08 July 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Road Trip, OK Oklahoma Edition

Oklahoma is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

            My eldest, Thing 1, decided he wanted to join the Army.  Yes, I was a VERY proud Mama!  (Shout out to the rest of my boys:  Thing 2 – Navy; Things 3 and 4 – Marines)  He graduated from Basic Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and his Mama was gonna be there come hell or high water for graduation.  There was a little problem though – money.

            Thing 4 wanted to go with me, and there was no way I could afford plane tickets along with a rental car when we got there, assuming there were any left.  I couldn’t even reserve a hotel room.  Everything was booked solid. 

            I begged to borrow a car because it would cost a small fortune in gas to try and get my big white truck to make the trip.  It would have been more comfortable than driving what I called the “skateboard,” but we did it.

            For anyone that hasn’t made a road trip from Georgia to Oklahoma – FLY!!!

            Arkansas is the most miserable place in the States.  You get to drive through miles, and miles, and miles.. of NOTHING.

            We made it though!  We even found a seedy lil’ hotel room that had a room available.  Granted, it had one queen sized bed (aka-mattress on the floor, no bed frame) that I had to share it with my youngest son who is a NIGHTMARE to sleep with (he tosses, turns, kicks.. all night long), I used paper clips to close the bullet holes in the curtains (apparently the window was worth replacing, but not the curtains), and made friends with the lady that was the “manager” by bribing her with cigarettes and “tips” so she would keep an eye on our room.  She even told me the rooms to stay away from.  Remember, this dive was right outside a military base.

            Graduation was a wonderful event.  I could NOT have been prouder!  Post graduation they all got leave and I really didn’t expect it to go the way it did.

            We went out for a nice lunch, then back to our shady room.  My boys played video games against each other all day long.  Fed them again, then back to base went Thing 1.  The next day Thing 1 took his little brother to a movie.  Talk about quality time with Mama…

            It was finally time to come home, and off we went.  Not sure if I’ve mentioned that I’m night blind, but I most certainly am.  Thing 1 talked me into getting “5 Hour Power” on base, and it’s –very- good.  Just couldn’t help my eyesight.

            About 2 o’clock in the morning I knew I had to get off the highway.  Trucks were riding my bumper, blinding me even more, so much so that I couldn’t see the d&%n exits to get off!  When I scare myself it’s really time to stop.

            I finally got off an exit and headed to the nearest hotel.  I could kinda-sorta see now that I didn’t have headlights blinding me.

            Pulled in, grabbed my cooler (I had a couple beers in there) and went in to get a room.  Think about this now.  I walk in with a cooler and a very handsome 12 year old. 

            I got the “pervert” stare, but at least we finally had our own beds!
            - Bess  

TPC Contributing Writer 

A jack of all trades, Ms. Tuggle has been a Covington resident since the late 70’s. She's been a K-Mart cashier, cabinet builder, vet tech, office manager for a beef cattle ranch and water well company (where she was able to hold benefits for D.A.R.E. and Scouts), a court reporter, business manager, assistant at a private investigation firm, legal assistant, convenience store clerk, landscaper and elementary school substitute teacher.  Her greatest pleasure is being a wife, mother and grandmother.  Her stories are all real, and all names will be withheld to protect the innocent, and also maybe the guilty, depending on the crime & the Statute of Limitations.  


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