We stopped in Newport for boiled peanuts because Jessie cannot pass up the boiled peanuts. She and her daddy...
Her mama has a fondness for them too and let me just say- they were very, very decent boiled peanuts. I remember her grandfather telling me that the best meal in the world was boiled peanuts and a Coors Light, enjoyed while on the way to the beach.
Oh, how I miss that man. So full of joy and life.
He would have loved that drive we took today.
We got to Apalach right in time for lunch and we first drove to a river-side place but then we decided to just go all crazy and eat at a chi-chi place DOWNTOWN (which was a block away) and we went to the Owl Cafe where I have had many beautiful meals with my sweetie. Our server was one I've had before and by the time lunch was over, he was saying, "I love y'all," and he didn't say it like, "I LOVE y'all!" but more tenderly and sweetly like, "I love y'all," and hell yes, he got a great tip. Here's Miss Jessie with her salad of Mediterranean vegetables with grilled shrimp.
I got some sort of grilled grouper sandwich and it was wonderful.
We did a little shopping because you must. We went to two bookstores. The first one we went to is the one that sells new books run by the woman who, when I move to Apalachicola, I hope becomes one of my best friends. Not only does she sell books but she also sells the most beautiful yarns you've ever seen or touched as well as bamboo and wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks. Jessie bought two dark-turquoise skeins of silk and bamboo yarn and I bought a book. There will be a picture later. I told my future-really-good-friend that I'd read a book recently that I thought she'd like and had she read it? Kate Atkinson's Life After Life.
"Yes!" she said. And she'd loved it and she seemed to be very happy that I'd thought of her when I read it.
I can't wait to learn her name.
We went to River Lily, the best shop in the entire South Eastern geographical area. We walked around looking and smelling and touching and testing and Jessie tried on some things and bought a soft cotton robe. She may or may not have bought Kathleen something.
It's the sort of place which inspires you to say, "Just pack it all up and ship it to my house."
You want all of the clothes and the earrings and bracelets and necklaces and the wall hangings and mermaid things and candles and soaps and fragrances and ornaments of birds and fishes and chickens and the cards and the lamps and the bells and the socks and the hats and...oh god. I don't even know.
We also went to the place where they sell the clothes that make me go around saying things like, "I hate Johnny Was. I hate Free People," etc. because everything is so expensive and beautiful and Jessie bought a shirt on the half-price rack and I'm so glad she did. I found some boots that I held up to my face and sniffed like a damn pervert because the leather was so soft and they smelled like heaven and I've looked them up on the internet and I am in serious love.
My heart aches for some of these things. My heart breaks for some of these things.
The web site is www.bedstu.com and if they want to give me something for free I'll gladly be a whore for them. I'll shill until the cows come home.
But of course they won't. Dammit.
Then we went to the bookstore ( a little town with TWO bookstores!) which specializes in Florida history and pre-owned books where the anniversary copy of the The Wrath and the Wind was waiting. And I bought it and I feel so rich. Here are my two books.
We stopped in the new Brewery (BREWERY!) and Jessie bought a growler to take home for Vergil.
This is the place that when Mr. Moon and I first started going to Apalachicola thirty years ago was a real-true fishing-folks' bar and then became a sort of fancy-pants-but-still-friendly-to-all-bar and before all of that, was a bank. And now it's filled with stainless steel and gauges and it truly is amazing and strange to me how much Apalachicola has changed over the years while still managing to retain salt and grits. The bridge over the river still arcs and curves like the back of a dinosaur, the sunlight still diamond dances on the bay, the shrimp boats still tie off at the docks.
On the way home we stopped at one of my favorite places to buy seafood and I was thrilled to find rock shrimp. If you've never eaten a rock shrimp, I feel sorry for you. They are like tiny lobsters with plated shells. They make you work for your bite of sweet meat. You can't hate them for that.
These rock shrimp are especially large and I'm going to have some for my supper tonight. Should I boil them? Steam them? Split their shells, brush them with butter and broil them?
Whatever, they are going to be eaten with Crystal hot sauce and boiled potatoes and a spinach salad.
When Jessie and I pulled into Apalach we were listening to Oyster Radio, 100.5 on your FM dial and Bruce was playing Cover Me which is one of the most intensely sexual songs ever written.
We listened to the whole thing and when it was almost done, Jessie said, "I get Bruce."
It was a a beautiful mommy-daughter bonding moment.
Which was not the first and not the last. God but I love having grown up kids.
Here's an older Bruce doing the song.
I told Jessie the story about how when her daddy and I went to see him in 1984 and he did this song which was one of my favorites off his album Born In The USA, we left our seats and went down as close to the stage as we could get before security approached us and how her daddy kept that guy occupied with bullshit and bluster until Bruce had finished the song.
Dang. I'm hungry. Time to go cook some rock shrimp and boil some potatoes.
Tomorrow: Pedicures and lunch with all the daughters.
Life does not suck.