Thursday, May 17, 2007

Things I've Learned While in South Carolina

I've spent the week here in Columbia, SC doing project work for State Farm. While here, I've taken some photos and made some observations about life in this city. Mainly, the people here are kind and friendly and the weather is simliar to Nashville. There have been some, um . . . interesting moments and photos to capture. I share them below.
  • Cats can be named Mr. Mouse, although, I firmly suspect, they do not like it.

  • Dogs named PorkChop like to lick your legs – and crawl through them and run around them.

  • Aloe vera plants can be taller than I am. This fact will make me stop the car, back up and take a photo out of the window.

  • Electric towers cause cancer. I met a man whose mother died of breast cancer, father of lung cancer, wife currently has breast cancer and his dog is dying from cancer. They all lived next to each other – on the power lines. I continue to pray for this man and his wife and dog who are both battling breast cancer. I was so touched at how much love and compassion he showed for each of these people and animals through the stories he told.

  • Roads made from sand are bumpy and you have to drive very slowly.
  • If you drop your camera, it will ruin it and cost you two hours of lost work looking for a CHEAP replacement. However, if your friend yanks the lens around a little (after you beat on it for 15 minutes and it wouldn’t move), it WILL pop right back into place and work fine.
  • There ARE people who have more animals than me. They appear really sane, too.
  • There are a LOT of cats here.
  • Cats can live to be as old as 25 (Lord have mercy on my soul!). The photo is of Zollie. She is 25. My mother says she's ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think she's lovely.

  • You can mix a Labrador and a Poodle and get a creature called a LABRADOODLE that looks ridiculous.

  • Dogs apparently think I’m cool – and tasty -- as I have had my legs licked so much today I won’t need to shave for a few days.

  • Great Danes look an awful lot like small horses.

  • You can use empty swimming pools to store firewood. Apparently more than one person does this as I have seen two already this week.

  • Parents who leave their children at home alone after school should tell them NEVER to come to the door.
  • If you are off work from a knee injury, you can make an entire front door out of stained glass.

  • If you walk around 118 houses in a day, your hips hurt -- A LOT -- at night.

  • Beagles hate me, but hummingbirds and pit bulls seem to like me.
  • Dogs can dig a hole deep enough to bury themselves in.

  • Wrinkles, the dog, thought I had tasty toes.

  • Clematis grows beautifully in South Carolina.

  • The GEICO lizard lives in South Carolina.

  • Eucalyptis grows as a TREE. I’m not sure how I thought it grew, but apparently, it’s a TREE.
  • And last, but MOST DEFINITELY NOT LEAST: I could not find my way out of a mud hole 99% of the time, but if I pass a Krispy Kreme store in a city I’ve never been in, I can, without fail, find my way back to it when the HOT NOW sign is on.

It's been a hard trip. The weather is good, but the work days are long. Susan and I spend 10 hours a day taking photos and then try to work several hours at night on paperwork and getting ready for the next day. Sleep is a commodity that is rare on project trips and we both started this trip extra tired from the week before. A friend reminded me today that I'm lucky to not be stuck behind a desk and that my job allows me to experience all types of people, animals and places. For that I am thankful.

So, it's off to sleep. Tomorrow is the last day of field work. My goal is to complete the 85 on my schedule for a weekly total of 478.

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