This past weekend, my nephew and his girlfriend came to spend a couple of days at the mountain house so that they could "chill" with me and then do things that active, young adults like to do ---
You guys weren't getting dirty, were you?
Stop it. This is family.
*clears head of images*
I packed up my car on Friday and headed to the mountains so that I could be there when they arrived (they were coming from Carrollton) all unpacked and ready to act as hostess -- instead, I got to the mountain house, and "BAM" house problems -- the air-conditioner upstairs was not working, and there was a leak in the basement.
Since I was all by myself -- David still here in Marietta -- I had to try to rectify the problems before the arrival of my company. I mean, if Paul and Angie, wanna "chill" with me -- then I think I need the air blasting upstairs....
Egads. I did some scrambling on the cell-phone with David; the air-conditioner folks promised to be there before sundown, and one of the neighbors "up thar," one of David's friends, came over to assess the leak.
The neighbor, who will remain nameless, is one of those talkers. He shows up in his pick-up, window rolled down, and before he exits his truck, already chin waggin' at me from the window .... and it goes something like this.....
Nameless Neighbor: We had a hard rain here last night. Gully washer. Could have done something to your septic. We don't wanna think about that yet. Show me where it is, will ya? Yeah. you got a leak all righty; you know the saying, if you don't use it, you lose it. I was telling the wife -- poor Harriett and David, up here, weekenders, problems to deal with, grass to cut, money pit, money pit, money pit. You just got to move up here. When is David retiring? He needs to come to the board meetings. I tell him all the time that. I was over in Tiger yesterday (adjoining town) talking to Andy. Andy is my porch friend. We sit on the porch and talk about the weather. Andy's retired -- former Army man -- he's worried about our borders. He just worries, worries, worries -- Anyhow, I told Andy that I was at the board meeting, and that I ran into Kevin. Kevin and Andy do not get along -- I think it goes back to a meeting in Tiger at the courthouse over easement issues. Makes me crazy to think that someone would build on a property with an easement; does that make any sense to you? Now where's that leak? Didn't Atlanta people build this house? I wouldn't take a nickel for an Atlanta builder -- bunch of rich fellers trying to rip us off. Look. I see the water there. Is it coming from the supply line? I told the wife I was coming over here to check your leak. She asked me if I was gonna fix it -- I said, "No. Honey. I'm not a plumber. I'm just gonna look at it." If you need a plumber, I got a good one. He lives over there. [points to mountain] -- and he's good. He's retired -- an engineer -- can fix anything that has to do with water. Except the well. You're gonna have to get you a well man for that. I have his name here -- can I borrow your cell phone? It looks like this leak could be coming from there. Man, look -- somebody took a claw hammer and just punched a hole here. Now why would he do that? Particle board. Hmmmm. Trouble. Trouble. It's great until it gets wet. Yours is wet. Not good. Why would someone poke a hole like that? Couldn't they just cut it out? Don't use that bathroom --- but I think you are fine mostly. Hopefully, we can get that plumber [points to mountain] over here today. Or tomorrow. I'll call him. I have his card somewhere in my wallet. I'm gonna get a ladder and take a closer look. Man, this is wet. I think you have a leak......
No kidding -- this is how this guy talks --- but he, at least, calmed my fears by assuring me that the leak was minute, and hopefully, "the plumber wouldn't have to rip into the sheet rock and pull out the tub amongst other things..."
When Angie and Paul arrived, I told them of the house problems, and like young people, it just rolled from them like water off a duck's back --- no pun intended -- and Paul said, "I can do heat, and I don't have to bathe." Angie said, "we're good."
I told them that the air-conditioner man was gonna come that day, but that we might have to share a bathroom.
They shrugged. No big deal.
I love young people -- if I had arrived somewhere, having to share a bathroom, I would say, "I'll come back another time."
The air-conditioner man, Kenny, did show up -- and did fix the air. Kenny had his stories too -- at one point when Paul was sharing music of an artist named Andy McKee with me from his I-Pod, Kenny popped in the conversation and said, "I like him too."
The mountains are full of folk who love to talk -- must be the air -- or lack of it.
*sweats a little*
All's well that ends with a thermostat on cool. That's what I'm saying....
The next day after breakfast, Angie and Paul decided to go to Tallulah Falls to hike -- they left about 10:30, and returned about 1:30 -- I asked them about the hike:
Paul: It's cool. Beautiful. You climb down steps to access the different points of interest.
Angie: Not bad -- we rested on some of the platforms, but we walked both the north and south rim.
Me: Well, David and I will have to do it.
Paul and Angie: You totally should -- you and he are both in good shape. You'll love it.
So, with that said, we spent the rest of the afternoon seeing the city of Clayton and going on a short walk at Black Rock Mountain. Paul is a forestry major, and he identified all kinds of foliage for me -- at one point, he bit a leaf to show me that tasting is one way to identify them.
A little barbaric, but effective, I'm guessing.
Paul and Angie had to head back to Carrollton on Saturday night, but before they left, they promised to come back another time to hit some more local attractions.
On Sunday, David and I did the mountain house chores, and then I suggested ----
Me: Let's check out Tallulah Gorge tomorrow for our walk.
David: Totally. We've been meaning to do that since we built this house eight years ago.
So, on Monday, David and I headed over to Tallulah Gorge, t-shirted, shorted, and tennis shoed up to walk the gorge.
We arrived there at 8:30 am and headed for the North Rim Trail.
David: I know you're used to Kennesaw Mountain, but this is kind or rocky so watch your step.
Me: I got this; no problem -- I'm no rookie.
We headed down a nature trail that veered to the left to a black topped wider trail. A sign told us that this trail had been made from 600 recycled automobile tires. After being on the natural trail, this was like gliding.
Me: I totally love this.
David: It's like walking on sponges.
We trotted on --- we reached a look-out point that hung over the gorge.
Me: Wow. What a view. It's a little scary -- so far down -- it pulls you.
David: Let's take these stairs.
We walked down two flights of stairs. We came to another look-out point -- a sign said, "Strenous Walk.... blah, blah, blah, blah."
David: Come on.
Me: You think I can do this?
David: Oh yeah.
So we headed down some stairs -- some more stairs and inched our way down the north rim of Tallulah Falls.
Me: Dang. This is a little like the Washington Monument -- that I climbed back in 1965. Of course, I was nine. I think it had 900 steps.
David: Come on.
So we climbed, down and down, and down and down.
Me: Man, this is hard on the knees.
David: The hardest part on the body is going down.
Me: I'm not so sure.
We climbed down. We got to a suspension bridge -- a little like Indiana Jones it was -- and David and I both paused.
Me: I'll go first. No rockin'.
David: Don't worry -- and I'm not stopping.
Me: You think I'm stopping on this to take a gander?
David: Who says gander?
I walked across. David walked across, and as I walked across, I looked up.
Me: Man, those are a lot of steps.
David: Ya think?
Me: Should we stop here?
David: No. Come on. Look this takes us to Hurricane Falls. Only 200 more steps.
David: You can do it. You've made it this far.
Me: But we've been going down.
David: Come on.
So we climbed down some more. And some more. More. More. More.
And finally, we reached the bottom -- and the view was gorgeous.
But the climb back loomed.
....to be continued...