Winning in Life 2024 Road Trip

9.1 min read1770 wordsCategories: Road Trip

This post is the continuation of Days 1 through 4, which were blogged on, as the first part of the road trip was related to sweepstakes.

DAY 5 – March 25th

I woke up in Alabama and slept in Texas. I wanted to sleep in, but as I had a nine-hour drive that would take me longer with breaks, so I got on the road as soon as possible and stopped as little as possible.

When I stopped in Louisiana at Love’s for a gas, restroom, and refreshment break, I felt lucky as I passed the lottery machine. As we don’t have lottery machines in Canada, I wasn’t 100% sure how to buy a Mega Millions or Powerball ticket. As I looked over the machine, I spotted a scratcher with a four-leaf clover for $1. I bought that one. I got to my car and realized I needed to scratch it immediately because if I won, I had to claim my prize in the state. Sure enough, I won $20! I went back to the gas station and claimed my win. WOO HOO!

I arrived in Alvarado, Texas, after dinner, too late to visit with Dike and Pheona Hadsell. I chose to stay at the La Quinta, which was only nine minutes away from Helene’s former Delta Sciences Center.

3 MORE STATES TRAVELLED: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

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DAY 6 – March 26th

SECOND ADVENTURE – 3 Days with Dike Hadsell

Dike is an early riser and had errands to run, so I decided to run a few myself. I went to Target in Burleson. As it turns out, it was near Rosa’s Cafe. That is where Helene and I had lunch, and I filmed her contest entry. Of course, Helene won. The second prize was luggage, which she gave to her son Chris.

Once I was done, I headed straight over to see Dike. It was good to see him. I went inside to say hello to Pheona because she wasn’t feeling well (vertigo). I didn’t chat long as she needed her rest.

I popped into Helene’s old home to see if there was anything I missed from the first trip. (Remember that her home was across the courtyard from the center, where Dike and Pheona now live.) I packed up a few more books and all the slides I left in 2022. (READ My Adventures to Helene’s & Back) I had brought a scanner, hoping to digitize some family photos, but with Pheona being under the weather, I didn’t get that opportunity. As I plan to visit again next year, I will try again.

Then, it was time for a late lunch. Dike drove us to Grand Prairie, Texas, to the Asia Times Square mall. We went for Vietnamese food at Bistro B. As it was mid-afternoon, we had the place to ourselves. Delicious.

Afterward, Dike was tired, so I retired to the hotel to sort through what I had brought back, along with setting up for my monthly Sweepstakes Q&A on my Contest Queen YouTube channel.

DAY 7 – March 27th

Dike gets up with the birds, which allows him to start his day with a coffee and his friends at the Whataburger. He asked me to come in and play a trick on his friend Rick. I was so tired I blew it. <Insert face-palm emoji here.> I got an iced tea as they didn’t serve hot tea and listened to Dike’s stories until we returned to his house.

Dike likes to putter around the garden, and he had plans. I don’t think he’s ever been offered help, so he had to think. He started planting the squash when he realized he should mow. He got me to plant the cantaloupe while he mowed some of the grass. After working in the garden, we went out for another late lunch, but this time for Mexican at Taqueria Mexicano Grille Estilo Jalisco in Cleburne, Texas.

When we returned, as Pheona still wasn’t feeling well, I set up my camera outside to interview Dike. That’s when I realized I didn’t have the right microphone. To be sure I got it, I set up my phone beside my camera only to discover the battery had been drained on my gimble. I jimmy-rigged it. I hadn’t planned any questions either. I thought we would chat as we had been doing. What I realized at that moment was I should have been recording our conversations the entire time–during the drives, the meal, etc. I was trying to replicate those great conversations, and it felt flat. WATCH it here, and you be the judge.

I went back to the hotel, had something to eat, and then hosted my monthly Words For Winning livestream. This month’s topic was Helene Hadsell, of course!

DAY 8 – March 28th

THIRD ADVENTURE – Meeting Melissa Waters

The original plan was to spend the weekend with Helene’s granddaughter, Melissa Waters, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. However, plans changed, so I reached out to Mark Mayhew, aka The Miraculist, to see if I could spend time with him and his wife, Rosa, on my way home.

Now that I knew where I was going, I woke up early to have coffee with Dike before I got on the road to meet Melissa. She wasn’t going to be home until the evening, but there was one stop I wanted to make on the way.

I went to Irving, Texas, to revisit the home Helene won. This time, I was bold and rang the bell. No answer. I went to my car, wrote a note, and was headed to put it in the mailbox when I saw a gentleman on the driveway. I called out, and he was the owner. I went over, and we chatted for about 20 minutes. He loved hearing some of the home’s history that he didn’t know. I found out there was virtually no Formica left in the house as there was a fire two years ago, and the home was entirely remodeled.

As we wrapped up, he stated his wife worked from home and was in a meeting. He apologized for not inviting me in. I asked if it was OK if I went to the front and made a few videos. He said I was welcome to. As I was filming, he came out and said her meeting was done. Would I like to see the inside? Would I?! What a beautiful home. Open concept. Light and airy. The only thing left was the fireplace. I promised to stay in touch and send them a set of Helene’s books.

Then, I was back on the road, as Hot Springs was five hours away. However, I did ensure I stopped at In ‘N’ Out Burger for lunch. By early evening, I arrived at Melissa’s, and it was such a joy to meet her in person after chatting on the phone and video calls. Thankfully, there is always time for a cuppa tea, and I dropped off some of the treasures I brought back in 2022, such as Helene’s crystal ball and the blue Buddha, along with some books.

Next year, the Annual National Sweepstakes Convention will be in Little Rock, Arkansas; we will plan better and have the extended visit we missed this year.

When I left, it was dark, and I was tired, so I stopped in Bryant, Arkansas, to get a good night’s sleep, even though it would make for a longer drive to Clarksville the next day.

2 MORE STATES TRAVELLED: Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas

DAY 9 – March 29th

FOURTH ADVENTURE – Hanging out with Mark Mayhew, aka The Miraculist, and his with Rosa

I slept in a bit and got some work done before getting on the road. I also decided to stop at Goodwill in Little Rock and it turned out to be one of the bins-style outlets. I arrived an hour after it opened and it took me awhile to get the hang of it. So much fun and everything was by the pound. I will definitely have to visit again next year, too.

Then, I hit a 30-minute delay due to a traffic accident on my way to Memphis. When we finally passed, a tractor-trailer full of wood had overturned. I discovered the traffic jam the other way over four hours later. It was slow going until I passed Memphis. I arrived in Clarksville, Tennessee, just in time to crash Mark and Rosa’s date night at Korean BBQ.

1 MORE STATES TRAVELLED: Arkansas and Tennessee

DAY 10 – March 30th

Mark works full-time and runs his burgeoning business on the side. I had been driving off and on for ten days, and we were both tired. Mark cooked us a big weekend breakfast, and we just chilled. I had wanted to livestream or film a video, but resting won.

When Rosa went to work, Mark and I did the groceries. Afterward, we enjoyed a lazy afternoon, eating munchies and watching Free Guy. The film has lots of profound teachings if you pay attention.

Afterward, I went into the backyard and filmed some videos. My favorite feature of their home is that it’s so far north in Tennessee that it borders Kentucky. A recent tornado took out part of their fence, so I went back and forth between states. I have no idea why I find it so amusing—I just do.

Then it was off for wood-fired pizza. The timing was good because we finished as Rosa was getting off work, and we met her at Bahama Buck’s for shaved ice.

DAY 11 – March 31st

Another day of sleeping in. I felt so blessed to have friends that let me rest. Mark cooked a big breakfast again, and then we filmed a funny video in which I mimicked him. WATCH IT HERE

Then it was back on the road to get as close as I could to home. I made it to Toledo, Ohio.

2 MORE STATES TRAVELLED: Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio

DAY 12 – April 1st

I took advantage of the quiet early morning, hotel WiFi, and coffee to finish work before heading home. (Filterbuy hired me to promote their Win a Tesla 3 sweepstakes. You can find full details and the entry link on Once on the road, I made one last stop at Goodwill, got gas, and was home by dinner. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed after a great adventure.

1 MORE STATE TRAVELLED: Ohio, Michigan and Ontario

If you missed the first part of the trip, read about my sweepstakes adventures on Contest Queen.

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About the Author: Carolyn Wilman

Carolyn Wilman began her writing journey as the Contest Queen teaching others how to master the art of sweepstaking. As you must believe you are a winner before you are, becoming a re-publisher of out-of-print mindset and metaphysical books and teaching a new generation was a natural next step. Carolyn has republished all of Helene Hadsell’s works, and soon to be released are all of Tag & Judith Powell’s.

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