Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Was Perfect And So Is Home

Oh my. Okay. This is why I go to this party every two years:
It is perfect.

I do believe that this was the best one yet. Ever. The dogwoods and wisteria were in bloom, there were so many people and god knows we are getting old but damn, we gather.
We gather together.
And the food and the music and the moon....
That moon.

Did you see that moon? I sure hope so. Damn I do.

We got in Friday night and Mr. Moon and I checked into our cabin.

Every time I see one of those plaques, I sort of swoon. We walk into the cabin and the smell of the fireplace hits us

and the old pine paneling and well, another tiny home. A baby love nest with a kitchen, a bathroom, a big room, a porch looking out onto the lake which was pretty darn low this year

but the herons flew over it and children and Mr. Moon fished it in the mornings.

So lovely, so peaceful.

We have to make our bed on the floor with the double-bed mattress with the futon mattress at the foot so that Mr. Moon has a place to lay his legs and feet.

It's odd, being married to a man who is so tall. Thank goodness he is not as wide as he is long.

After we checked in, we went on to Gator Bone and hugged up on Lon and Lis and everyone who was already there, settled in to that place like puppies around Mama. Tents and campers and food here and music already happening there and we sort of settled in like mist, like we belonged.
My favorite moment of me-and-Lis happened that night when we went out to her little garden and sat in chairs in the white moonlight and talked and laughed and then all of a sudden, there was Mr. Moon walking towards us.
"How'd you find us?" I asked him.
"I could hear you giggling," he said. and we giggled some more and kissed and oh, it was so good, the silver moonlight pouring down on us, guitars and mandolins and banjos off in the not-too-distance and me knowing I was going to sleep in a nest with my love and be back tomorrow to this place.

All right. There are a million pictures I wish I'd taken and did not and what can I say? Here are the ones I have.

Lis's garden. Don't you just want this gnome so bad you can't stand it?
On Saturday morning after Mr. Moon and I got up and had a leisurely breakfast and coffee at the cabin, we went on to the party.

One of the best parts of the weekend for me was that I got to really spend some time with a man named Harvey who I can't even remember when I met but who is always at the party and we sat in the garden and discussed some things and I'd already cried when the music started happening, the people started showing up. Including Jessie and Vergil who played us some mandolin songs.

Here's Mr. Moon and some other people, sitting in the garden, loving the blue skies, the friends, the music:

Here's Lon and Lis's house from the garden:

And while we're at the house, here's a picture of the living room with another bunch of musicians enjoying each other and the glory of the music:

That's the way it went. Music here, music there, music everywhere.

That's Lis's kitchen where I spent hardly any time at all this year. To the point where I feel guilty. Isn't that like the prettiest little kitchen you ever saw?

A fire pit and oysters, Lon's shop with food laid out on boards that never quit. As soon as one tide of a meal began to ebb, another meal broke waves and every one ate and groaned and ate some more. Oh, it was ridiculous.

Lon and Lis have a stage built out back because they put on house concerts.

I went out searching for Jessie and Vergil at one point and there I f0und them.

Now Jessie grew up listening to the folks at his party play music and here she and her honey are, playing music with them.

(Vergil passed so many tests this weekend. Bless his heart. Not only did everyone approve his goodliness, they also approved his pickin'. At one point, Lon said, "You can tell he was raised by a good tribe. Oh yes. He so obviously was.)

Some of the men of Gator Bone.
T.J., Bob, and Harvey.
Are they not darling?

Erma Pacetti and T. J.
You see how beautiful Erma looks?
Well, that ain't nothing compared to how beautiful she is.

Oh Lord. There is so much more to talk about. Angie and the beautiful stole she crocheted for me. All the incredible people and Lon and Lis who are so beloved that they get old people to drive out and put up tents and bring food and instruments and the hugs. Oh god. The hugs. The food. Garden stuff and fried chicken, bean soup and hummus. My biscuits and pasta casseroles. Enchiladas and cakes and waffles and berry cobblers and well.
You get the idea.

Last night we all trekked down to the lake to watch that crazy moon come up.
First we all sang happy birthday to Bob.

I think he appreciated it. And then he said, "And now, for your enjoyment, we shall make the moon come up."

And there we were, sitting on the dock, or leaning against it, or, as Mr. Moon and Jessie and Vergil were doing, down in the lake fishing or standing with their feet in the sweet holy muck of Gator Bone Lake.

Lis was by my side on one side and there were Lori, the sweetest woman on earth and Tina the midwife who looks like some goddess whom I can hardly keep my hands off of because she is, well, a GODDESS! and we waited for the moon and then, Lauren said, "There it is!"

And up it crept

through the trees on the other side of the lake and then more

and more until finally she was freed from all constraints of tree or water or any earthly boundaries and ascended into free float and we cheered.

It was so hard to leave today.
But it was so nice to come home to my chickens and the air perfumed with the wisteria and now Jessie and Vergil are here and I need to go make the goop for Oysters Gates (richer than Rockefeller) and tomorrow Owen is coming at nine-thirty.


I am home but what a blessing it was, going away. And how grateful I am to Lon and Lis for being the people who are who live where they are to gather us together- this tribe.

Thank-you, darlings.

I can hardly wait for two years from now.

I love you.


  1. Welcome home! I'm so glad it was a good year.

  2. After damn near 14 years of hearing about Gator Bone, I FINALLY got to see some pictures! And now I love it even more but please keep with the tradition and tell me how much food was prepared!

  3. ok. ok. don't know where to begin. you and michelle talk about having some long-lost kinship, but this is beyond.

    so, yes, we must be related by blood. of course we are. but do you know how i left new york and gathered around soul family and howeled at the moon? fires and guitars and drums and banjos and mandolins? do you know that?

    how gorgeous are jesse and her man? how happy are you to have two daughters in love? when is the next gathering? what do i bring other than my children?

    perhaps the mere thought of this communion is what will keep me tethered to the earth for another year...

  4. Damn n shitfire that sounds like an awesome time. Thoughts of the music and food alone are making me swoon.

    I looked at the moon last night and thought of you. I did.


  5. nothing short of swallowing the moon,
    thanks for your radiance.

  6. Wow, what a great time!

    Thanks for taking pix of the moon. I missed it. I meant to peek, I really did... it just didn't happen.

    So glad you had fun. Please do tell more.. .perhaps your party experience can be broken down into a series of posts till you feel sufficiently spent! I never tire of hearing about it.

  7. Ah, sweet. Thanks for sharing. I felt like I was there. Love your pics, esp the moon reveal! I smiled at that. Love your telling. Glad it was perfect and glad you are home.

  8. DTG- You shoudda been there, my son. It was awesome. I love you. I miss you.

    Omgrrrl- Oh honey, I can't even tell you how much food was prepared. It was beyond the telling. But let me say this- the best ribs I ever ate. And my favorite? Harvey's bean soup.

    Adrienne- Darling- nothing would make me happier. On Lis's behalf, I invite you to the next one. Oh yes. And you don't have to bring one thing besides you and your children. You have no idea how welcome you'll be.
    Love and kisses...Me

    A- Exactly.

    Michelle- And I thought of you. Can you come too, next time? Please?

    rebecca- You would love it! Oh darling, you would.

    Ms Fleur- Yes! But so much more is about to happen! Maybe more about the party. Maybe....

    Bethany- Oh honey. Me too. Love you, dear. I do.

  9. It sounds awesome. When I lived in Nashville for so many years, we'd go to these full moon parties out in the country and musicians would gather -- people like John Prine, etc. and they'd just play and we'd drink and the moon would shine. It sounds like your party is with loved ones, though, and that is amazing. Thank you for the moon photos -- weirdly enough, out here in LA it was incredibly cloudy with the threat of rain so no moon :(

  10. Elizabeth- There is magic here in the south. I swear there is. I know there's a lot of weirdness and trouble but dammit, we have some things right. You should have been here. John Prine? Really? Oh my god. And you know what? Some folks did "Hello In There" on the porch of Lon's shop this afternoon and I slid down and sat on the floor and sang too. It was amazing. And that is the song in my head right now and was right there when I read this comment. Love you, darling. I do.

  11. Beautiful place and beautiful people. A divine and magical weekend for sure.

    Thanks for the pictures of the moon. I was so disappointed at not being able to see it; cloudy and rainy here in the Midwest.

  12. I want your life. I WANT YOUR LIFE.

    Yeah the moon, the moon, the moon, the girls saw it first pointing out the back window of the car and yelled "balloon!" which is moon in baby speak.

    Then we saw it rise over water too...

  13. Great to read your report of this Wonderful Weekend. Your moon pictures put anything I was able to capture to shame. Beautiful buttery moon! And a little misshapen like it was here, too. x0 N2

  14. Lord, what a party. What a fabulous party! It all sounds too perfect to be readl, the moon inculded. I saw some pictures of it round the world, and wondered if you'd get any.

    Vergil's beard is excellent.

    and this sentence - It's odd, being married to a man who is so tall. Thank goodness he is not as wide as he is long.

    is completely hilarious :) Does that thought occur to you often?

  15. I don't have anything to say that hasn't been said. That just looked perfect. x (But I wanted to let you know I read, appreciated, ...)

  16. You took some fantastic photos of the moon! What an incredible weekend! So wonderful in every way.
    --Michele R.

  17. so so thrilled for you .
    Welcome back .

  18. Thanks for sharing this magical weekend with us. This is my idea of a perfect party, outdoors, with hugs and music and good food. Thanks also for the pictures of the moon. We were clouded in and I didn't get to see it, except for a hazy moment behind thin clouds between storms. I'm so glad you did not hide in the kitchen, and that you had such a nice time. Welcome back.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us. It looked like a damn fine time to me.

    I love you so.

  20. Dear Mary, the party sounds wonderful. How lovely to have all that music and brilliant company.

    Wasn't that moon something else? xx

  21. It sounds like a great time. Reminds me of Leaf in Asheville, NC.

  22. Oh. I wish I were there! I would love to feel that mud beneath my feet and hear that music through my spine and watch that moon rise over the water with you and your people.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience.

    Sarah xxx


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