One of our favorite things to do as a family is go for drives.
We love piling in the car, turning up the tunes,
rolling the windows down (if weather permits),
and driving the tree-covered roads here in North Carolina.
Last night at dusk, we spotted a little driveway off an
inconspicuous road covered in vines and trees.
The entrance to the gate was guarded by two giant majestic cement gargoyles.
We pulled over, of course, we pulled over!
Lottie stayed in the car with Mr. Nielson because she was terrified,
but the kids and I walked to the driveway to examine the fantastic creatures.
What was this place? Who lived here? Why was it so overgrown?
So many questions!
And just like in the movies, I lifted up long ivy plants that covered a
name that was etched in the stone gate.
We had discovered a legit secret garden that had been abandoned.
My most cautious and obedient child, Claire, ducked under the gate
and ran along the path.
So the other kids and I timidly ducked under the gate and followed her.
How could we not? The garden was practically begging us to explore her!
Immediately inside the garden, we smelled the most amazing aroma.
It was gardenias, magnolias, wild roses, and pink mimosa all mixed together.
The sun was setting, which meant things started
getting slightly creepy, but we kept getting deeper into the garden.
We discovered other gaudy statures that towered over other overgrown
areas and deserted white-picked fences and monuments
that dotted grassy roads.
It was an incredible place.
Then out of nowhere, we heard what sounded like shovels clanking,
chains dragging, and dogs barking.
The sounds got closer, which was altogether very eerie.
We all screamed and made a mad dash
out of the once-serene overgrown garden.
Now I don't know if we were being chased out, warned, or what-
but I swear dogs were being let off their leashes to
scare and capture intruders (us!).
I yelled to Mr. Nielson, hoping he'd hear my cries as we fled away,
"start the car! We're coming!"
All five of us ran as fast as we could in the tall grass with lightning bugs
buzzing every few seconds around us.
Mr. Nielson had the car on and ready for action.
We jumped in the car, breathless, and Mr. Nielson skidded away.
After a few seconds of catching our breath, we all agreed we'd be back...
on Halloween, for sure.