Drizzle sprinkled the windshield as we drove down some new-to-us roads in our new town. Farms and fields were left and right peppered with Carolina pines and the occasional remnants of old, persistent barns. Small mobile homes and large brick houses, all with well-manicured lawns and straight mailboxes appeared once in a while, and churches stood short and tall while they welcomed and invited.
Fog was lingering all around us as we drove on the flat, smooth roads. Speed limit 55. “This looks like a zombie movie,” Baylee said.
I laughed and agreed. It was beautiful though.
We were on our way to a place called Penderosa Rescue & Sanctuary. It’s a rescue that helps animals, mostly horses. I wanted to meet the owner and see if there were volunteer openings. I also wanted to ask her if I could write her story. Today they had a fall festival with pumpkin carving with goats, and they also had vendors.
I love any event with local vendors where their hard work is displayed proudly for all to see, and where you can buy true handmade items. We parked in the grass then walked into the barn. We could smell the spicy chili cooking and hear the friendly chatter as people strolled though from booth to booth. There were more vendors outside the barn, so we walked in the drizzle and shopped for homemade items such as bowl cozies for the microwave, totes made from plastic, yellow Dollar General bags, crocheted plump bumble bees, and handmade baskets. We did some Christmas shopping while there and met some new people including the owner of the sanctuary and some very friendly vendors.
“You should come to our church,” a nice woman said to us. She was selling her homemade BBQ sauce and jalapeno jelly. She said it tastes good poured over a block of cream cheese and scooped up with crackers. I bought both. We like to mix BBQ sauce with mayo and dip fries in it.
We stayed for a bit, talked with local people, then met a light-colored, or fawn, mini mule mare. Her name is Molly, and she is a new member of the sanctuary. She’s had her vet visit now, and is becoming more comfortable with people, which was evident in how fast she came to greet us on our way out, grabbing large mouthfuls of long grass on her way, forcing her large head side-to-side pulling up the roots, too.
We waved bye to the Miss Molly, drove along more country roads and took more photos. We saw half-trees that weren’t done standing, more churches, a school, and then we found a coffee shop in downtown Wallace called Mo Joe’s Coffee and Cupcakes. We parked on the side of Main Street, admired the old brick architecture of the buildings, and went in.
The rich coffee scent tiptoed to our noses, and the towering chalkboard menu filled with every type of coffee or fancy drink you can imagine stared us down. They used all the chalk colors to decorate and inform. My intention was to check the place out and get Doo a hot chocolate until I saw salted caramel coffee. I’m not a big flavored coffee type of gal, but my gosh it was delicious.
After that, we went to the local Piggly Wiggly. Most people have heard of the grocery store that was founded in 1916 because of living in the South, from movies like Steel Magnolias, and it was even mentioned in That 70’s Show. We went in and got some heavy cream to make caramel for our honeycrisp apples, and Baylee grabbed a Pixie Stick from the candy bin. $5.99 a pound. They also had Mary Janes, Chick-O-Sticks, Sugar Daddies, and jelly nougats. The cashier kidded with us, and we laughed because Baylee’s one Pixie Stick didn’t register on the scale.
“Go get a few more,” I said to him. “Hurry.”
We left the store and made our way home while we quietly sipped on our whipped cream-topped drinks.
“I like it here,” Baylee said.
“Me, too. I really do.”