Teaching Writing

Noticing: 50 Things I Noticed On My Drive To Chick-fil-A

I spend more time (& money) than I should at the local Chick-fil-A, the promised land, so naturally for this assignment a “trip to the grocery store” just was not going to cut it. In order to accurately record my thoughts while driving, I used the recorder on my phone to take note of everything I did and saw on my routine route to Chick-fil-A. Taking time to notice the unique things about my drive from my house to Chick-fil-A that I do not usually stop to recognize was interesting to me. This exercise was fun for me because it helped me get into the mindset of a writer depicting my day. I’ve always wondered how writers can portray scenes with such random detail, but today I realized the aspects that I noticed really make up background of my life.

  1. My habits
  2. Walk out the front door, lock it behind me
  3. Fight a bee to get in my car
  4. Get in my car (Tina to those who know her best)
  5. Turn the car on, radio on, & sunglasses on — head out to town
  6. As I’m on my way out of the neighborhood I hear the faint sounds of the lawnmowers
  7. Notice that my dad cut our grass this morning and it looks really good – my brother usually does this task on Saturday mornings, but he left for college this week & I’m sure my dad is missing him right about now.
  8. There isn’t the smell of ant traps in my car, which is good because I’ve been battling those little monsters lately because they try to escape the rain in my car, but they are gone.
  9. I notice the homes in the neighborhood as I drive by, which used to belong to all of my childhood friends. Many of the families I grew up with have since moved because the parents have become empty-nesters.
  10. All of the garage doors are slightly opened for cats/dogs to come in and out to escape this Georgia heat.
  11. I can see the lake through the trees.
  12. People are fishing.
  13. I pass a neighbor, they wave.
  14. I wave back.
  15. More dads cutting the lawn on the first day without rain in a while.
  16. Grass clippings cover the roads at every turn
  17. There’s another neighbor with an American flag shirt & a weed whacker, he waves too
  18. My cousin is visiting a friend in our neighborhood.
  19. I pass a “for sale” sign in the yard of a house directly across the street from a brand new house. It makes me wonder why people choose to built a house in a neighborhood where so many great houses are for sale.
  20. I think about how buying a house would help a family & be a lot less time consuming instead of building..
  21. Some trees in neighborhood were cut down & you can see directly into someone’s backyard and in their pool
  22. Approach a stop sign.
  23. More dads cutting the grass.
  24. Tow truck comes through the neighborhood toting an old Dodge Power Wagon in a seafoam/minty color that looks newly restored.
  25. I wonder whose house it is going to
  26. Yard maintenance service cutting the grass at the entrance to the neighborhood.
  27. All the stop signs in the neighborhood are white picket stop signs.
  28. I notice all of the stop signs now look worn with chipped paint, but I never have seen that before because I drive by them so quickly now and they were brand new when I was little, so that is how they have always been in my mind.
  29. Approach the 4-way leaving my neighborhood.
  30. I go down Blandenburg Road towards Chick-fil-A.
  31. I pass giant water tanks that I always thought were so cool when I was little and I wanted to sneak in and swim in them (for some reason?).
  32. I pass the house that usually has a ton of cars parked in the yard – it looks almost like a junkyard – today, they have a SUV & an old motor home there this time.
  33. Slow car pulled out in front of me, of course.
  34. I turn on my blinker.
  35. I turn onto Central High Spur, which I found out recently is a road that my dad lobbied to have built in order to reroute big trucks pulling into the plants at Southwire (a local wire production company) away from the local county high school in hopes to have a safer environment for the students.
  36. I never knew that my dad was involved in getting this road built until last week, and I have driven down it my whole life (probably daily because of Chick-fil-A).
  37. I notice the oil spots in the road where the trucks drive all the time.
  38. I notice the bigger oil spots where the trucks are allowed to park for the truckers to rest in the temporary truck parking lane.
  39. Oddly no trucks are parked there today
  40. I pass the Southwire Building Wire plant & Rod Mills.
  41. I see hundreds of spools – I realize that they must use that building still to make the spools because I see brand new ones – I always just passed it and thought it was an old warehouse.
  42. I go over the railroad tracks. I can hear the trains from my house at night as they make their routes and deliveries to Southwire. It’s funny because I don’t think about how much of a “small town” thing that is to have a train run near your house.
  43. I can see through the power lines to another road,
  44. 25mph “school zone” speed limit sign, but it isn’t flashing & I truthfully have never thought about the speed limit there soooo I’ll probably still go 40mph.
  45. I pass the county school.
  46. Some land has been cleared next to Chick-fil-A — I wonder what they’ll build there.
  47. There’s a sign advertising the rodeo in front of Chick-fil-A because there is a rodeo in town tonight – that probably makes me sound like a redneck, but oh well, welcome to Carroll County.
  48. I turn right into Chick-fil-A & notice a cute, little family catching up in the parking lot.
  49. Our Chick-fil-A has been expanded & updated, so now there are two drive-thru lanes & little cow topiaries all over the property. There are also signed with cows on them that say “5 days until you dress like me!” for the cow dress up day coming up soon.
  50. I pull into the drive thru & I order a Kids 6-count nugget meal with a large sweet tea.

And there we have it. All of the minutely wonderful things about my drive to home sweet Chick-fil-A.



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