When we last left Gladys she and Nancy were at the rental car kiosk exchanging her Sweet Ride for a mini-van. If you don't know what I'm talking about start with: Silver Wings then work your way through the subsequent stories. There are ten of them. Yes ten. Stop complaining I have a lot to say. Now for your reading pleasure ...
Gladys checked Nancy’s car seat it was fastened perfect. She made sure Nancy was strapped in and turned to get into the driver’s seat. She heard a little voice say “Annie can you put dis in dee DBD pwayer? Then can we eat at Quacker Barwell?” Gladys turned and looked at the child who was taking a DVD out of her bag “Nancy, how did you know to bring a DVD?” The little girl opened her big blue eyes and said “I don’t know, I jest did.” Gladys shook her head in disbelief then answered her other question “yes, where is the nearest Quack, um I mean Cracker Barrel?” Nancy put her finger on her temple and said “I dink you can put it in your Bwackberwy and it will tell you.” Gladys looked at her phone then back at Nancy. How did this child know these things? Gladys had barely learned to text message and a three year old was telling her how to use her GPS.
Gladys tried to figure out how to get the location of the restaurant but couldn’t figure it out. “Gib it herah Annie, I do it.” Gladys didn’t hesitate she handed the device to the little girl. The little girl screwed up her face a little and then stuck her tongue between her teeth and went to work. “Herah ya go Annie” she said as she handed the phone back to Gladys. “We go out dat way den over der to de big highway. It is on de way back to my howse” she said pointing toward the exit of the airport. Gladys looked at the tiny screen on the cell phone and read the directions. She was learning not to be amazed at anything this tot could do. She slid the DVD into the slot and pushed play “I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it…” blared through the surround sound speakers as Nancy began to giggle.
“What movie is this” Gladys shouted over the soundtrack. “Ad it Nascar” Nancy responded. Gladys could not see the screen and wasn’t sure what movie that was, so she asked “is it about cars and car racing? Oh is it that one where the cars talk?” Nancy reached up and hit the mute button on the overhead control and very slowly and deliberately said “No Annie, dat is Cahs. Dis is Ad-it-Nascar. Dese aminals escape from de New York Zoo and go to Ad-it-Nascar. It is wheel funny.” Then she reached up turned up the volume and was engrossed in the movie. She knew every line, every song and every scene by heart. Gladys glanced in her rearview mirror and watched the little girl act out the different characters as she drove down the highway looking for the Cracker Barrel.
She saw the sign and said “there it is Nancy, right where you said it was.” Nancy looked up from the movie and said “Oh BOY! I want some macawohnie and teese, some sweattea and some ice cweam.” Gladys laughed and said “that sounds delicious.” They pulled in and parked. Gladys shut off the engine then went around to open the door and get Nancy out of her car seat. Gladys opened the car door and almost knocked Nancy down. “Nancy, how did you get out of your seat” Gladys asked. Nancy just shrugged and grabbed Gladys’ hand “m’on Annie wets go.” They passed by the rows of rocking chairs and giant checker’s games. They walked into the cool interior of the restaurant and were immediately seated. The waitress asked Nancy what she would like and Nancy without the aide of a menu ordered fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans and ice cream for desert. Gladys sat looking at the menu trying to find something that wasn’t fattening, fried or full of bacon. Now if you have never eaten at a Cracker Barrel you should because it is just good country style food. Unfortunately country style food was originally designed to feed people who worked hard in the fields and burned all those calories off plowing and planting and chasing cows. Gladys does not do any of those things. She does not burn off calories. She can gain weight just smelling this food. Gladys ordered some water and salad. Within minutes the food was delivered to the table. Nancy smiled and dug into her cheese smothered pasta. “Yum, Annie dis is good. Want some” she asked as she thrust a fork full of macaroni towards Gladys. “No hon, you go ahead” Gladys replied.
They finished their dinner and headed once again to the Dreary Lane Bed and Breakfast. They arrived just as Pearl was hanging sheets out on the clothes line. “Oh I love the way sheets smell after air drying” Gladys commented. Pearl looked up and said “as opposed to water drying?” This is another reason why Gladys and Pearl had been friends for so long. “Pearl, I’ve been thinking. I have to drive to Nowhereville tomorrow and it’s a long lonely drive. What would you think about Nancy going with me. I promise I will be really careful with her” Gladys half asked half begged. Pearl looked at Gladys then she looked at her little girl sitting in the middle of her clean laundry pulling pillow cases over her head. “Well, I guess that would be alright. She’s a handful Gladys. You might not want all that to have to keep up with” Pearl answered pointing towards the little girl running around the backyard with a pillowcase on her head. Gladys smiled and said “oh I think we’ll get along just fine.”
“Nancy. Nancy come here!” Pearl called. Nancy came running and bumped into a tree, then took the pillowcase from her head and started giggling harder. “I wan into de twee! Watch me Mommie! I kin wun into de twee again.” Pearl reached down and grabbed Nancy “that’s okay. I saw it the first time. Nancy, would you like to go to Nowhereville with Gladys tomorrow?” Nancy looked up at Gladys then turned to her mother and said “Can I weally go? I wanna go wit Annie. I go pack my suitcase wight now.” With that she ran into the house. Pearl looked at Gladys and said “I would check that if I were you. She might pack the bathroom sink and all of Bud’s tools.”
Gladys smiled and said “well I’m sure if she packs them it’s because she needs them. She is the most interesting child I’ve ever seen. She talks all the time, but it’s not just gibberish. She talks and uses the biggest words. I’ve had to pull out my Websters a couple of times to see what she is talking about.” Pearl nodded her head and said “yeah, I know. It’s almost eerie.”
To be continued.