A Day in the Mountains

Grandson David had a day off, and son John $pencer and Rose were free. We had a delightful day driving in the mountains, first going through Cherokee and on to Robbinsville. Eating at Lynn’s Place was great. This eatery is like a small diner, one three of us had been to before. One of the wait staff asked where we came from, and when she heard Waynesville, she said they have a customer who comes often. She finds any excuse to be there for a meal.

We drove on a skyline drive, one that I could spell if I could remember how to pronounce it. Surprisingly, there were more leaves on the trees in Tennessee than we have. Most of the leaves were gone near the edge of the road, so we could see the mountains through a filter of bare branches. Sadie seemed content to rest on the seat next to David, which delighted him. She went around the car occasionally, greeting the rest of us. It was fun having her with us.

David expressed interest in seeing Bald River Falls again, the place where he and his mother went swimming one time. No one was interested in touching that cold, cold water! It was fun to watch the falls from the bridge, well away from the spray. Everyone was willing to pose, except for John taking a nap in the car and Sadie trying to smell every inch of the bridge.

Rose shared two pictures I requested – David with Sadie and my son with me.

Sadie Gets in Her Licks

As I put the biscuits in the oven, I asked son John $pencer if Sadie could lick the bowl. He held it for her as she performed her prime job here – pre-washing the dirty dishes and bowls. Sadie is spoiling me by making the kitchen floor look clean all the time.

I apologized to the camera for getting flour on it. It just shrugged and cleaned itself off in my pocket.

Zero Birthdays

Both son John $pencer and friend Rose had birthdays ending in zero while they were traveling out West. We wished them happy birthday via telephone, but we had to celebrate in person when they came back. John prepared his spaghetti sauce, and I used my mother’s Apple Crisp recipe for our homespun celebration. It was wonderful to have them home again for a while.

I told $ the little present for him was a gag gift. It was a set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of owls. I couldn’t tell by his expression if he remembered I gave him the same thing last year. We raised him right, and he said thank you sincerely. I explained that I spotted them in the store, knew he’d like them because he likes owls, and bought them. After I got home, I remembered that was exactly what happened last year – same thought, same store, same time of year, same price. Aauuggghhh! At least my thinking is consistent!

Geography with Logan

It’s easier to keep up with neighbors in warm weather when people sit on their porches or work in their yards. We hadn’t seen neighbor Logan and his parents for a long time, so we got together after school for dessert and a quick visit. We knew they had an appointment and couldn’t stay long. That explains why the exit photo had a deer-in-the-headlights aura.

Shawn said she is going on a mission trip next year, causing John to bring the globe to the table. Logan found the country, and that led to John’s talking about the Gulf stream. That’s the wonderful part about having a living encyclopedia in the room. You get information focused on the present topic. I once likened John to an interactive screen. You press him, and history comes out.

There must be a magnet in that globe. We all find it irresistible once someone begins looking at it. Shawn said geography isn’t taught in school any more. I asked grandson David if he knew where Africa was, and he pointed to it and continued identifying Australia and New Zealand as the globe turned. David was just out of camera range, but he was in on the conversation. I was relieved he had map skills, some of which must have come from early schooling.

Goodbye Season

One of the last pretty trees on our morning walk held onto some of its leaves until I took a picture of it. Autumn did not shine in the mountains this year, probably because we had a dry season when the trees were thirsty. We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway three or four weeks in a row, trying to catch the peak of the season.

On one of our jaunts, John stopped the car beside a little waterfall so that David and I could hear it gurgling. We found the sound both soothing and satisfying. Soon the Parkway will be closed for the season, so we won’t be passing such delights again until spring.

We said goodbye to the best supermarket cashier we’ve ever had. For about five years, Laurie scanned our groceries efficiently while chatting with us. It’s amazing how close you can feel when you have snippets of conversation regularly. She has taken a job where her husband works, and they are looking forward to having lunch together.

We sincerely hope we’ve said goodbye to the yellow jackets in our garden. I was stung two different times, and after each encounter, John sprayed the nest. It was hidden under a patch of Lamb’s Ears. Recently I saw lots of the critters buzzing about some evergreen bushes, so I watched them go in and out of the nest every time I was in that area. Yesterday I found a large hole where the entrance to their nest had been. It was about five inches wide, ten inches long, and at least a foot deep. The camera was in my pocket, so I took a picture of it at dusk. I called John and David to look at the photo on the monitor. They saw it and said, “Let’s go look at it!”

Hole where yellow jackets had been

I had noticed several pieces of comb, something like honeycomb, scattered near the hole. I began to wonder if a bear had dug out the nest. I read on the internet that bears do go for yellow jackets, but they are more likely to eat them in the spring when berries are scarce. The article mentioned that raccoons and skunks prey on yellow jackets at night. They must be the culprits, or heroes, as the case may be. I saw one yellow jacket walking on the comb, and David saw a few others. They will probably be killed in a day or so when our temperatures drop sharply. We will not be sorry to see them go.

Mug Shots

Grandson David and I were chatting with daughter Kate. We pressed the speaker icon so that we could both hear her. She shrieked when we told her she was balanced on the mustard while we were eating.

She laughed when she received the photo that David sent on his phone. She countered with her mug shot that says, “happy fall y’all.” She said she should bring it to North Carolina the next time she comes. I said that she should keep it in New Jersey to let her Southern roots show.

I shared a photo of the mug I was using featuring the Peanuts characters. John and I found it last year and bought it as a remembrance of my mother, a great fan of the comic strip. I’m sure she would have gotten a kick out of it.

Do you have silly conversations like we do?

Best Pun of Year

John came home from choir rehearsal telling about grandson David’s show-stopping pun. Bear in mind that Asheville is noted for people who have a very liberal lifestyle. Choir member Nick saw an equal number of men in the tenor and bass sections. He asked the director, “Would you rather I’d sing tenor or bass. I can do either one.”

David said, “Nick is bi-sectional.”

There was stunned silence for a moment until people realized it was a pun, and then everyone burst out laughing.