Sunday, August 4, 2019

What I've Been Doing

This is probably the longest I've gone without blogging for years and years. And you know what? The world is still spinning and the toilet still flushes when you push the handle down.
I used to have a teacher in high school (current events?) who always said that. Maybe I should write about him sometime. He was a pretty interesting guy.
Anyway, that is absolutely not what I have on my mind tonight. What I have on my mind is something like this.

That's what we all looked like after our last breakfast all together before Mr. Moon and I hit the road yesterday for home. 
And home is where we are now and although it is quite beautiful here and although my bed is the very best bed in the world and although I am, at heart, glad to be here, I am also missing being with all of those people together in North Carolina. 
It was just an amazing trip and I'm so glad we all made the effort to make it. 
Here's the little Airbnb cabin that Mr. Moon and I stayed in our first three nights in Black Mountain.

It was so darling and so charming and we enjoyed our time there. August spent the night with us one night and we had pizza and he played with his Boppy and had a good shower and went to sleep on his very own fold-up mattress that we hauled all the way from Lloyd right beside us in our little bedroom after he and I read some of his favorite books which we had also brought with us. I know that sounds silly but I think he really enjoyed it all. 

The next day he woke up a little before seven and he and I spent some time outside while the grandfather got a little more sleep. He had some delicious yogurt and we had talks and I showed him some videos of the Rolling Stones. It's time for his education to begin. 

One morning, maybe the morning that August spent the night, we went to a cute little breakfast place called The Twisted Biscuit where the focus was on biscuits and fried chicken offered in different variations. Jessie sort of forced me to choose one of those options instead of eggs and because she's the boss of me I got the fried chicken and a biscuit with arugula, fried green tomatoes and honey mustard. 
It was good. 
While we were waiting, Levon got some milk. 

He still loves his milk and as the weekly that Jessie is reading says, "Breast is best."

We went over to Camp Rockmont which Vergil's mama's husband is a part owner of and where Jessie and Vergil got married. Boppy and August went fishing. 

And look what August pulled in! A big bass! Strangely enough, this was the same exact spot where Owen caught his first fish when we were all up there for the wedding. 
And yes, the bass was released to grow and thrive and perhaps be caught again some day if he hasn't learned his lesson about bait and hooks. 
The boys did some splashing about in the water and played in the little creek. 

One night we were invited up to Vergil's mother's house for supper and that was beautiful. Her house is amazing and she built it herself. The views out of her windows are unbelievable and it's right beside a rushing creek and a little below it on the mountain is her garden which puts mine to such shame. She's fed her family out of that garden for decades and she is a master. We ate squash and green beans and the best tomatoes I've ever had that night. And then Vergil's sister and brother-in-law walked up from their house with their three kids and chaos did ensue and ice cream was eaten and it was beautiful, watching those cousins all play together. 

I am not telling this in any sort of order. I'm sure that if I really tried, I could remember things more chronologically but I'm not really in the mood for that sort of thing. I'm just going to sort of go with the mind-flow here. 

On Thursday morning we packed up our belongings from the little cabin and had breakfast and did some grocery shopping and then drove up the mountain to where we would be staying with Lily and Jason and their family. The house we were so incredibly fortunate to make our home for a few days was actually built by Vergil's grandfather and it now belongs to the YMCA camp but there is some sort of arrangement whereby the Weatherford family can stay there at certain times. It truly is one of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen and it is built all of local wood and rocks taken from nearby creeks and rivers. 

That's the back part of the house and the front is facing an incredible view. There's a patio/balcony where we all did a lot of hanging out watching the changing clouds, the shadows, the light, the ridges and hills. 

It was unbelievably beautiful. 
The Hartmanns found their way up the mountain and let me stop a moment to describe the road up to the Weatherford properties. As I told Lily, you don't really need a Sherpa but you sort of need a Sherpa. As a life-long flatlander, I can not imagine driving this one-lane gravel road with deathly drop-offs a few feet from the edge to get to town. I would simply never leave. I probably could drive the road if someone's life depended on it but otherwise- nope. Vergil's people are a completely different breed of human beings. That's all there is to it. They walk up and down that mountain, they bike up and down that mountain. They drive up and down it in snow and in ice. 
They are super beings in my opinion. 
But Jason made it and we were waiting for them and showed them the house and where their rooms were and the children immediately went exploring and opened all of the closets and found the games (there is no TV) and before we knew it, Jenga was being played on that balcony. Lots and lots of Jenga was played. 

I made chicken and dumplings that night and when Vergil came in from work he told me that it was so good to walk into his grandmother's house to smell that delicious southern cooking smell and nothing could have made me happier. Vergil loved his grandma and spent a lot of time with her in that house and I think it feel very good to him to have it filled with children and laughter and cooking and eating and living again. 

And I told him how honored I felt to be able to stay there, to cook in his grandmother's kitchen. 

It's amazing how much the kids appreciated the house. They all loved it, even with the lack of TV. Owen especially loved it. Being there with my kids and my grandkids in a situation where we were all just having fun and enjoying being together was incredibly special to me. I can't even begin to tell you how precious it was. 

On Friday we all went to a small waterfall about an hour away. Pictures from there:

What fun! There was rock climbing and swimming in the cold river and Owen learned to skip stones and the Hartmanns got behind the waterfall and Owen and Jason and Gibson let the waterfall take them into the river even though it was really scary. 
I am proud of them. 

So it was like that. 

There's so much more to tell but mostly what I want to say is that it was simply a most wonderful and splendid vacation and Jessie and Vergil were the best hosts and took care of everything. 
And oh! We did see a bear. It was a cub hanging out in the amphitheater of the YMCA camp. 

Can you see him? 

A few more pictures. 

Flowers my grandchildren picked for me on a walk. 

And now Lily and Jason and their kids are in Atlanta to visit the aquarium there and enjoy the big city for a day and Jessie and Vergil are probably glad to be back on their own even though I know they enjoyed having us there. 

All of my chickens are still alive and Jack tried to sleep on both Glen and me last night and Maurice showed up this morning and I think they are glad we're back. My porch spider is still hanging in her web, fine and fancy, and the garden is almost done but I did pick a few things today. 

You can't beat those rattlesnake beans for longevity. 

Almost the last of the tomatoes. 
And dammit. 

And today has been filled with laundry and unpacking and watering and filling chicken feeders and sweeping and ironing. 

Once again, I went away and I came back and it was good. 
I am not quite sure how I'll manage one more month without August and Levon. But I suppose I will. 
Here are some of my best memories of this trip:
When I was making the chicken and dumplings, Maggie came into the kitchen and she said, "Mer, you are my very best friend forever and ever." 
That girl. There is no one like her. And let me also say here that she is quite agile and can fit her body into a china cabinet. Specifically, that one in the corner in the picture of us at the table. 
Another one was when August saw me kissing his grandfather and said, "Mer, can you kiss me too?"
My heart. 
Getting to spend time with Owen. He was the most helpful, loving boy and when he was helping me to pack and make the bed I got to tell him how much I not only loved him but liked him. How much I respect the person he is and how much I enjoy being with him. That even if he wasn't my grandson, I would want to hang out with him. 
He didn't say much, but I know he heard me. 
And the last was when we were going around the table the last night we were all together telling what we were most thankful for. We even asked Levon who was sitting in the chair next to me. That little boy looked a bit bewildered and then he got a smile on his face and said, "Boppy."

There was more. So much more. But that will do for now. 

Love from Lloyd...Ms. Moon


  1. My heart! Thank you for sharing all of this sweetness.

  2. Pretty close to perfect, isn't it. Oh, wait. It was perfect. I went back to the picture of the sisters several times, just to enjoy the happiness. Thanks for making our evening so pleasant.

  3. Oh, this made me cry tonight. Such joy.

  4. Oh, how wonderful it all sounds! I got teary eyed myself! To spend days with the babies and grandbabies with that wonderful view seems like heaven! What a compliment that Vergil gave you about the smells of your chicken and dumplings! I loved living vicariously through you today, as my lows seem to be getting lower. My bed has become my bestest friend.

  5. Simply wonderful. Thanks for sharing these lovely memories and allowing us to use your blog like a window upon your special family times in North Carolina.

  6. So many great memories to savor. Happy you had such a delicious time.

  7. isn't that just the cutest little cabin! and what a gorgeous place. and what Joanne said, just about perfect, no just about about it. perfect.

  8. That sounds like a terrific trip -- fulfilling in so many ways. I love the cabin you rented! And that picture of Gibson standing on the tree stump is priceless. And the one of Jessie with "Breast is Best" -- you couldn't have planned a better shot! I'm sure it's bittersweet to be home.

  9. You have a lovely family! And do you know, I think August looks like his Boppy. There's a strong resemblance there.

  10. This fills my heart to overflowing. Everybody together all wrapped in love. Such perfection. Every single photo here is pure joy.

  11. as everyone has said........this post brought tears to my eyes.....more than once! Such beauty, such love, such history............ how wonderful that you had this special time. And........still.....there is no place like home, and glad you are safely there
    Susan M

  12. Wow, what a wonderful time you had with your family. You are truly blessed!


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