June 22-26: Our Summer Trip to Zion National Park
June 2-3, 1993: A Weekend with Fred in Van Alstyne
Return to the Index for 1993

June 19-20, 1993
A Visit With Judy in North Carolina


Fred and I are planning a trip out West in two weeks, but first I have another class in New Jersey and I will also be going through North Carolina and down to Florida, given that the airfare is so cheap. Fred is going to keep the kittens for me, so on Sunday, June 13th, I took the kittens up to his house and left for New Jersey the next day. I worked all that week, and then flew down to Charlotte on the 18th to my Mom's house. On Saturday morning, June 19th, the two of us drove up to Judy's house for a weekend visit.

I've driven from Charlotte to my sister's house a zillion times. From my Mom's condo on Park Road, I just head a bit west to I-77 and take that north to I-85 which I then take northeast towards Greensboro. In 1993, one had to kind of go into Greensboro to pick up I-40 east, but now there is a new bypass that takes I-85 well east of town to meet up with I-40.

Another difference between 1993 and now (post-2010) is that one no longer has to go through the town of Elon to get out northwest to where my sister's farm is. So many new homes and business have been built since 1993 along I-40 that there is now a direct route to my sister's from I-40; it is University Drive. It takes you around to the west side of Elon and puts you just a couple of miles from my sister's house.

My sister and her husband have lived out northwest of Elon for many years now, having moved there around 1970. Bob is a pharmacist at his family's drug store in Burlington; my sister works part-time at the local middle school. Both of them like being out in the country.

Judy and Bob have about eight acres, I think in an area of small farms and large house lots. For all practical purposes, you are out in the country, although you can be in Burlington in 15 minutes or Greensboro in half an hour.

When they bought the property the only building actually on it was an old red barn down by the road; the two of them had just the house they wanted built a little over halfway to the back of the property from the road- on the high point of the property, I think.

Judy has always had horses and other animals, and for many years all these animals were kept in the old red barn. It served its purpose, but when Judy began to board other horses, she thought that the drafty old structure was no longer suitable. A year or so ago, I was happy to make a loan to her and Bob so they could build a new, modern barn behind the house and much closer to it. The barn would be much more spacious, built with a steel framework, concrete block walls, wood interiors and roof beams. Most important from a maintenance point of view, it would have a concrete floor (unlike the dirt floor of the old barn). This would permit Judy and Bob to keep the interior much cleaner (hosing out the whole thing periodically).

She and Bob designed a structure that would have six stalls, each with an opening to the outside as well as to the interior of the barn, plus a tack room and feed storage. At either end of the building large sliding wood doors could be closed in winter or at night but left wide open in good weather and during the day. The barn has been under construction for the better part of the last year, and on my visit this time it was almost complete.

Sometimes when I come to visit my sister, I am by myself, but this weekend Mom wanted to come as well, so the two of us had a pleasant drive up. I chatted with her about my work, about the Florida condo and about Fred. We had a lot to talk about and the two hours went by fairly quickly.

Judy and One of Her Two New Horses
(Picture at left)
As I mentioned last time I was here in April, two of Judy's mares were pregnant with offspring of Patrikk, and both of them have since given birth. This is one of the colts that has resulted.




(Picture at right)
I will freely admit that I cannot keep the names straight, but it hardly matters to me- just to them and to Judy (and probably not even to them).

Me and One of Judy's Horses

Mom, Patrikk and Judy in Judy's Barn

Bob and Judy Working on Their New Fence

Last time I was here, we strung the wire fence, so the pasture is now secure and in use.

Judy and One of Her Mares With Patrikk

This is how Judy finds out if the mare and Patrikk are ready, willing and able (well, I guess she knows they are able) to breed. Both have to be in the right frame of mind, just like people. They weren't.

Patrikk Nuzzling Bob's Hat

We were all sittting by the barn chatting, and Bob was trying to ignore Patrikk.

Mother and Son

The pasture is enclosed now, and Judy can let the horses out into it.

Judy and One of the New Colts

Mom and I had a nice weekend at my sister's house, returning to Charlotte on Sunday the 20th. After spending Sunday afternoon and Monday morning with my Mom, I found myself in Florida on the afternoon of June 21st planning on returning to Dallas on Sunday, June 27th ahead of our departure for our western trip on Wednesday, June 30th.

Fred and I had been discussing our trip while I was in New Jersey and also while I was in North Carolina. I called him again this evening I arrived in Florida, and laid out my timetable for staying in Florida and returning next week in time for our trip. In 20 years of traveling, I have never simply gotten the date of a class wrong, and showed up when I wasn't supposed to, or not showed up when I was. But for the first time, I found out this evening that I had done so. Through some incredible miscommunication on my part, I thought we were leaving on the 30th when in fact we were leaving day after tomorrow on the 23rd!

So my first decision was to tell Fred that I would fly home tomorrow and we could leave on schedule. But there seemed to be another problem. When the question came up as to whose vehicle we should take, I was surprised to find that Fred, who I had assumed liked to take his truck on these western trips, had been getting more and more concerned that it was always his vehicle that was having lots of miles put on it. This was a revelation to me, and while I'd always tried to pay more than my share of the expenses to make up for that, it was still an issue.

I was fine with taking the Honda, but since Greg had sent his Miata down to me in Texas to drive while he was living in Boston, I had months ago brought the Honda down here to Florida so that when I came down I wouldn't have to rent a car all the time. Obviously, we couldn't carry what we needed in the Miata, so if I was to drive, it would have to be the Honda.

Once I found out how Fred felt, I thought it best that I insist that I drive this time. Now I had two alternative. First, I could fly home and rent a larger car than the Miata for our trip. But I thought that if I did that, Fred would then think he'd forced me into a large expense for no reason (and I think that if the shoe had been on the other foot, that's what I would have thought). Even though it was convenient for me to have the Honda in Florida, I made the decision to bring it home. After all, Greg won't be in Boston much longer in any event, and when he is back in Dallas he will want his convertible- and sharing a car is not something I wanted to deal with.

So when everything was considered, bringing the Honda home was the only reasonable solution- for the logistics of this trip and for the growing relationship between Fred and myself. So I changed plans, got to bed early and the next day drove the 1500 miles back to Dallas all in one day (no problem, as I'd done it before). So, early Tuesday morning I packed up the car with all the stuff that I had been wanting to bring back anyway, and I set out for Dallas, stopping for little more than gas and arriving home about one in the morning on Wednesday. I slept late and then repacked the car in time to be up at Fred's house when he got home from work on Wednesday and taking the Honda for the first time on one of our trips.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

June 22-26: Our Summer Trip to Zion National Park
June 2-3, 1993: A Weekend with Fred in Van Alstyne
Return to the Index for 1993