Friday, June 21, 2024

Written On Thursday

Yesterday was boating day. Boppy and the Weatherfords arranged for the rental of a big old pontoon boat, aka party boat, on Lake James. It's actually a reservoir and it is deep and it is huge. 
Of course, for someone who wakes up every morning in a state of complete existential angst, the idea of making and packing food to take on a boat, packing all the needed towels, sunscreen, extra clothes, and plenty of drinks for all is absolutely overwhelming. I could have cried at 8:00 a.m. as I stood in the kitchen, clutching my coffee and trying to decide what to wrap sandwiches in because my god, WHAT DO YOU WRAP SANDWICHES IN? and WHAT KIND OF SANDWICHES SHOULD I MAKE? and DO WE HAVE ENOUGH BREAD? and I may have actually teared up a time or two because I am batshit crazy in the mornings and ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you this is true. 
Luckily, Vergil and Jessie were both on top of the situation and Mr. Moon was completely focused on fishing equipment. Things were finally just about ready and the men took the boys on down the road in Vergil's truck and Jessie and I followed a little later in the other car. We had threatened repeatedly to not go to the lake at all but to go get pedicures and massages and go shopping in Asheville but we did not do that because we are women of virtue and responsibility. Instead we stopped at a grocery store for more snacks and drinks and soon met up with the guys who had already taken possession of the boat and we got onboard and away we went. 
It was really beautiful. Lake James is a green lake. Do not ask me why but it is. You can see the color in the picture above. A light emerald and so very different from our Florida lakes. There were no lily-pads or any aquatic plants that I could see, no turtles or cypress trees, no great trees full of egrets and herons, and NO ALLIGATORS! How bizarre. The beaches were made of red clay and there were steep banks leading down to the water. 

It had its own beauty. 

Mr. Moon fished and so did the boys. There was swimming. 

The little guys were fishes in that green, clear, water with its perfect temperature. Not too warm, not too cold. Just refreshing.

The only fish caught were tiny bream, small enough to live in a large aquarium. They were pretty as could be and were let loose to go live with their families again. 

It was all good and the boys filled up with snacks and sandwiches and drank Gator Aid and sparkling water drinks and I read the book that I brought with me. 

Not my usual style but I am enjoying it. A good book to take on a vacation. 

So all was well but by the time the day had crept towards five p.m. I was starting to get anxious. Another example of my weird anxieties- being in a small enclosed space even with people I love with all of my heart and could not be more comfortable with. It wasn't exactly enclosed, but still, one cannot just step off a boat and walk to another room and shut the door. You are there and there you will be until you are back on land. And finally we were and everything was fine. We unloaded the boat and drove back here to the house by the creek and Jessie and Vergil went and got pizza and I made a salad. We ate, cleaned up, and I was in bed by 8:45. I was absolutely ragged out. 

But I woke up this morning in a rather cheerful mood after many good hours of sleep. Vergil had gone back to the mountain to work from his office there and the rest of us went to town to have breakfast, this time to a fancier place than the Waffle House called Open Oven where we've eaten many times and it was delicious. Then on to the little library in Black Mountain which is as sweet a library as you could ask for. 

I actually bought three books for five dollars in their little little bookshop. An Anne Lamott book, an Alexandra Fuller book, and one by Maggie O'Farrell. 

And then we drove up the mountain to visit the Weatherford's summer home, which is the RV parked right next to Vergil's sister's house right down the mountain from his parents' house. His sister and the cousins are actually away for the week but we got to chat with Vergil's brother-in-law who is such a very, very sweet guy. We got to see Sophie and also Mazzie, the dog who belongs to the cousin-family. Mazzie is a darling, a little terrior/perhaps bull dog, who is brave and fierce and chases the bears off the property but loves to be petted and loved on. She and Sophie get along great, just like all the cousins. 

Here's a picture of the boys on the property that Jessie and Vergil own and will be building a house on one day. 

Then back to our sweet house here where we had lunch and Jessie took the boys off for a hike and Glen and I stayed here and lazed about and napped. I have had TWO NAPS since I've been here. Amazing. I've loved them. 
Which reminds me of something Levon said to me when he got back from the drive from the lake. He got out of the truck and said to me, "I just had a HECK of a nap!" 

And tonight we went to a brewery/restaurant on a little river right downtown in Old Fort, the tiny town right down the road. 

Although the picture does not show it, the restaurant is about ten million feet long and was packed with people of all ages and sizes and shapes and some with dogs that growled and barked at everyone and some with dogs that only wagged their tails in friendly communication and many tattoo'ed people and many white people with dreads. I was, once again, completely overcome. But the food was decent and the beer I have just lost my ability to be out in large crowds of people. I cannot handle all of the stimuli. 

But when we left, this was what the sky looked like. 

And this is what the fellas did. 

Then came the very best part of the day. Mr. Moon and I brought those wild boys home and their mama and papa went out to bar hop which in Old Fort (and you know the boys call it Old Fart) is a short hop. 
They were so sweet, those little guys. They brushed their teeth and got in bed and let me read to them and scratch their backs and rub their heads and pull up their covers and kiss them good night and tell them how lucky they are to have such amazing parents. 
That is what my heart had been wanting. 

Tomorrow is our last day. We leave on Saturday. We're going to drive to Athens, spend the night, and get home on Sunday. I can't believe we've been gone a week tomorrow. It has been wonderful and I am so glad we came but I will be so happy to be back in my own world again. It is good for me to push myself past my safe zones. I know it is. But it is not easy. 
And I know that we miss our cats. Lord knows how long Maurice will punish us for leaving her. 
And our garden. I can't wait to see what has happened there in a week and a few days. 

I want to see Owen and Gibson and Maggie and do things with them. It is good to go away, it is good to come home. 
And it will be sweet to be back on the road, even if only for a day and a half with my sweetheart, driving through the backroads of the deep south where there are more mysteries and wonders, rivers and mansions, stories and cotton fields and front porches and little pink houses than you can even imagine. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. 37P—yes it’s good to push past our comfort zones, but so hard to relinquish control in the big wide world, so hard to know we and our beloveds are safe, the breath catches sometimes with dire imaginings. I also understand being overstimulated and one’s social battery running down. But oh the memories you are making. Those will live inside you and make you smile.

  2. What a sweet holiday report which I really enjoyed reading. And a big "Well done!" to you Mary simply for being there and going with the flow in spite of your anxieties. I hope you have a great journey back to Lloyd.

  3. I can't believe it's been a week already! That sounds like a fabulous day even if it did test your limits. As you said, it IS good to push past our safe zones.

  4. Even for me, your week has flown by. I’m so happy to read about your days with your family. It’s a love fest. But I’m really concerned. What DID you wrap the sandwiches in?!?

  5. That sounds like a good day for you all. Me, I'll be glad to get home with you, away from all that water and boats!

  6. every year you dread this week and every year you have the most amazing time. anxiety and all. but yeah, good to go experience another place and good to get back home.

  7. Have you ever thought about ADHD? Just a thought.

    I'm glad you were able to get out of your head and enjoy the day

  8. Sounds like the perfect family vacation with lots of reading and naps to rest up in between activities. Lovely!

  9. I am glad you had such a nice time. It really sounds idyllic. well... exceot for the anxiety

  10. Your week away has flown by. You all have kept busy. The lake, streams and natural landscape is quite beautiful. Family is everything and your holiday together seems perfect and totally enjoyable.

  11. I cannot believe your time almost is up! And you haven't had time for a pedicure. That lake is green, and beautiful. But still a long day on the water.

  12. What a lovely place and what a lovely time. I am glad you were able to push yourself and enjoy the time away.

  13. What a wonderful vacation you're having! But I know what you mean about sometimes just needing to be alone too. Enjoy the rest of your stay and have a safe trip back home!


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