Appalachian birthday weekend

September is birthday month for my family. My sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and uncle all have (or had, in the case of my great-grandmother) September birthdays. As it happens, it’s my favorite month, too. It’s usually around this time of year that we’re all itching for cooler weather – a chance to bust out the flannel and look out for pumpkins ripening in the fields – and so a trip up to the mountains is inevitable. My sister in particular usually invites a group of friends to our family’s cabin in  western North Carolina where we spend a couple days wadding in icy creeks, driving along windy, Christmas-tree lined roads, hiking up Stone Mountain and eating lots and lots of food cooked in cast iron skillets on the back porch.  Which is exactly what we did last weekend.

Actually, there was no hike up Stone Mountain this time. We were all much too busy eatin’ watermelon and drinkin’ beer on the porch. And writing songs about the stray dog who appeared outside our door that morning. We named her Pinto and, not only did my two brothers-in-law write a hilarious song about her, we also gave her a bath.

At which point I lost my wedding ring.

Yeah, that one. It was nearly dusk when I noticed, and so we only had about thirty minutes to search the grass before the dark rendered the search impossible. Thankfully, my sister took flash pictures of the grass every couple of feet, square by square by square. A few days later, she was looking back on those pictures and noticed a glint of gold in one of them. When you zoom in, you can just make out the distinct curve of a circle and the metallic shine of a gold ring. We haven’t lost hope yet. We just have to make the trek up the mountain with a metal detector to look again.

Thanks, sis! While we’re hopeful we will find it, I am thinking about getting a tattoo ring. What do you think: tacky or totally awesome? Knowing how I lose jewelry, I’m leaning toward “totally awesome.”

Lost rings aside, it was a lovely weekend escape from the steamy city to the cooler, greener hills. Yay for birthdays, family and mountains!

(All photos were taken by my wonderful sister and brother-in-law.)




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