Full of Complex Carbohydrates and MicroNutrients

I am a novelty to many (and I'm fine with that).
I have a very silly sense of humor usually riddled with malapropisms (and I'm fine with that, too).
I ask too many questions of Life and I expect all the answers.
I trust people too easily when I shouldn't; however, I respect everyone regardless…unless they do something to make me think twice.
I don't cheat. I am tactful yet will give the truth up front (and never mean to hurt anyone's feelings with it).
I like to help the people who have helped me, and even those who have not.
I never forget... but sometimes I misplace things.
I never lose hope.
I am awesomely blessed for the people who have come into my life, and I am blessed for the people who have left because I realize I didn't need them anyway.
I honestly feel that laughter is the best medicine you can have.
I believe in being strong when everything else seems to be going wrong.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. In other words, I'm human, and definitely not perfect.
But tomorrow is another day, and there's so much cheese to be had...
(thank you to Ranae S. for this bit of inspiration!)

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Everyone, get up and dance now!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

What a long, HOT and laborious summer it's been! I had been literally drained of energy the entire season. After the May flood, the weather suddenly got hotter than the hinges of Hades (and for the most part, was sustained for nearly 3 full months at or around 102+ degrees with humidity to boot!), and I began to work a lot more hours, which meant no time to do what I love best - jawin' away here on my Blogs. As y'all know, I do not fare well in the heat, and tend to withdraw to shady, cool areas of the house (with the air conditioner set to 'meat locker cold' temperatures). A very unusual summer we had, to be sure, and hopefully, the last of its kind. 

Now that Autumn - oh, glorious Autumn! - is in the air, I feel a sense of overall renewal. The atmosphere is very cool and crisp, the leaves are turning fall colors, and Halloween is just over a month away. My favorite time of year is around the corner and I'm feeling it deep in my core.

My dearest, most treasured friend in the entire world (Debby! Debby! Debby!) came out to visit me last week, and did we have a blast! I had not seen her in 3 long years and missed her terribly. Not to worry, we crammed a lot of fun and activity into a mere 8 days of vacation time, which began with a trip down south to lovely Tullahoma to hear a live performance of my favorite band of roving Celts, The Secret Commonwealth, at a venue called The Celtic Cup. 
A really neat place to dine and hear live music!
A really neat place, very much has the Irish pub look and vibe but serves food, coffee drinks and delicious desserts instead of alcohol. (No worries, we got tanked up plenty afterward)
A pared-down version of The Secret Commonwealth wows the crowd
HOWEVER! - The most hilarious episode for us this past week was our decision to take a canoe trip up the lovely Harpeth River. The weather was perfect, sunny and nice, with not a bit of humidity to mar it. We brought a little cooler chest with water, some nuts and dried fruit, and headed off at the drop-off point in Shacklett (about 10 miles up the road from my home) at a place called Tip-A-Canoe. 

Ok, first hint: with a name like TIP-A-Canoe, you'd think we'd maybe have been more careful, hm? The trip started off just beautifully as we leisurely rowed in the aluminum canoe up the river to the pick-up point we were instructed to look for. "It should only take an hour, maybe an hour & a half," said the man behind the counter, but he mistakenly directed us to the wrong area... 

And what began as a calm, fun adventure with lots of "Ooh, how pretty, how serene this is" turned into a scary-ass ride for survival!!! I kid you not. The river is a Class 1 category which means it's perfect for beginners, as it's generally calm water... but the fact that it had recently rained and there was lots of debris and huge trees knocked over in the middle of the river everywhere from the May flood meant a lot of squeezed-off sections where the water suddenly bottle-necked into mini-rapids. Debby and I were confident and said to one another that "We'll do just fine, we are not going to capsize because we are Strong and Capable Women, arrrrr." 

We watched a man and woman in the canoe a few dozen feet ahead of us attempt to maneuver  the rapids, then turned sideways and get dumped into the rushing water. 

Mantra repeated:"We'll do just fine, we are not going to capsize because we are Strong and Capable Women, arrrrr." 

The next thing we knew, we too felt the canoe pull out from under us and then the instantaneous, rude realization of capsizing into the river! It was frightening to have water above your head as you struggle to stay calm (and grab your cooler chest as it rapidly sinks underneath you). So much for our confidence-building mantra. 

My most vivid memory was coming up for air, and looking at Debby as she did the same thing, and both of us with wild eyes the size of saucers as we called each other's names and tried to keep afloat. Thankfully, the water was only about five feet deep where we got dumped, but still, it was nerve-wracking trying to walk across the rocky river bottom to the shore while dragging our heavy, water-filled canoe. I am a good, capable swimmer but when you're suddenly dunked you tend to kind of panic a wee bit.

(I have this weird fear of having deep, dark water beneath me - "WHAT IS DOWN BELOW ME THAT I CANNOT SEE?" - which stemmed from a negative experience I had when I was 13 years old out in California, at a place called Castaic Lake. It has stayed with me all this time and even when I am at home, watching a show that has deep, dark water in it, I tend to get that feeling of fear in my gut.)

We started to laugh out of nervousness - and good thing, too, as we looked like a couple of drowned rats! Our makeup was running down our faces, our hair and clothes were hanging, dripping wet. I kept saying, "I can't believe we just did that!" and dissolving into fits of hysterical laughter. You have to laugh at a time like that. 

As you can well imagine, from there, we were extremely cautious at the several approaching bottle-necks in the river and rushing rapids. Many times we brought the boat to shore,  and dragged it across the little inlet to go past the rapids, before getting in to continue our paddling. By then our so-called hour & a half excursion turned into almost SIX HOURS of grueling exhaustion. We'd lost one of our water bottles and all of our snacks when we capsized and were beginning to get sunburned and losing energy fast. Rationing water and looking out for snakes (poor Debby has a mortal fear of reptiles) was the motivating factor in getting to the end of our journey. It was no fun any more, and we were hungry and wanted to go home and change into dry clothes.

Finally we made it, and not a moment too soon! The lady back at the canoe place checked us off as we walked in, still wet and looking worse for wear, and exclaimed in her thick Southern accent, "Well, bless y'all's hearts! We're proud y'all made it that far!"

'That far' was a grand total of more than 11 miles, which, as she said, only the more experienced canoers do. Yeah, next time I say I want to go for a canoe ride, please hit me over the head with something, willya?

More of our vacation to come in an upcoming blog! 
Honky-tonkin' and drinking 99-cent PBR at
Layla's Hillbilly Bluegrass Inn on Broadway in downtown Nashville.
Big huge fun!



Skull Duggery said...

Reunions with dear life-long friends are the best tonic for our blackened old souls.

I drink a toast (of PBR of course) to you and Debbie.