Friday, May 25, 2012

We Are Home And The Chickens Are Alive

Can I just say that the dirt at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park (they just couldn't come up with a long-enough name, obviously) is blacker than the dirt in Lloyd and I did not think that was possible.
My feet are, well, black.

It was fine. The Cicada Ladies were a treat. They're so darn cute. Plus, they can really play and sing. It's so cool to walk around with my fine, tall daughter and have people stop her and say, "Y'all were great! When are you playing again?"
And so forth.

So we watched them play and it was hot. Everywhere I went I heard people say, "Why do they have this festival when it's so damn hot? We should get up a petition to have it in the fall."
Well, they should. And yes, there were some actual real bathrooms that were tiled and had air conditioning. Awesome! I used one Porta Potty and it was disgusting as it always is.

Thank god I'm not camping there. That's all I can say. It wasn't unbearable because every now and then a nice wind would come along and there are lots and lots of trees. But still. It was hot. And I have spent  nights sweating in a tent and sobbing silently into my pillow. Oh yes, I have. And I am not much interested in doing it again.

Jessie and her daddy and I walked around after they played at three and I even bought a silver chain for my silver things I like to have hanging around my neck. A silver heart locket that May gave me, a tiny framed picture of me and Owen when he was a baby, and a little Virgin of Guadalupe that I got in Mexico once. It's a nice chain made with links like a chain should be made. It didn't cost much, either. And I got a little giftie for May, too, since it's her birthday time and all of that. Mr. Moon and Jessie got ice cream and I got iced coffee, none of that fancy bullshit milkshake stuff either, just iced coffee. Thank-you. And before we left we got an excellent dinner. Two baked-chicken and rice meals with collards and field peas AND cornbread. The ladies from the New Jerusalem Baptist Church made the food and sold it to us. Jessie and I split mine and it was so good and I'm so glad she split it with me because I was as full as I could be when I was done. Six bucks a meal. That's a good deal, y'all. Sweet tea or lemonade a dollar more.

I should have taken a picture but I didn't.

We ran into the woman who midwifed me with both Jessie and Lily. She's a musician too. Of course. It sure was good to see her. She'll probably pick with Jessie some in the campground tonight. She plays bass and has a deep, woman voice, true and strong. I have known her for thirty-eight years and she looks EXACTLY the same. How is this even possible?

So it was good. But boy, was I ready to come home. I don't know how in the whole world I can feel so out of place in a down-home, dirty foot situation like that one was, but leave it to me- I can accomplish it. As I texted Hank, it should have been called the White People Folk Festival. Okay, I'm white but still. And folk music. Jesus. You were born in a coal mine and you don't like working underground?
Yeah. Maybe.
Forgive me. I'm sorry. It's just...well. It gets repetitive.
Of course all the music wasn't like that. Not by a long shot. But a lot of it was.
And as I also texted Hank, I was not the only old woman wearing braids. Yes. I am an old hippie. I know it. Damn. At least I wasn't wearing some damn funky lace-up shoes with socks with my skirt. Of course, if I had been, my feet wouldn't be this dirty. But they sure would have been hot. How in HELL can you wear socks in ninety-plus degree weather? And why? Good Lord. That's why they make sandals. And do not even talk to me about wearing socks with sandals in the summer. Nope. Don't.

Anyway, I'm home and there is no bra in sight. My cleavage is resting. My soul is at peace.

Shit. I forgot to buy a Cicada Ladies coozie. And I didn't learn how to weave a basket (which honestly, is something I really wish I knew how to do and I'm not kidding you) any of that other stuff that people were demonstrating. I don't know. Contra dance. Make cane syrup. Grind corn into meal and grits. I really should know how to do those last two things.

Maybe next year.

But I will not be camping. No sir, not for me.
Can you imagine going to bed with feet completely black with dirt? Yeah, I've done it before and no, I do not care to do it again any time soon. Of course, there are showers in the camp ground but by the time you'd walked the distance back to your tent, your feet would be filthy again. Unless you wore socks.

Forget it. I'm going to go take a shower.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I decided that I was going to accumulate a library of 'how to make stuff when the industrial revolution collapses' in my early 20s and did in fact accumulate books on the subject. But then it didn't happen and the books have sort of been distributed.

    The other thing is that when I was doing the river guide thing, one of the things I always took with me was a container of clean water and a wash cloth and when I went to bed in camp the last thing I did was wash my feet. Made all the difference.

  2. My kids came in from a grimy day of bike riding and running amok (the schools are out already)and the boy immediately jumped in the shower while the girls let their sweaty hair dry into stiff strands and their blackened feet were a sight. Then they asked, "Do we really have to take showers?" Kids and the non OCD among us are made for the outdoors but I'mma have some clean feet before I crawl between my sheets!

  3. I hear you. I wish I liked camping, but I don't. In fact, last time I camped in a tent with my boys was on Catalina Island, and I woke up in the morning and nearly started crying I was that miserable.

    I sure wish that I could hear Jessie play.

  4. Sounds like a lovely evening Ms. Moon, and I am so jealous of your weather as we had rain and it barely made it into the 60s. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. I like to camp. I do not like to camp in the summer. That is for fools and skinny people.

  6. DTG, truer words never spoke.

    Ms. Moon, I know how to make baskets and I can teach you! I first learned a certain type in elementary school (I grew up in an Indian village - and those Alaskan natives can MAKE SOME BASKETS) and then a couple other types as an adult. My favorite type is the pine needle baskets.

    Or, we can just sit on your porch and watch your chickens while pretending to make baskets.

  7. The only time I "camped" was sleeping on cement outside UCSD to get into the dorm I wanted to get into and then in Yosemite on a porch for 2 hours. In Yosemite bats were circling the lights and that was the end of that for me...

    It sounds like you had a fine time and I'm so glad Jessie did well. I am sure you have that motherly pride.

    And I'm glad those chicks were still alive when you got home!

  8. Aw, we get pretty black footed round here, and too often go to bed dirty :)

    Sobbing into your pillow in a tent in the heat sounds like a circle of hell, alright. Best avoided!

  9. Friday night I went to an 'art walk' with some of my daughters and their children. i wore sandles with my skirt and wished i'd worn my walking shoes because my knees hurt if i walk much without my walking shoes. we walked past port-a-poties but managed to not use them. the art wasn't set up so that was pretty much a wash. I knew how to make pine needle baskets once but haven't in 40 years. glad you didn't have to camp.

  10. I like to camp on the beach with the kids when they are surfing. The sand leaves your feet clean and of course the ocean which over here is always freezing cold but yep I need a tent but a sleeping bag in the sand is pure heaven to me. And the kids surf all year round except December and January when the sharks get misdirected for some reason and think they're in a warm place. Even then they drive there and pine away with their noisy cars and PBR.


    ps. The WVs are all new this morning. Punctuation and words that might or might not be words like unreared (which is below.)

  11. Ellen Abbott- You are brilliant!

    Dayna- Kids are like Honey Badger. They don't give a shit.

    Elizabeth- I think I would like to camp if I had some sort of Arabian Nights situation going with a tent like a castle and pillows and oh, yeah, an AC. And running water. And candles everywhere. And tapestries and billowing curtains. And so forth.

    Mr. Shife- We're already sweating balls. Sorry for the crudeness but it's true.

    DTG- And crazy people. Don't forget the crazies.
    And people who drink so much they could pass out in the campfire and not even know it.

    NOLA- I need to make a pine needle basket. Yes. I do.

    Anonymous Jo- It's not the nature that bothers me so much, although the mosquitoes can drive me out of my mind. It's the damn heat.

    Jo- I was a child and yet, I will never forget it.

    Kristin- I would DIE if my knees required walking shoes. I think I was constructed to walk barefoot to tell you the truth.

    Madame King- Your beach must be so different from our beach where, if you slept in a sleeping bag on the sand, you would wake up dead from mosquito, horsefly, and no-see-um bites. Also, the ghost crabs would nibble you all night long. I would sleep on your beach. Gladly.

  12. I walk barefoot in the house and when i lived in the country. years ago i neglected achilles tendonitis and kept walking for years with it. now it's chronic. that messed up my feet and eventually messed up my knee. take care of your feet. if i could rewind, i would. now i just wear good shoes when i am going to walk and walk.

  13. Kristin- Nope. I think my feet were designed for barefoot. I have been barefoot most of my life and my feet are good. They don't LOOK good, but they are. I have very high arches. Weirdly high. Also my knees are fine. I am lucky that way. But when I take my "walks" I do wear shoes. Mostly for protection.

  14. I didn't mean you should wear shoes! I like barefoot myself. i just wish when I'd felt some discomfort i'd found out what was wrong and iced my feet a few days and they'd probably be fine now. it didn't have anything to do with being barefoot. it was walking around on asphalt with bad shoes or something. my arches are good too.

  15. I like camping, but not with a bunch of other people. Every year we talk about going to Leaf but decide not to because of two many people.

  16. I Love camping, but I'm in the category of "the crazees" for sure.
    I get what you're saying on the folk music thing, that made me laugh . . . And socks and sandals! lots of them here in GB, shudder.


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