Driving Backwards Down the Freeway…and Bionic Bumblebees

Driving Backwards Down the Freeway…and Bionic Bumblebees

It was a ROUGH week and a half but we finally closed on the house! And, all it took was a long trip, a considerable amount of stress, and me needing to drive backwards down the freeway…

First, the good news. We never caught the tummy bug that the grandbabies had. And, they are both feeling sooooo much better. The closing was scheduled for Thursday so we drove the UHaul and the camper to the house that morning (with the sellers’ realtor’s blessing). The house was vacant, thank goodness. We’d been worried the sellers wouldn’t get out in time. However, their adorable (and very old) dog was on the back porch. We all looked at each other. Did the dog come with the house? There was also a small metal can with a lid on the back porch. It was FULL of dog food. I said, “No way! They wouldn’t abandon their dog, would they? How mean!!”

I texted the realtor. He said the sellers were coming to get the dog that afternoon. I pulled a bowl out of the camper, and filled it up with water from the hose. There were no food or water bowls on the deck for the poor doggy. Wow… (And, when they came back later for the dog, they took our bowl with them!!)

While we were unhitching the camper, Mason had to go to the bathroom so I told him to look for an unlocked door. Oddly enough, ALL of the back doors were unlocked. When Mason came out of the bathroom, the seller walked in the front door and he gave her a heart attack. Ha ha ha. She had apparently forgotten one last thing.

We left for the closing, drove down the mountain, and stopped at the gas station by the entrance ramp to I-59. While Brian was pumping gas, I looked up and saw a white SUV driving back BACKWARDS down the freeway. I did a double-take, thinking I was imagining things. I was not.

We got back on the road, went under the overpass, and stopped because a different car was exiting the freeway using the on-ramp. By then, I was starting to think I was experiencing some weird, comical mind-warp event. After that car passed, and as I was turning left onto the on ramp, an 18-wheeler to my right laid on his horn, and waved wildly at us. What the HECK?!?! And, that’s when I saw it. The traffic was stopped dead right in front of me. (We later learned there was a fatality accident on I-24, several miles up the road, and both freeways had been shut down.)

I was nervous but we had to get to the closing on time so I pulled onto the shoulder, put the truck in reverse, threw my arm over the passenger seat, and…drove backwards down (up???) the freeway, all the way back to the entrance ramp. After we exited the entrance, Brian navigated a different route to Chattanooga, bypassing I-59 and I-24 altogether. At one point, we were actually on a one-lane dirt road. But, we got there with time to spare! It was such a lovely, hilly country drive that we’ll take that route when we need to go to Chattanooga from now on.

At the closing, we were given two garage door openers but only one key. We knew there were other keys floating around so, when we got back to the house, my first call was to a locksmith.

I don’t know about your town but, in Florida, it is darned near impossible to get someone to show up at your house (or boat) to make repairs. According to my extremely non-mathematical estimates, 50% of the people you contact online will not call or email you back. If you do get a response, about 50% of those will never show up to do the actual work.

So, over the next two days, we had four different professional services lined up – a cleaner (the house was FILTHY!), the locksmith, painters, and a yard guy…and they ALL showed up!

Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandbabies came for a slumber party one night and we had a wonderful time!

And, that’s when we were introduced to…the bionic bees. Georgia has some GINORMOUS bumble bees! But, that’s not the weird part. They will fly right in front of you, and pause in the air, buzzing loudly, and staring you right in the face! I thought it was just a coincidence but they kept doing it. I even tested them. I stood very still. There were three of them dancing around on the deck. They kept coming up to me, stopping in front of my face, AND STARING AT ME! I can’t recall any other time in my life when I have made eye contact with an insect!

Later, I was sitting in the bedroom with the French doors open leading to the deck. I could hear all the buzzing going on outside. One kept stopping by the door, and looking in. He never came in but he would fly to the door, hover while looking at me, and then fly away. And, then, do it all over again. For hours!

Around dusk, they went back to wherever they live. They were never aggressive. I never felt like I was about to get stung. I couldn’t get a picture. They were very fast and my phone couldn’t focus on them. They seemed about 2 inches long, yellow and black, and very fat. Do any of you know what they are? I have researched it online and I couldn’t figure it out.

On the day we had to leave, it was 37 degrees, and very overcast.

The main photo at the top of this post was our first sunrise in the new house. 🙂

We are back in Florida now, getting ready for a wedding, getting caught up on work, and getting ready to pack the last load. UHaul #2! Uggg!!! 😉


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Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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8 Responses to "Driving Backwards Down the Freeway…and Bionic Bumblebees"

  1. Jon Bordune  April 26, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Angela. Just to be safe, you might want to change the codes on the garage door openers.

    Not just the keypad entry code, but the wireless signal sent by the remotes and received by the main unit that opens the garage door.

    I’m sure there’s a label on the motorized unit with a make and model number. An online search should find directions on changing the coded signals on both the remotes and main unit. Sometimes, it’s as easy as flipping eight tiny switches to the same pattern on the remotes and main unit.

    Universal remote openers are available everywhere to replace broken ones so it’s possible the old owners might still have another remote programmed to open the door.

    Too suspicious? Not for someone used to writing about sneaky characters!

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  April 27, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      GREAT idea, Jon! Thank you soooo much!!!!

      Big hugs!

  2. John E. Rieske (aka Cpn John)  April 25, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Yep, I would say they are Giant Carpenter Bees. They are mostly harmless, so enjoy their company. They are filling the niche that has opened due to the near extinction of the Bumblebees due to bee mites that have also taken a terrible toll on honeybees.
    A whole hive of them kept me company on outside project last summer, and were very docile. Evidently, they concluded I was harmless but kept watch of me, I think they thought I was crazy working under the hot sun for most of the summer.
    I hope they will still be here this summer.

  3. Fred Myers  April 25, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Angela: My long experience with carpenter bees, including coming eyeball to eyeball with them, tells me that’s what they are. This is the time of the year they are most active. They like raw wood in which to make holes. Decks are a favorite target. Although commercial exterminators have a spray to discourage and kill them, I much prefer the alternate and highly effective solution of using one or more carpenter bee traps. You can make them, but ask around because there’s a good chance somebody in that vicinity makes them to sell at farmer markets or local hardware stores.

    Also, best you know that Chattanooga has become a nasty place for heavy traffic and associated jams. So check with the locals about the best ways and times to get where you need to go in the “big city.”

  4. Arlene Baker  April 24, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Welcome to GEORGIA!!!!!!

  5. Lynn Duke  April 23, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Welcome to the south! Yes, those are carpenter bees, and when we first got here, we all ran from them. After a while we figured out that they wanted something. And after observing them, I figured they just were claiming their space. Which of course they are, every spring. They will buzz around with one another, they chase one another in a frenzy. But, the best part of this is that they are wonderful pollinators, they love my sage when it flowers, and seem like they are in some kind of purple haze and just sit there enjoying the day. They are called carpenter bees because, you guessed it, they are carpenters in wood, and make perfectly round holes. I have not researched them, but they appear to be chewing the wood, and if you look carefully you will find tiny pieces of wood nearby. They are incredible creatures indeed. And, yes they do stare at you to intimidate you. But, if you stand your ground, and tell them to buzz off – they will!

  6. pamelaallegretto  April 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Those could be Carpenter Bees. “The hovering action around humans, or even pets, of the male carpenter bee is his effort to flex his muscle and to investigate the dangers of his surroundings.”