Monday, June 21, 2010

Neighbors and Nesting

We’ve just completed a forty-eight hour period of neighbors and nesting. Some days are so perfect that it’s hard to find anything to say about them. I know that’s a good problem to have, but it sometimes leads to puerile poems rather than pithy prose.

Jack and I were invited to sign and sell Jack’s book at the neighboring hamlet of Hiawassee, the proceeds of which will benefit their community center. I buzzed around meeting talented area artists while Jack showed off his book and the photos of his home and the wildlife surrounding it. Jack’s snapshots of snakes are always a successful draw.

Deborah and Charlie were there with one of their classic cars. Deborah’s presence led to me getting recruited to help at the barbecue pork plate concession. Jack sold, without my help, enough books to make our trip worthwhile, and I got to meet more very talented neighbors.

Returning home from the festival, Charlie and Deborah jumped into their more modern vehicle and transported me and Richard to a multi-ethnic restaurant on the Ocoee River and then to a community theatre where one of their dear friends was appearing in a musical comedy about relationships and religion in the mountains. As usual, Charlie took us on a tour of all the areas we passed on the way there and back. How he’s amassed so much knowledge of the area is beyond me, but there’s no such thing as a boring trip with Charlie. We arrived home way past my bedtime, so I definitely slept in the next morning.

Nesting in preparation for John and Mary’s visit was the order of the day when we finally rose from our slumber. As Jack says, we know it’s time to clean the house when we have to wipe our feet before going outside. This was one of those times.

Jack had given us all the spent stalks from his rows of broccoli plants. He had never heard of eating the stalks without the florettes, but this is our favorite part of this crucifer. Richard spent the day peeling twenty six gallons (two kitchen garbage bags full) of stalks while I continued to de-bulk the dirt that has accumulated in our house. Thank goodness, Mamie called first thing in the morning to invite us over for supper; this gave me an event to look forward to as I chased down the dust bunnies and corralled the cobwebs.

I made the mistake, about two hours before we were due at Mamie’s, of going outside to empty the vacuum cleaner. A cool, dry breeze was gently blowing, and the dappled sun was dancing through the leaves of the trees. I walked down our front steps to pull just one or two weeds from around our beautifully blooming hydrangea bushes. But the hydrangeas were fainting for a drink of water, so this led to another outdoor task. I had to be outside to continue repositioning the water hose, so how could I possibly return to vacuuming?

The vacuum cleaner still awaits my return, but Mamie was thrilled by a bountiful bouquet of multi-hued hydrangeas gracing her supper buffet.


  1. You write a beautiful poetic Blog.
    Good news about Jack's books and We love Hiwassee. It plays a big part of Bill Bryson's book, 'A walk in the Woods'. He describes Mull's Motel as a sleazy pit stop, we just had to stay and found the most gracious people there. Later met kin (of the owners) as neighbors in Florida.
    I hope you found the vacuum cleaner in place and doing it's job. Watch those junior-senior moments.

  2. Y, you amaze me with your ability to make cleaning the house, sound like fun. I surely must be missing something here at home. I'm not surprised Jack's book is selling so well. He sounds like a swell fella.
    Have a Blessed Week

  3. Ahhh, back to the respite of CC. Feel like a traveler taking a drink of water.