You're always told that close enough is not good enough. Well, this time it is.
At first the number was 16, 307 miles. Now, it's 3, 816 miles. We can live with that.
We can live with Ireland.
I'll tell you about how Grandma Hill loved your mother more than anything and even when your mama fell and broke her wrist, 90 year old Grandma jumped in the Buick, drove to the hospital, and allowed you to wrap the break in pink wrap. They never called me. A lesson: mama's are always the last to know, but in the end, they always know. I learned that one the hard way. I'll tell you about Papa Hill and how he loved Besse the mule and could plow a field from sun up to sun down, and then sit on the front porch, listening to crickets and watching lightning bugs illuminate the Clarkesville sky. Then he'd do it all over again the next day.
There are so many stories we want to tell you. So many touches that are inevitable. We have a snappy step this morning. That's what possibility can do for anyone, especially grandparents who long to see their first grandchild.
We can't wait to see Caitlin, but we can't wait to meet Phelim. The more sons in our arms, the better. And girl time! Oh, how I've missed girl time! I can't wait to go shopping, have coffee at the corner coffee shop and giggle about how good life is.
Now, I can see. Yesterday, I couldn't. Today, you're halfway home.
Who flipped on the wind machine?
I'm on the second floor of an early 1900s farm house. It's almost midnight and I swear, the house is going to fold around me. I tip-toe out of bed (like that will make a difference), peep out the window -- the barn is still standing even though winds are whipping at at least 50 mph (my conservative raging hormone-driven estimate). That's a good sign. Even though I'm in Northeast Georgia, I have visions of Kansas and flying houses and little people swirling through my head. The last peep I took was around 2 a.m. If I hear one more sharp swirling sound piercing through the rafters, I swear I'll put on my wool socks, grab a blanket and snuggle up on the downstairs sofa - B & B or not! I pull the covers up to my chin and pray. The next thing I know, it's sunrise; the barn is still there, and I can't wait to inhale coffee.
Now, I can't guarantee that much energy flowing through the mountains when you stay at Mountain Laurel Farm in Cleveland, but for sure, I can guarantee this: a majestic view, a tasty breakfast and a delightful innkeeper who has many stories to tell.
Melody is my new best friend. No, really. That's a perk of this job; you get to fall in love with everyone you meet (those you like anyway), tell their story through photographs and words, and always be able to call them friend. All of this you get instead of the big check at the end of the month. I like my form of payment, thank you very much.
It was merely by happenstance that I stumbled upon this farm. Looking for a place to rest and research, one that wouldn't break the bank (for I knew it would be the beginning of a multitude of stays until April), I found Mountain Laurel. Never mind I loved the name which conjured up a lifetime of memories at the Mountain Laurel festival in Clarkesville, but after seeing pictures, it looked surreal -- complete with the proverbial cherry to top - a red tin roof! A tin roof PLUS stories of Cheryl Tiegs, castles, contra dancing, jasmine, egg bowls, Vietnam, husbands and children. All that in the course of three days. My heart - and my idea notebook - are full.
There's more to come but on the Saturday morning after a week of squishing ideas into my head, I had to let a few out and share with you some jewels. I'm surrounded by my world this morning - Bear, my lovely husband, and my new Mark of the Potter mug - and life is good. When you least expect it, you are reminded just how rich you are.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.