This past Saturday, March 15th, was a beautiful day for travel. Trying to save time, we loaded up our minivan, plotted the quickest course and headed towards the Tennessee Mountains. From our location we traveled almost two hours South, and then another two and half hours North just to get there. The overall trip taking four hours and forty five minutes, most of it being on interstate.
I've been to visit my sister in the past, nearly ten years ago. The drive out was long as we traveled farther and farther away from civilization. Through the mountainous region of middle Tennessee there was nothing but rolling hills and countryside surrounding us. As I stared intently from the passenger side window, I was in awe of the breathtaking scenery.
Her driveway was more like a road, it wound and turned going into a grove of Hawthorn trees, pines, hardwoods, and opening into a broad field. As we cleared the trees, we could see her huge cabin in the distance, sitting high, atop a hill. Pulling up to her home was like arriving at some well hidden resort, or cottage. Her entrance was her back porch... spanning the width of their home;warm and inviting. From the porch, all I could see was miles of rolling hills surrounded by dense groves of trees, and forage. It was beautiful. Down the way, was a little cabin, secluded and all alone. It belonged to them as well, unused, but well kept.
The reason behind our trip was to celebrate the upcoming birth of my great-niece with a baby shower. My family sat in the openness of my sister's home, forming a semicircle around the guest of honor, watching on
as she opened gifts. My beautiful niece opened gift by gift, revealing each one with a huge smile. As she opened the beautiful painting my sister, her mother, painted for her nursery, her face couldn't not cover the joy she felt inside. A beautiful painting of an owl, which her husband hung lovingly above the crib, also given to her by her mother.
My sister had a spread of food to die for. She even had California Spring Rolled Sushi. Something I have never tried. It didn't look good, but curiosity got the better of me, tasted one anyways. People really eat this stuff? That was my first thought. Not only had I never eaten sushi, I didn't know how to eat it and enjoy it. Wasn't until my cousin and his beautiful wife showed up to show me how to do it correctly. Dipping it into a sauce concocted by my cousin's wife, and popping the whole thing in my mouth at one time, as instructed really did make a difference. YES... right!
I began listening as each of them described the ins and outs of the technology they possessed. It all sounded French to me. So instead of buying books, flipping through pages of actual paper you can read them from this thingy called a 'kindle'. As we sat there talking, they were continually pulling these flat things out of their pockets, typing stuff on them, taking pictures and video taping too. I pulled out my own gadget, wondering if it did those things they had mentioned, looking at it for a moment, judging by the size theirs had many more features than mine... or was better equipped.
Face time? Face space? Got a taste of that as well, as my cousin called to check in on her boys, and get them started with their day. Wow... one on one conversations, and you could actually see they were cozy, still tucked in their beds. So many gadgets, and doodads, I don't even know where to start. They were talking about this and that, continuously losing me in conversation. Several times I had to ask, "What's this?", and "What does that mean?". ha ha!
The best part of the trip, other than visiting with family, was watching my children play with their cousins outdoors. They lost themselves in the rolling hills and woods of my sister's farm, only returning for drink or food, and the occasional potty break. To top it all off, I was able to listen to my nephew play a beautiful piece on his violin; Flannigan's Ball.
My sister has excellent cooking skills, she created a cheese cake masterpiece which I devoured. The pulled pork by far surpassed any I could do. Even though I didn't like it at first, the sushi was to die for. Her and her husband were gracious hosts, building a bonfire for us to enjoy, putting out bedding and providing delicious food and meals. Great conversation, although on occasion I felt lost. Had the time of my life
enjoying the experience as if it would be another ten years before my return.
Caught in a time warp, exactly how I felt. While visiting with family, out in the middle of nowhere, time moved on without me... and I just didn't care.
|My sister, nieces and cousin in the kitchen!|
|My niece proudly displaying the painting her mother did.|
|Kids playing in the field. The dots next to the tree at the bottom of the hill are the boys with their bikes.|
|Bonfire in the back yard.|
|Cousins sitting on the back porch caught in action!|
|View from my sister's upstairs bedroom.|