The last few days of daughter Lise’s visit flew by, and my memories became jumbled. The photo file was my go-to memory bank. When son John $ spent a day with us, we went to the Haywood Smokehouse for barbecue. That’s a favorite place for all of us. Lise’s request was for BBQ as often as we could stand it. Despite two Thanksgiving dinners, we managed to have this Southern specialty four times.
Lise had seen the closeup photos of elk at Cataloochee that we took a few weeks ago. She knew we weren’t likely to see that display again, but it was worth trying. We saw a buck lying down, breathing heavily. Further on was a peaceful scene of grazing elk – one buck and a group of females. As humans are wont to do, we made up a story to fit what we saw. We imagined the two males had faced off to duel with their antlers, and the winded stag was the loser.
Prettier than the elk was the stream running through the high valley. I’m a sucker for streams!
The road to Cataloochee was one of the original bladder-bustin’ drives our son took us on when we visited him before moving here. The narrow gravel road wound up and over a mountain, constantly twisting and turning. There was an observation area beside the road that we climbed up to see the mountain vista. On the way back, we spotted it high above us.
Close to home I took a picture as we were descending the mountain. A small ribbon below was I-40.
Another day we picked up a package, making a day of it. Lise ordered an electronic gadget for a friend in Denmark, and the only one available was an hour and a half away in Knoxville. We drove over quickly on the interstate and came home on small roads, going through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I asked Lise and John to pose for a photo in the restaurant at Carver’s Apple Orchard. As soon as we ordered, the waitress brought apple fritters, applesauce, and glasses of apple cider to the table. Yummy. The menu featured chicken – fried, dumplinged, and pot pied. We could have also had ham, cat fish, or a hamburger. This was good ole Southern cooking at its best.
One shopping trip to Asheville was enough to complete Lise’s list of things to take back. We nearly split a rib in the dressing room. Lise asked me to sit there with her, turning this mom into a ladies’ maid. It was my job to hang up the garments after she tried them on. I was rehanging a blouse when I heard her make a funny noise. I looked up and saw the sleeves flapping about. The garment was one of those new-fashioned ones with breaks at the shoulder. Her arms had gone through at the shoulder, and she was shaking with laughter. I said I should take her photo, and she said, “Do it!”
Before heading to the airport, Lise fed apples to the horses. I was writing this on the way home and couldn’t look at the photos. She had picked out several shots she liked, and I presume one of them will appear here.
Those two weeks flew by in a flash. A year is a long time to wait for her to come again, but meanwhile we have lovely memories to savor.