Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lazy Southern Summer Days

Ever have one of those days you just want to fold up and put in your pocket and save forever? When weather and people and activities join together in the loveliest of combinations. This week, our friends John and Heather and their 9-month-old baby Django visited us from Memphis. We strolled through the farmer's market, went hiking at the NC Arboretum and took in the Friday afternoon drum circle downtown. Then on Saturday, we put them to work and welcomed our Asheville friends over to the house for the first time for a backyard BBQ and party.

The early part of the week was pretty brutal in terms of the temperatures. Mid-nineties, no breeze, no relief. I was beginning to worry that the party was going to be sticky and uncomfortable. Then suddenly the heat broke and Friday brought a slight chill in the morning and a lovely cool breeze throughout the day. Then Saturday couldn't have been more perfect. In an odd clove of events, I was busy sight-seeing and catching up with John and Heather and never got around to obsessing about the party. I didn't even make a list until I dictated one to Michael the night before the party!

It was a relatively painless lesson in letting go of some of my control issues. Michael handled just about everything and delegated chores and tasks on the day of the event. Normally, I would have a well-worn, highlighted and criss-crossed spreadsheet leading up to a party, but I just followed orders, supplied the manual labor and had a blast. So Saturday materialized as a perfect summer day. We set up the ping pong table outside, horseshoes and this new (well, new to us) Southern sensation called "Cornhole," which is an addictive bean bag tossing sort of game. Our neighbors paddled over in their pedal boat and canoe, then generously let our guests take them out on the lake throughout the party. Michael blended up his famous peachies and the peachie fan club took root in North Carolina.

We've been tremendously fortunate here, meeting a group of warm and welcoming friends. Add to that the perfect kind of summer's day you usually only see in movies or read about in books, and you've got a couple of very content, very grateful guys from California in the mountains of North Carolina.

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