The creek’s secret

There are times that I truly forget I’m not in my twenties anymore. It occurred to me especially today as I sat on a rock on Curtis Creek with a fishing line in the water. As I sat there, I thought “I remember doing this and how fun it was and it’s been… twenty… five… years. Not 10 years not just a couple years ago. Its been 25 years since I have dropped a line into Curtis Creek.  Hell I’m currently working with people as old as the last time I’ve done this. And for a heartbeat… it was depressing. 

Then I laughed. 

There a few things that I have learned today. Well, perhaps I learned them some time ago, but I was reminded today either way.

  1. I’m comfortable with my age. I may not have had a  exciting life, but I have an Ann amazing family, wonderful friends… And I don’t feel old. Therefore, I’d like to believe I’m not old. That age, like time, it’s just an abstract construct. 
  2. You can’t change what’s already been done. This is an obvious point but sometimes we still dwell. 
  3. Fishing is very relaxing. I don’t know why I haven’t done something like this in those 25 years. Even when you don’t catch anything it’s comforting to listen to the water and think of everything, or nothing, or whatever you need at the time. 
  4. There’s no point staying mad over things. Learn a lesson from those situations that have made you mad? Certainly. But staying that way? It only causes needless stress. 
  5. Nostalgia… is deceiving. I remember some things so clearly… But between the passage of time and changes to the woods, things are nearly unrecognizable. 
  6. These mountains are my grounding. They will always bring clarity and rejuvenation. 

In one hour, the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. By the time anyone reads this, it will have already happened. I wish Ethan could be here with me. Although I didn’t start this little venture in a good mood and I don’t think it would have been a fun trip for him. 

I did however find a perfect little secluded meadow, propped up my folding stool and am ready to go. The temperature is already dropping, it started about 30 minutes ago. There are currently clouds covering the sun, but again, there’s an hour to go. 


Coming home

Things I have relearned on this trip.  

My son is super easily amused. He found a rock. It is now his pet rock and he’s teaching it tricks. (Its name is Bob) 

Twinkies are gross. Like the texture is fine, but the cake and filling are so sickeningly sweet I don’t know how people eat them. 

It takes a long time to fill an air mattress. 

I’m thankful for an electric air pump. (But it still takes a long freaking time) 

The wind… is cold. Stand in 20 degree weather in the sun, and you’re fine. Let that wind blow through you and you’ll wish you were still safely tucked away in your mother’s uterus. 

A change of socks can change your whole outlook and give you more energy. 

Sometimes, nostalgia IS as good as you remember it. 

Going down is a LOT easier than going up. 

Be sure to bring yummy snacks for hiking lunches. Picnics are great. 

If you need a helping hand in the Appalachia, the rhodedendron will be there. Respect the plants and they’ll respect you. 

Attaining a long lived dream is amazing, but even better when you can share it with people you love. 

 At the top of Curtis Creek is a waterfall. You can only see this fall from the top of the road. I decided long ago that I wanted a different photo. One of the falls up close. So that’s what we set out to do. 

Curtis Creek

I may have blogged about Curtis Creek in the past. It’s fine if I did. It’s a great place and worthy of multiple mention.

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t read that post… I was adopted. It was set up before I was born. I guess my due date must have been toward the middle of July because my mom and Old Red Socks decided to take short vacation before I came along.

Dad packed up their R.V. and took off to his favorite haunt. An old logging/hunting/fishing road just off of US 70 in Old Fort. About six miles up the road from when you turn is a small bridge that crosses over this babbling creek. They parked in the little stretch and prepared to camp. They weren’t able to enjoy their trip for very long. A messenger was sent to find them. I was born on July 2nd and the messenger tracked down my parents on July 4th. At least in the time of no cell phones, they were predictable.

There were a couple of places that we always visited on summer days and weekends. Curtis Creek was at the top of the list.

If you drive down this road now, there is a beautiful little campground set up for r.v. and tent camping. $5 a night complete with bathrooms and picnic tables. If you continue up the road from the campground there are other little spots along the road that make for some good camping. Little pull offs. Park your car, have a campfire, set up a tent.

Make sure to bring your fishing pole and license. The stream is FULL of rainbow trout and crawfish. When I find the pictures I have of it, I’ll be sure to put them up.

Missing home

I normally work Monday to Friday, but I went to work today. I had doctor appointments and mediation and had to make up some time. I need to save as much of my vaca time for our camping trip as I can. Afterwards I was craving stew. So I made us some guiness stew and star shaped biscuits. Had some friends over and played an evening of DnD.

Small groups are best. It’s people I know, people I’m comfortable around. I can do big crowds, but I’ve been extra reclusive lately. I’m sure it will pass.

I’m still trying to find an actual affordable caterer in the Tampa Bay area. That’s what’s holding us back from being able to have the nice big wedding we want. It’s not a party without food, and I can’t have an evening wedding without feeding people. We have time, so I’m sure we’ll figure something out.

I wish mom could be there (at the wedding that is). She would hate every minute of being forced to socialize, but at least she’d be there. Life feels disjointed with her gone. I don’t know if the pictures, or writing about her makes it better; or just hurt worse.

When we lived in Asheville last time, we had a monthly ritual. She and I would drive out to Black Mountain and have breakfast at Denny’s. We would each get a cup of coffee and just sit and talk. After breakfast we’d walk through the little town. It’s changed a LOT in fifteen years. At the time it was nearly empty. If only we’d had the chance for her to see how business was booming. It would have made her smile to see so many of the shops full of live.

I keep saying I want to go home. The mountains hold so many of those memories. The turning of the leaves down Hospital Road, the rhime frost clinging to the bare branches along Craggy Gardens, the rushing water over the rocks of Curtis Creek all whisper to me, calling me back. Begging me to return.

It’s not about visiting, or just a change of scenery. It’s about the freedom of living somewhere. It’s about turning a lazy afternoon into an adventure just by taking a short drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. I remember lazing about watching hummingbirds fight over our deck for the best perch at the feeder. That was always mom’s favorite. She loved the hummingbirds. There’s too much to experience to be able to cram it all into one week out of the year. The crisp mountain air carries the memory of her, and I just want to be closer.