Have you ever had any weird or strange family traditions and you can’t even exactly remember how they started? We have one involving travel and a big peach. I mean a really big peach. Of ginormous proportions. In fact we call it “BIG PEACH”. See? We’re just so creative like that. OK, OK…I hear you asking “What on earth is a “BIG PEACH”? Well, my friends… THIS is THE big peach:
See? I TOLD you it was big. Now, how did it get to be a tradition in our family and what exactly does that entail? I think it has a lot to do with location and very restless children. First, location. The Big Peach is located just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina border on interstate 85. I’m not sure if it’s considered Cowpens or Gaffney. Yes, you read those town names correctly. There really is a Gaffney and a Cowpens, South Carolina. This “peach” is a huge water tower. It is between the state border and the Prime Outlet Mall is all I know. Yeah, I know a lot of my directions involve outlet malls. I have three girls, remember?
I think this family tradition started as a way to try to save my sanity while traveling. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense in this day and age but hear me out. Since my husband and I moved to Georgia back in 1985 we have been making the trek between Atlanta and Virginia at least twice a year. Sometimes more. It used to take about 11 hours. And before that we lived in New Orleans and it took about 20 hours but the kids were too little then to be a factor in it. Back in the day (when our kids were little) there was no such thing as cell phones or TV’s in vehicles or portable cd’s or dvd players. Heck, there weren’t even CD’s or DVD’s much less a portable player you could take in your car. There weren’t even laptops. Imagine a world like that!
That meant it was left to us and our sorely lacking creativity to keep our kids entertained and our sanity intact in what was our seemingly never ending car trip. We tried books and games and songs (I think we have established in previous posts that I can’t sing) and as they got older word games, I Spy, etc. When they were fairly little the North Carolina/South Carolina border was about the halfway point in our journey. I think it started out with a way to distract them from how far we still had to go. We could make a big deal of the fact that we were “halfway there”.
We would usually start out our journeys when the kids(and parents) were barely awake in the wee early mornings and they would usually quickly fall back asleep but by the time we got to The Big Peach they would be awake again and the “Are we there yets” would start. I would make a BIG production of “The BIG Peach”. I would build it up with “We are almost to the Big Peach!” “We’re only 30 miles from the Big Peach!” 20 miles…. 10 miles….. and so on and so on and then when we finally got close enough we’d make a game of who could spy the big peach first. Then we’d all scream “BIG PEACH!!! BIG PEACH!!!! BIG PEACH!!!” And we’d car dance and blow kisses to the big peach and we knew our laborious journey was halfway over.
This tradition has been so ingrained in our family that our kids can’t believe that other families don’t do that too! In fact, one funny story about the Big Peach. When #1 was in high school, maybe a junior, they were studying “famous landmarks” in class one day and they were all naming famous (well known) landmarks such as Big Ben, The Gateway Arch, Empire State Building and #1 yells out in class “I know, I know… the Big Peach!” **crickets chirping** Everyone turns to look at #1 and she’s still saying “You know? The Big Peach?” **crickets still chirping** And they are all still staring at her, vacant looks on their faces and she was truly perplexed. She didn’t understand why no one else in her class considered The Big Peach a famous landmark and why most of them had never even heard of the Big Peach. Just like most people who are not from Atlanta don’t know what “The Big Chicken” is.
She was still looking around at all the blank stares going “C ‘mon you guys! You know? THE BIG PEACH?” and they are still looking at her like she’s lost her mind. I can’t remember if she tried to explain to them exactly what the Big Peach was or if she just slunk down in her chair and tried not to be noticed but I DO know that later that night she accused me of scarring her for life by making such a production of The Big Peach.
Even now, I will call hubby or one of the girls and say “Guess where I am?” or “Guess what I’m looking at?” and we will start our little song “Big Peach! Big Peach” and make our kissy noises like we’re blowing kisses to the Big Peach. Nowadays, since we have cell phones I’ll usually just take a picture as I drive by and message it to the girls. That way they know where I am and know I’m halfway either on my way there or on my way home and we all know that all is right with the world because WE know the significance of THE BIG PEACH. How about your family? Any weird traditions or landmarks you’d care to share?