Spring Hope NC, NC
November 11, 2009
We finally met Tropical Storm Ida; she arrived during the night bringing with her heavy, heavy rains for our drive west to Spring Hope NC and a visit with George’s cousin Barbara and her husband Bill. It was a slow 4-hour drive with standing water on the roadway in places, limited visibility and lots of rain.
We stopped for lunch and being in North Carolina thought BBQ would be a natural, pulled into Wilbur’s BBQ, the parking lot was full, usually a good sign; we both ordered BBQ chicken and anxiously awaited our Carolina BBQ – yummy! We were surprised to receive plates of chicken covered with gravy . . . what is that all about? Well, apparently the chicken was cooked on a barbecue but then smothered in gravy. We learned not all BBQ is created equal and be sure to ask if it comes with gravy. We did get a kick out of the waitresses who addressed everyone as either “honey” or “sweet pea” with a thick southern drawl.
Bill and Barbara live outside the small town of Spring Hope, a small community about 50 miles northeast of the Raleigh Durham area. We spent the afternoon and evening getting acquainted and reuniting; Barbara brought George up to date on news from her side of the family and George on his side of the family. Bill entertained us with stories of his misspent youth. They live a very quiet life on 15 acres and are happy to be away from the traffic in the city. It is a very peaceful area where they intend to live out their days.
November 12, 2009
The rains abated during the night leaving behind just the winds. As we drove to nearby Zebulon for breakfast we were able to observe the surrounding countryside with gently rolling hills, mostly farm land, soybean and cotton fields, horse farms and scattered small communities. Houses ranged from shacks and dilapidated trailers to tidy modest homes and grand southern colonials.
At the Old Time Café waitresses know Barbara and Bill quite well and we too were treated like part of the family. The people here are very friendly and talkative; ask what time it is and you likely will get not only the time of day but how the watch works, where it came from and a history of the person who sold it and the store in which it was purchased but it is refreshing to feel so welcomed by strangers.