As soon as Nikki’s family drove into our drive, we piled them back into the car for a trip to the Ruritan Building for our First Friday supper where they were introduced to many of our mountain people, including Jack Darnell. They were also able to sample lots of fabulous food, not the least of which was our red beans and rice. As soon as Mary and John headed for Wisconsin the next morning, we took off to Tellico Plains to retrieve our latest find from a vendor at The Barn of Plenty, multi-colored ceramic flower pots for serving “dirt,” Mountaintop Mary’s planned dessert for our Granny Camp cookout.
With only three days of doing, we barely scratched the surface of all the things to do in our neck of the woods, but Corinne did collect some of our local treasures, eggs from Mamie’s hens and gold from Coker Creek. We all ate veggies grown in Mamie’s garden, and Tom came close to catching a fish from the shallows in Tellico River. Nikki spent many an hour in our hammock reading and many more knitting and cross stitching on my favorite place on the couch as we chatted. Richard fulfilled her fantasies of sensational salads and sundaes with real whipped cream. I lost count of how many times she announced that she felt like she was in heaven.
Not only did our guests go home with full tummies and gold dust, they also went away with new knowledge and some of our culinary creations. Bill Schaaf from Bill’s Pit Stop and his twin boys, Billy and Eugene, guided a gold panning tour sharing a lot of local lore along the way. Chef Holly’s husband, Don, drove in from Atlanta to give fly fishing lessons to Richard, Tom and Corinne. Corinne and I enjoyed kitchen time, cooking a little something every day of her stay. We were able to send Nikki’s family home with some of her favorite zucchini muffins, Tom’s favorite roasted pecans, and the family’s favorite lasagna, and some flourless peanut butter and jelly cookies thrown in for good measure.
I’ve been so busy living that I’ve had almost no time for writing. I know that this is not the way a writer is supposed to work; at every writers’ conference I’ve ever attended the speakers admonish us to write for a couple of hours a day if we want to be “real” writers. Maybe only recluses can ever become real writers, and reclusive doesn’t tell the tale of any part of what I’d choose for our lives. I could only hope that my memory wouldn’t fail me before I got to the telling of our tales.
Two and a half weeks of fun and frolic with close friends and relations only whetted my appetite for more. Another niece, Ginette, and her four children are planning to be here for four days, but I have to wait for another week and a half before the next Granny Camp session begins.