Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Day in Atlanta

One of the things that I've noticed about the grandkids I'm raising rather than my oldest daughter's kids is that mine are not apprehensive about new things.  I realized last night in the middle of their first flight, that when the pilot said we may be experiencing turbulence the kids were not panicking.  Not one time during the flight, not take off, landing, bumpy turbulence, or watching lightening in the distance did they utter one bit of apprehensiveness.  Not one I'm nervous or scared.  I got "I'm excited" and "I can't wait to be above the clouds" and "cars look like ants".   Why is their reaction so different than my other grandkids?  They follow my lead.  It's that simple. 


Oldest daughter was on a plane once when she was younger and I put her and daughter #2 on an hour flight to visit their grandmother.  They liked the flight but that was her only time flying.  I like to drive and I thought nothing of packing up the kids and driving for 10-15 hours to visit friends or relatives as a vacation.  Oldest daughter's husband has never been on a plane and has announced that he will never go on a plane.  Oldest daughter, following her husbands lead, has said she will never go on a plane again.  All four of their kids have expressed fears of flying.  It certainly doesn't make me want to take any on a trip! 


The two grandkids that I have have never heard me say that it's scary.  I did tell them the story about the TWA plane that great grandpa was on that crashed in Missouri.  Obviously this was a long time ago since it was TWA.  The plane broke into three pieces.  Great grandpa walked away without a scratch. 


Once we got into Atlanta I got a rental car- something non-descript and got out of the city for the night.  But this morning we headed back into the city.  When I travel I like to do things that are unique to that area and also teach us something.  We went to the state capitol, where Governor Deal's wife had a nice chat with the kids about school since she used to be a teacher.  Then we went to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site on Auburn Ave.  It was really interesting because the children had no clue about racism, segregation, or any such unkind ways.  I had to explain things in a very simple manner since they just couldn't fathom these concepts.  The little country school that they go to has Caucasian, African-American, Hispanics, Hmong, and other nationalities and races.  There are also rich and poor.  A parent or grandparent has no idea what race or wealth any of the kids are until they meet them and stop by their homes.  Of course, there was the one time the kids came home and told me how to say "you are an ugly stupid idiot" in Vietnamese.  After that we went to the Carter Presidential Library.  As far as I'm concerned, the children need to be taught to respect the president...after all the country did elect the person, whether I voted for that person or not.  And if you look hard enough you can find some great accomplishments by each either during their presidency or after.  For example, the Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel was a definite highlight of President Carter's career.  So are the campaigns to eradicate the Guinea worm and trachoma prevention! 


Then we got out of the city.  There's no way at night I would want to be anywhere in the areas we were at during the day.  Carefully planning our route didn't help since I missed some turns and ended up in some really bad areas (or perhaps they weren't the REALLY BAD areas, I don't really have any idea).  Windows locked, knife handy, drive without offending, not looking like wealthy tourists.  Oh yeah, we aren't wealthy, just tourists.  


One of the things that I noticed while driving is that you can't see past the trees on both sides of the freeway.  Every once in a while I can see through the gaps and there is a lot of civilization but it's very deceptive while driving through.  I was thinking that it would be a terrible place to be caught during a SHTF situation.  I wouldn't want to travel that road because you can't see anything.  It's pretty dangerous if you are on the defensive side rather than the offensive side of things.  Also, I'm much more used to the openness of farmland, which does put offensive and defensive on a more level playing field.  There is a lot of water though.  I was researching that during the terrible drought a couple years ago Atlanta still received 30 inches of rain.  And they called that a drought!  Where I live we average 11.  This year we got 18!  There is definitely a water management issue if people can't manage with 30 inches of rain. 


We are in a much smaller town for the night and plan on touring some battlefields and just looking at the scenery.  Boy wants to go to the towing museum.  Perhaps... 


After hearing about the riots in England I know that those types of behaviors can break out anywhere.  It may have started as a protest of the death of someone by the authorities but it's not about that anymore.  It's a time to steal and destroy from those who have by those who don't have.  It's the mentality that they shouldn't have to work for what they have but that if someone else has it then they deserve it more.  Riots like that can happen at any time in any place.  So even though we are "on vacation" my need to keep alert can never be. 



  1. Atlanta is a different place for someone from the Central Valley. We did like you, flew in and drove out. We did go back to see a Braves game.

    If you are in Columbus to the south there is a nice Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning.

    Enjoy the new sights.

  2. Son was infantry. We were there a dozen years ago. Wow, it has been a while.