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Road trip: pleasant chats, exploding cheese
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I took a road trip with one of my daughters last week. The purpose of the trip was not pleasure, but somehow the trip itself (not the business part of the trip) was fun.

The drive there took about 4½ hours, and, of course, it was another 4½ hours back. Those hours were not tedious; they passed very pleasantly. We talked continuously about modern news, the Kennedy assassination, the purpose of our trip, friends and family, and other things.

It’s nice to know that your child has grown up to be a pleasant and interesting woman who can express herself fluently and has considered and thoughtful views on things that ultimately are important to our lives.

We went out to dinner each night and then returned to our room. Here, our ages betrayed us. I watched television, but my daughter dibbled and dabbled on her I-Thing.

Her two daughters remained here in Covington. My daughter and granddaughters "face-timed" each other around 7:30 every evening. This is technology I do not understand. The grandchildren were particularly interested to see me in my nightgown and giggled every time my daughter turned the phone to me.

My sister came to Covington to help take care of the children. I made a huge pot of chili the day before she came, hoping that it would feed everyone the day we left and would keep my husband going for a few more meals.

My grandchildren like chili, particularly with grated cheddar cheese. I have a cheese grater that does not endanger your fingers. You put the cheese in a slot and press a handle against it. Then you turn another handle, and a barrel that is sharp and perforated like a regular grater turns against the cheese and the shredded cheese falls out from the middle of the barrel.

My grandchildren like to grate their own cheese into their chili, and I had gotten that grater out and explained its use to my sister before I left.

During Monday’s "face-time,’’ the older granddaughter couldn’t stop laughing.

She said the other granddaughter and my sister had brought about a cheese explosion in my kitchen.

The younger granddaughter got overzealous with the cheese grater, and cheese went everywhere. In the ensuing confusion, my granddaughter and my sister were caught in a tug-of-war for control of the grater. Then, in some way I don’t understand, my sister got hit in the head with the broom while everyone was trying to clean up the cheese explosion.

By the time my older granddaughter finished explaining the incident, she was laughing so hard that we could barely understand her. (And I will say that when I got back and started cleaning up, I found dried-up grated cheese on my kitchen table. I guess there really was a cheese explosion.)

When I got home and talked to my sister, she said she had forgotten how hard it is to keep up with little children. She discovered that, as long as she did exactly what they wanted and gave them her complete attention, they were good.

They got their homework done each night with my sister and studied for upcoming tests. In return, my granddaughters taught my sister about the intricacies of the Rainbow Loom. My sister went home with a ghost, some candy corn and bracelet that she had made on the loom following instructions from my granddaughters.

I bought her real (not diet) Cokes, chocolate candy, fruit juice and coffee for the duration of her stay. I got out my coffee pot for her. I generally drink hot tea and do not brew coffee. I also left her what I hoped was enough money to feed her and the granddaughters each night.

My sister rarely cooks. Her stove is pristine.

She drank all the Cokes and had half the chocolate left over.

She said she was taking the unopened bag of chocolate home with her. She left me the coffee and juice. She also did not use up all the money. I don’t see how she managed.

I owe her a big favor.

She reminded me of that as she was driving out of my yard.


Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at