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Continued from last week...


Deb and Roland went to work Monday, and Genie and I drove 303 miles to the outer banks of North Carolina. The natives refer to it as OBX—we now have OBX on the back of our HHR car.

We pulled into a small NC town for lunch. A sign on the restaurant door read, “Turn your electronic devices off: Talk to the people you are with.”

Going back to the freeway, a Baptist church sign read: “Need faith, apply within.”

On the way to the OBX we saw a directional sign to Crabtree Hollow (pronounced “holler”). We were curious, so we drove in. They had an electronic device for anyone currently or maiden-named Crabtree to register. We checked, but no Chuck or Cindy Crabtree of Ellendale area had registered. I talked to one of the Crabtree Hollow natives who told me the electronic registering was the main attraction bringing people there (you could update the registration any time—thus repeat business to Crabtree Hollow). How about the same idea for anybody with the last name Dale to pull off I-35 into Ellendale?

We checked into the Comfort Inn at Nags Head, NC, outer banks. What a room; seventh floor with a balcony looking out at the Atlantic Ocean for a three-night stay.

Warren, the head maintenance man, gave us a warm Southern welcome (we know him from going there over the last 20 years). He confessed he was back to smoking as the last time we saw him, he was recovering from a heart bypass and no smokes allowed. (We even heard his doctor shouting from the seventh floor to put the cigarette out.)

The first day we rode the ferry to Ocracoke Island and back, which took most of the day. While eating the evening meal at Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar Restaurant in Ocracoke, six people sat at a huge round table next to us. They told us when they were done eating we could dance on the top of their table if we signed a disclaimer form from Howard’s Bar. They were from Cary, NC, and Marie did most of the talking. I thanked them for the offer, but we had to catch the ferry to get back to Nags Head. As we left I knighted each one and made them honorary members of the Minnesota S.O.S. (Scandinavian over Seventy) Club. As Genie and I left we agreed the Wild West was tame in comparison to the six over-70 seniors from Cary.

The other two days were spent sightseeing and enjoying the ocean.

Back to Winston-Salem for a long weekend with Deb and Roland. They took us to the Mast General Store in downtown Winston-Salem. What a place, occupying two floors in a huge building. We were there on “employee for a day,” which meant you got a 25% employee discount. The place was so big you could have the entire NRHEG school district population (2,500) at the same time leisurely shopping. The greeter, Kimberly, at the entrance gave me the above info. She is expecting a pay raise when her manager Zach gets a copy of this column.

Deb and Roland took us to the biggest golf course I’ve ever seen: two 18 holes plus a par-three 18-hole, all in one setting.

Monday morning, Deb and Roland go to work and we head for home after thanking the two husband and wife teams for the great service at the Sleep Inn Motel in Winston-Salem. 

As we stop in Cincinnati at Roger and Linda Worrell’s home, a man comes out of their house. I ask if he is visiting. He shoots a funny look at me and says, “I live here.” Roger and Linda, we need your new address.

We stop at McDonald’s in Center Point, IA with sand for Sandy. We clean up the gravesite and leave flowers for Genie’s grandparents at the cemetery in Waterloo. Finally, 325 Burr Oak Drive, Albert Lea, MN is a welcome sight after 15 days on the road.

P.S. I busted off two lower front teeth in North Carolina. Net result, two teeth cost more than 15 days on the road.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.


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