And that I would have the wisdom to walk through or away according the path He leads.

So...with approximately 6 big trips planned for this summer (including but not limited to: Colorado, Grand Canyon, and Wisconsin), I have quite a handful of details to work out between now and the end of August. 

Who wants to be in smooth waters anyway? :) 
Claiming Isaiah 43:2 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Destination: Simpsonville
Total Miles: 50-ish
Cost: <$20

What a stir that last post caused! Perhaps I need to post guest articles more often? Well, with only a couple days off this go around, I've done more planning than traveling. And while both are equally important, I much prefer the traveling part.

Cue Monday.

Andrew, a friend of mine from Atlanta, GA, happened to be working this weekend in Simpsonville, SC. I have known his family for over 8 years, and when I've chanced to visit Atlanta on occasion, I have had the privilege of hanging out with him. Since he was in town over the weekend, it was decided we would meet up with his mom for lunch.

(background) Having grown up in Greenville, I have come to know many of the back roads, shortcuts from here to there. My dad was a Bus Captain in our church's bus ministry for years, and as a kid, I loved riding the bus with him after morning church to drop off kids. Having inherited a fairly decent sense of direction from Dad (which I am eternally grateful for), I do not get lost very often just driving around. The LPs and I will occasionally play a "Get Lost" game (basically, I drive around following their instructions: turn left, drive 2 miles, turn right...then I have to get us home from wherever we ended up). This and the occasional drives myself and the older kids used to take on Sunday afternoons (just driving around and finding random places) have familiarized me with random backroads in and around Travelers Rest.

Because I now work and attended a church in Spartanburg, I have worked the last 2+ years on learning some backroads in and around Spartanburg, and some of the backroads between TR and Sparkle City.

All this being said, I have never really had a chance to just drive around Simpsonville. When Andrew recommended that we meet for lunch in Simpsonville (where he was completing a job), I saw it as the perfect opportunity to drive around a small portion of Simpsonville.

I was not disappointed!

We met for lunch at Pete's of Simpsonville and had a great time catching up. After lunch, we all went our separate ways. I was meeting a friend for a pedicure in an hour at a place not 3 minutes from where we had lunch, so I decided to just drive around to see what I could see.

I found an interesting road named Scuffletown Road. The name made me laugh and wonder what caused it to be named thus. I also found some very large subdivisions which made me wonder about the appeal of living in Simpsonville. (I am very partial to Greenville and have difficulty fathoming why anyone in the Upstate of South Carolina would want to live further than 20 minutes from G-ville.)

My favorite part of the drive was the massive, gorgeous houses located off some backroads I chanced to drive on. By far, my favorite was a Colonial style, two story, gray-blue house that had white trim, a huge front porch, and dark blue complimenting shutters. (I admit...I liked it so much I drove past it three times.)

While these houses were located just a tad too far from Greenville for my tastes, I very easily saw the appeal of living around Simpsonville. Expansive lots with an occasional glimpse of the Foothills...coupled with beautiful houses set just off the road...all located just a few extra hops and skips from both Greenville and Spartanburg would make for a decidedly prime building location (if you weren't partial to Greenville).

All in all, a very pleasant afternoon drive.

Perhaps there are places you like to drive around? Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite back-road-trips. :)