Two
Huis Clos

Nothing Could Be Finer

I'm back! Did you miss me?

Sigh.

Our trip to North Carolina was pretty fabulous, although I will now be checking into detox for a few months. Just until I recover from the moonshine, at least. Urgh. Moonshine, people. White Lightning. Fire from the Mountain. The Devil's, um, Gatorade.

In truth, the moonshine didn't play much of a role in the weekend but I was so impressed to be drinking something besides pickling juice from a Mason jar that I had to mention it. We used to have an old family photograph of my Great-grandmother's grandfather. You know those sepia studio portraits where everyone looks sombre and the little girls have large bows in their hair and paterfamilias is in a high stiff collar? Well, it was sort of like that only my patriarch is sitting on the front porch of a shack that most likely fell over when the bulb flashed, is so heavily bearded he looks like he is trapped in a raspberry bush, and is grimly clutching a rifle on his lap. A mangy dog lies at his feet, licking its anus (this is why I remember the photograph so well- as children my brother and I would take turns handing the album over to my grandmother and asking, round-eyed, "Whatever is that dog doing?" My grandmother would frown and reply, "Something FILTHY.")

Anyway, I have always suspected that the bearded horror knew first-hand just how pesky those damned revenuers can be. No doubt I have moonshine in my blood. Hmmm, actually, you know, there IS no doubt, after this weekend. Hence the proposed visit to some nice rehab facility, although it really wasn't the moonshine it was so... much... wine.

"Julia!" Marion kept saying, "Where's your wine glass? Finish it up, girl, so I can refill it!" She was like a 60-year-old Southern pixie shrieking, "Chug chug chug!" at me. I loved her. I even liked how they called me Jewel-yuh and I am unabashedly sporting a drawl right now. I just got off the phone with my brother and he said, "Jules, did you pick up a little accent during your massive 36 hour visit?" Um-hmmm.

So we were visiting Steve's business partner and his wife, if I forgot to mention it. They were in Georgia until 2 years ago, when they finished the new house and moved up (down? whatever) to western North Carolina. They have the most amazing piece of property- 55 acres with their own little green lake just below the house. Patrick was in paradise, amongst riding around in the Gator and looking at the baby cows and feeding the catfish that came right up out of the water and hugging Gypsy the dog and having Marion turn on all the ceiling fans- he was a happy little maniac. Marion insisted he call her Mimi, like her grandchildren do, and promptly snatched him away to spoil him rotten. I told Steve it was like coming home should be. Marion pleaded (pleaded!) to be allowed to babysit, so Tom took us for a tour of the charming old town and out for a nice lunch on Saturday. Really, the whole trip was just so lovely that if it wasn't for this weird little flu-like thing I woke up with each morning (sand-papery tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, headache, nausea and a burning thirst for gallons of icy Coca-Cola - strange, huh?) I would say it was perfect.

Next time I’m takin’ ya’ll with me.

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