Sophie: this look means 'come snuggle me'My friend Tabitha and I took Sophie walking on the Cottonwood Trail in Spartanburg, then took her to Petco and bought her treats. She was tuckered out, and we took her home. Then she and I went home and dropped Sophie off, and we went to Whitewater Falls and hiked. Then we went to Greenville in the evening and walked around downtown and Falls Park.
Actually, I want to start last Tuesday, which was my dog Sophie's birthday! She's seven. It was also my cat, Devlin's, first birthday! And his brothers, Ezra and Corwin, turned six months old!
Saturday April 10
I went to Art-Mart at Hub-Bub and sold my art. I was sooo nervous, but I sold 3 pieces and got lots of positive feedback. :) Afterwards, Grace picked me up and went back to her house and talked for a while, then went and walked on the Cottonwood Trail for half an hour before sunset. Then we ate pizza, and ran some of her errands. We finished off at Barnes and Noble, where my parents met me and I went home.
Some of the art I had for sale at Art-Mart:
Sunday April 11
Tabitha and I met up and went and walked through Hatcher Gardens. Then we decided we still wanted to walk, so we drove over to the Cottonwood Trail.
While we were walking to the trail head from the car, a burgundy pickup truck pulled in and I whispered 'that guy's giving me the willies' to Tabby and she said 'me too'. There was just something creepy. So we waited until I was pretty sure he couldn't see us in his rearview mirrors and ran down the trail and took a couple turns so he couldn't hear us. We ran until we heard his car door shut, and figured he could hear us. We walked in silence a little ways farther, then felt we were far enough away to whisper.
I wasn't sure why I'd gotten the creeps, but Tabitha was more consciously observant. He'd had his turn signal on, but when he saw us, he just went straight and pulled in! I'd felt his stare, but having sunglasses on, wasn't really sure if he was really looking at us. But Tabitha said not only was he, but he locked eyes with Tabby in that really, really creepy way, you know? So we were trying to be sooo quiet so he wouldn't follow us, but then Tabitha's phone rang! So she turned it on silence as fast as she could, but we weren't sure if that had given our direction away. We kept going and then a frog jumped in the water and scared us.
I thought maybe we were being silly, so I motioned for Tabitha's silence, and was completely still and silent and looked and listened for someone to be following us. I figured if I stood there for like 5 minutes and heard nothing, it was probably all in our heads. But after two minutes, I DID hear something. So Tabitha and I took off like a shot down the trail. I got out my phone and called Grace, who lives on the East side, asking her to pick us up where I knew the trail would come out and drive us back to Tabitha's car. I didn't want to have to turn around and face the man! So we got to that opening, and walked as far from the opening as we could get while still being where Grace expects us. There were some boys out walking their dogs, and several houses, and I felt safe. I sat down on the curb, and without the feeling of danger, wondered if it was all in our heads. I tend to be pretty level headed, though Tabby is easily spooked. But I have Jesus, and I'd been praying, and I didn't feel like a fool for the actions we'd taken. Still, at this point, I was thinking it was a 50/50 chance that it was really nothing.
Grace came and picked us up, and we drove to Tabby's car. Up until now, Tabby and I had considered that maybe the guy was as creepy as he seemed, but instead of being after our persons, he was after her car. But the car was fine. Which is good, but made me think he could be on the trail looking for us.
Still, you might think that might make us think that he could have just been pulling in for a walk, like most people who use the Cottonwood trail. But something made us think differently.
See, where we'd parked, the easiest way for anyone to park was just to park how we did. But this man pulled in farther, and turned around so instead of parking in line with us, his car's nose was up against ours. And there was maybe a foot between us. Now, this might make sense if the area was crowded, but there were no other cars around. Not just when we pulled up with Grace, but also when he pulled in.
In other words, the ONLY reason for someone to park that way would be to force the other car--us-- to have to pull around them in order to get out. So he was trying to trap us in, to make it so we couldn't leave without confronting him.
We drove past his car once, and then turned around, so we could peer in and make sure he wasn't hiding in it.
So then Grace idled and we hopped out and hopped into Tabby's car. Until I shut the door, my heart was pounding. Grace pulled out so we could get out, but waited up on the road for us.
After we left, it occurred to me we should have gotten his license plate number, but it was too late and there was NO WAY we were going back.
It was dinner time, but we were too creeped out to eat on the East side so we decided to go eat on the west side. On our way across town, I brought up notifying the police. I couldn't get it out of my head that there were several entrances to the Cottonwood trail and just because there was no one where we were that doesn't mean some other girl might not fall victim to that creep. At this time, I am at least 75% sure that man was up to no good, and Tabitha is even more sure.
Grace was also convinced by the way he was parked.
We didn't want to call 911, because now that we were away safely it wasn't an emergency (but you can bet we had whispered about being prepped to call 911 when we were on the trail, if he'd had even come into view). So we drove to the downtown police department. It was too late for office hours, but we thought we could maybe intercept an officer checking in between patrols or something. Well, instead we found four firemen. But I got out and explained the situation to us, and they took the information about which Cottonwood trail entrance, and what the vehicle looked like (a burgundy Tacoma, late model), and promised to call it into communications, who would presumably send out a patrol car.
We were still pretty shaken when we went to dinner at Ryan's in the Dorman Centre. After that, we went back to Tabitha's house and watched a movie.
Late at night, Tabby goes to drive me home. I totally thought I was over the scare. But when we were walking to her car, a pickup truck pulls into her driveway and my instinct went on instant alert, asking 'is it burgundy??' (it wasn't. It was Tabitha's husband, Jeremy,'s friend who was having car trouble).
Monday April 12
Well, Monday I slept in, but Tabitha ended up calling me and asking me if I wanted to go to a baseball game. Now, I am not a baseball fan, but I'd never been to a game before and figured, why not? So we went to the Greenville Drive game.
Tabby and I at the Drive game. (I'm on the left.)
We went early and went to a bar at the ballpark and hung out for maybe 40 minutes. Then while Jeremy and his friends stayed there, Tabby and I walked from Fluor Field to Falls Park, strolled around the park a little, and then back. That was my first time at Falls Park during the day. Lovely.
We got back before the game started, but after the gates had opened, so we went in. Jeremy didn't meet us for another twenty minutes or so, but then he and his friends did. They'd gotten wandering around tickets (lawn and terrace, I think they call them), but Tabby and I had gotten bleacher seats. I had gotten burnt on Saturday and didn't really want to be in the sun, so I made Tabby wander with me since the bleachers were still in full sun. But when the game started, we sort of settled into the bleachers, though we did get up a lot. I had a hot dog and Tabby and I split some fries for dinner. That was pretty much Monday.
Tuesday April 13
I went to work! I thought I'd pretty much ended my job but my boss had called and asked me to come in and train someone. So I did, then met with her and she told me that sadly, that really was officially it, the job was over. :( But I'd known it was temporary, so that's fine. I really enjoyed it, and my boss says I did a great job and she'd be happy to recommend me, so that's great.
I hung around Converse for a few more hours, then my Mom picked me up.
I thought that was basically the end of the day, as far as being away from home.
But then way late at night, I was on facebook, and Tabitha pops up and says she's been calling and texting and she needs me! Apparently she and Jeremy had a huge fight and she was pretty sure that was it (they've been rocky for a long time). So I say I'm here if you want me, and she comes and gets me and we go out and grab an appetizer at Applebees and talk.
She brings me back around midnight and it was so depressing. I didn't want it to end like that, so I ask her to walk around my yard with me. We end up doing Bollywood moves in the driveway!
Ah, I love friends.
Wednesday April 14
Tabitha and I go walking at a park in Fountain Inn with walking trails, while Jeremy and his friends were playing ball in the ballpark right next to it. Tabby and I walked all the trails, attempted to watch an exercise video on my laptop, but that didn't really work out. So we ended up joining Jeremy and the rest (his friend, brother, and brother's fiancee) playing ball. Tabitha and I sucked! :)
After that, we all went back to Tabby's house and she made spaghetti. After dinner, she and I went walking near her house. Then we looked at photos together and watched King of the Hill.
The conversations that day were depressing. Jeremy and Tabby are in major trouble, and Tabitha's grandmother is in ill health. It really brought everything down and sadly, this time there was no Bollywood workout or country music dance party to cheer us up, so we parted somberly.
Thursday April 15
I woke up with Sophie puking on me.
Well, actually, I woke up to Sophie shuddering, sort of like I might do if my teeth were chattering. It was chilly, so I pulled her under the blanket. After about twenty minutes of me snuggling her half asleep, she still hadn't stopped shaking, even though her ears had gotten toasty. THEN she threw up on my arm.
I got up and cleaned it up, then took her and Radar (my parent's dog) outside. Then I came back in and ended up falling back asleep. When I woke up later, there was two places were some pet had had diarrhea-- probably Sophie, I figured, but could be another one. I took her and Radar outside with a book, and kept them out pretty much all afternoon.
In the evening when we were inside, she had diarrhea again. While I was cleaning it up, I saw some blood. Pretty freaked out, I put her on the deck while I tried to decide how to proceed. I remembered that a dog with an upset tummy should eat canned pumpkin and luckily we had some.
So Thursday was basically take care of my sick baby dog day.
Friday April 16
This is the anniversary of Virginia Tech. My cousin Julie was killed on Virginia Tech. So that kind of casts a pall over the day.
Sophie is feeling better, but not 100%. But she seems to be recovering. :) She didn't have an accident overnight, or inside during the day, though her stools were a little loose outside.
Then I had Bible Study! Yay! Highlight of any week. :) It was really great. Jacob (Grace's husband) taught on grace (the topic, not the woman). I just love my 'Friday family' as I think of them. I could go on about it, but I don't think I should. But it was great!
And that's basically where I am now. I've stayed up late after coming home, but it's really Friday night, not Saturday morning.
Love you, blog world, and God bless you!