Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas

My first destination post-Pennsylvania was Ohio. I hadn't seen Cuz K. or her hubby or my aunt or uncle since I stopped and saw them on my drive west the preceding year. The pups they had only recently acquired were now full-on dogs...who were happy to help me while I did a little editing work.
This guy is a true blue cuddler.
We all went out to a bar for darts one evening. My aunt acquiesced to a Jameson shot.
Family fun times.
Chewbacca pup times.
A. got me a pair of bibs for my b-day/Christmas. They look very pristine in this photograph, but let me just tell you that they have since become all sorts of gross, washed, repeat. I like me these overalls, indeed I do!
This was in West Virginia, after I took my leave of my Ohio family and turned south and east to spend a little time with some other family.
In Greensboro I cuddled with a large and entirely sweet Golden Retriever.
And spent a couple of days with these two ladies. NC C. and J. J. is a funny young woman finding her own way at college and in the world. She isn't particularly interested in nor fond of posing for photographs and generally has this expression of forced smiley-ness or a more blank/frowny look to her. Her mother and I exhorted that she should try something new, but it didn't really work. She is her own person entirely.
Yup. Different C., same expression and pose.
Not budging.
Showing her the range inherent in her blood.
For better or worse.
Then it was on to Charlotte, to see C. and J. The twosome that took on Zul when I first departed PA and made my way to Washington. I spent two lovely evenings with them, enjoying good food and beer in their recently-bought home. On the morning I left, I insisted on photos...and these are what happened. I forget exactly what we said was happening in this one. I am begging for forgiveness and she is laughing at me? We are Victorian and I am professing my undying love? Hard to tell at this point.
They're cuties, they are. I meant to upload another photo of us, but somehow it got skipped. Alas.

Then it was on to Asheville for a very quick swing by an old high school friend's lovely home. We hadn't seen each other since our 10-year reunion, so it had been a while. She showed me her unfinished basement's map room and plant. It was good to catch up.
Oh, here it is. Obviously out of order. Keeping me on my toes Blogger!
This is a photograph I took as I wended my way west from Asheville. I could have taken a more highway route, but chose instead to take a smaller road that routed itself through the Smokeys.
A lake in the Smokies. Smokeys? Smokies.
Then I was in Sewanee just a little before Christmas. At some point a bird got into the house. This is a photograph of my father taking a photograph of the bird.
And this is the bird on the next day, as we failed to get it out of the house on that particular evening. Eventually it did leave...or did it?
Christmas day was a subdued affair on the whole, but not unpleasant. Dad gave me exactly what I wanted: a headlamp for the farm, among other things. And it has been - like the overalls - incredibly useful for late night lamb watches.
Christmas day we went down the mountain for breakfast at Dad's lady friend's. This is a photo from the drive back up.
Then we went to a part of the plateau I had never seen before, which is named in honor of my great great grandfather. Pretty good view.
Dad by the marker that makes it officially about our shared ancestor/relative.
Christmas night we watched The Interview (I incorrectly suggested in a previous post that we did that in October, but that is a falsehood created from a shoddy memory). There were potential snow systems pretty much anywhere you looked, so I thought that instead of my initial plan to take a northerly passage through states like Montana and one of the Dakotas, I would do a more southerly route. On my first day on the road I made it to the far end of Arkansas and found myself in a city with a surprising number of Vietnamese restaurants. Of course I jumped on this like it was my job.
There had been a few flurries on my first day of driving, and the next found me driving in a pretty constant state of light snow and a little ice for much of the morning's drive through the rest of Arkansas and some of Texas. And maybe another state? There were many, many Native American gift shops along the highway. I stopped at many looking for gifts for a few folks and had to restrain myself from buying most all of the jewelry.
My car once I made it to Texas.
Texas rest stop.

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