I’ve written here before about one of my best friends, Hillary. She’s great. She shares her crayons with me and appreciates the fact that I’m a total dorky weirdo. She rocks and so does her family. Unfortunately, a couple of months ago, out of an abundance of caution, her Mom had to quarantine herself right before her birthday. They were all understandably upset about not being able to see each other. That’s when my super friend had the awesome idea to drive to her Mom’s house after she’d gone to bed and cover her yard and porch with birthday decorations to surprise her. It was a fantastic idea! Fortunately for me, she was kind enough to ask if I’d go along for the ride. I made arrangements with The Hubs and eagerly awaited our departure time.
Because it was meant to be a surprise, we had to leave late in the night to make sure her Mom would be asleep. Did I mention that her Mom lives about an hour and a half away? Yep! I was heading on a mini road trip with my bestie to decorate her Mom’s house at 10:30 at night with NO KIDS. I was beside myself with excitement! I even made sure to wear my “Chaos Coordinator” hat as it seemed appropriate. Unfortunately I also decided to wear sandals, but more on that later. My other preparations included putting on stretchy pants and a panty liner (because my kids ruined my body and you never know when you’ll sneeze pee), buying three Red Bull and some candy for the trip, and stealing my husband’s head lamp. She loaded up her car with presents and decorations and picked me up for our wild ride.
During our drive the conversation ebbed and flowed between serious discussion and laughter. It felt so wonderful to spend time with another adult who I’m comfortable with but not married or related to. I’d almost forgotten what that felt like between the demands of work, motherhood, and The Rona. There were a couple of moments of excitement along the journey there as well.
First, we were almost run off the road by two jacked up trucks racing down the road to get to the nearest bar. (Open clearly in violation of COVID rules.) Then she drove me across a pontoon bridge that looked like something straight out of a slasher movie. The whole thing shook as we drove across and I kept waiting for her to tell me about some scorned lover who hung themself from it. It was a one lane bridge that allowed two way traffic and you couldn’t see over it. The full moon made it even scarier.
Next, she drove me past a gorgeous oak tree lined drive. She told me the story of a wedding that was held there. In 1800’s St. Martinville a wealthy man’s daughters were to have a double wedding under the oaks. has it that a man’s daughter was set to be married under the oaks. He was determined that the wedding decorations be unrivaled in their beauty. He had one million spiders put into the trees and they spun webs all through the branches. Then he covered the webs with gold dust. It’s a really sweet story even if you don’t like spiders. You can see the children’s book made about it here.
After that we drove by the town square where you can see the memorial to the Acadians. We didn’t get to go inside (because it was midnight by this point) but we could see some of it with our flashlight. I plan on going back one day when I can see it and take a better look around. You can learn more about it here. She also showed me the tree where the real Evangeline from Longfellow’s Evangeline waited for her love.
It was finally time to decorate her Mom’s house. The Red Bull had 100% kicked in along with the excitement of what we were doing. We pulled up to the house and got to work. Within the first five minutes I realized that sandals were a mistake and that I was not good at sneaking quietly. My feet got wet from the dew on the grass. After I nearly walked through a GIGANTIC spider web I regretted the shoes even more because I just kept thinking about spiders crawling on my feet. It made me super jumpy.
Thank God her Mom slept through all of our giggling and running around. I was sure that I was going to completely blow it. We hung streamers from the trees and put an awesome bee hive that the kids made on the front porch. About this time things started getting a little uncomfortable. You remember that panty liner I put on? Well it’s made by a company called The Honey Pot. It’s an awesome brand and the liners have aloe, lavender, and mint on them. They are the best. At least until you realize that sweating profusely in July Louisiana heat is really bad when combined with moisture activated peppermint. Suddenly my entire crotch was both frozen and on fire at the same time. I finally had to admit to Hillary what was happening and we couldn’t stop laughing.
We were almost finished when my dumb ass decided that jumping the fence to wrap her Mom’s car in crepe paper was a good idea. It seemed like a good idea right up until the point where I was straddling a giant wrought iron fence with spikes on it WAY higher off the ground than I thought I would be. Of course, by that point there was no going back.
Jumping the fence turned out to be worth it. I got the car decorated and somehow managed to get back over the fence without impaling myself. (God looks out for fools right?)
Her Mom was so surprised that she cried. I was so happy to be included on such a special caper. It’s not every day that you can commit vandalism with your friend and spread joy at the same time. It was definitely one of the high points of 2020 for me. I’d even jump that fence again.