Friday, May 20, 2011

I Went Tubing Wearing A Jacket


This past Friday night, we drove up to North Carolina to meet my parents, brother, and sister-in-law at the mountain house. We'd visited several times throughout the winter, but now that it's getting warm, it's like a whole new season of good times up there. Matt said, "I feel like this is really the first mountain weekend of the year."

Why was he so keen? He has just one thing on his mind: Tubing. The man just wants to get in a tube and float down a stream, all the live long day. He's done it by himself. He's done it in the rain, multiple times. He's done it in a box. He's done it with a fox (me).

We'd had a week of temps in the 80's here in Atlanta. I figured it would be more than warm enough for me to put my fanny in a cold mountain river. Then, on Friday, it was suddenly 20 degrees cooler. On the deck for Saturday morning coffee, it was in the low 60's.

Morning Coffee

Hmm. But Matt, ever intrepid, went down the river by himself that day. He wanted to check out a new stretch of the Tuckaseegee to see if it was kid-friendly. The rest of us went down to town and looked at books, had coffee, and messed around on Main Street. I found a used copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, and I pressed it into Laura's hands.  I said, "You are ready to read this, and you will be very interested in it." She finished it while we are up there. But after just a few chapters, she came to me and said, "I'm surprised that someone wrote a book about this stuff." I think she was taken aback that there was a book about the private thoughts and feelings of girls, feelings she could identify with, in contemporary language, not all calico and bonnets. It made me realize I need to take a more active hand in her reading. When she finished, she said she'd really enjoyed it. I keep meaning to send a fan tweet to @JudyBlume.

Hank acquired a gun that shoots little foam balls. His feelings about that were not as complex.

Back at the house, I took a few snapshots:

mountain laurel
Mountain Laurel

side yard
Chairs that Mom painted to match the house.

Side View
View from the side yard...hey, there's Matt!

hot tub matt
Hey hon. He needed some hot tub after his excursion.

Then I spied the kids coming back from the creek.

creek feet
Never too chilly for a creek walk.

Laura mostly likes to ride in the jeep, I think.

On Sunday it was still coolish, but quite sunny and beautiful. Matt had enjoyed his solitary tubing reconnaissance mission and pronounced it "warm enough when the sun is shining." So of course the kids wanted to go. Just a short trip. Just a little tubing. Understand that while this conversation was taking place, I was sitting in the full sun wearing jeans and a warm-up jacket, zipped all the way, with my chin tucked inside.

Tubing did not seem like the most likely way to spend the afternoon. Reading Country Living, yes. Styling my mom's new bookshelves, yes. Chatting about babies with my sister-in-law, definitely. But I didn't want Matt to have to wrangle both children by himself. So I agreed to go along. How chilly could it be?

Well I'll tell you this: you don't think of wearing a coat while you're tubing, but you totally can. I put on my bathing suit like normal, and then I put my black track jacket right back on over it. For the tricky tube-embarkation part, I just hitched the jacket up under my boobs to keep it dry. Then I was floating along, and the black sleeves kept my arms warm. As for the rest of me, there were some goosebumpy moments. Matt was right, it was warm enough when the sun shone. During the few minutes when it wasn't shining, however, I was about to make for the bank. I thought, "We are crazy people. Crazy people do this." The kids, I think, were insulated by their life vests. But then the sun came out and I was glad we were there. We had a calm, gorgeous float, with plenty of daylight left afterward for all of the other important things, like chatting and losing little foam balls that had been shot from a gun.

Hank had just said, exasperatedly, "Dave, China and Japan are the same thing."
So if you are willing to wear a jacket in your innertube, and get in the river in mid-May, there is a good four months of float season at that elevation. Here's to going ahead and starting early.  

I hope y'all have had a good week. Mine has been filled with loading the dishwasher and taking children places. Laura's last day of school is next Wednesday. Bring. It. On.


Amy said...

Yikes, I wish we could've been there too.

When Mom and Dad told me y'all went tubing, I was like, "Isn't it a little early for that?" And they were like, "Uh-huh," And then we had a little chuckle at your expense. You are a stronger woman than I! Still it does sound like a lovely, if chilly, family outing. :)

Beautiful pics. That view is killer.

Star said...

Another lovely post, and what wonderful pics, thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

We've gotta get you guys in some kayaks for the Tuck. It's a great beginner-friendly river! I think Matt would love it.

Jenni said...

I have to admit, I am overcome with waves of jealousy everytime I hear/catch a glimpse of the mountain house.

Dumb Mom said...

Tubing sounds fun. But only when it's super, SUPER warm and being in the water is the only living escape from being in the heat outside of the water. I don't like to be cold.

Common Household Mom said...

I am going to come back and look at that first photo of the mountains and the coffee mug, whenever we have had 3 solid weeks of snow and cold. I think it's quite possible you have a view of heaven from that mountain house.

Kate said...

Fraught and I are going to be at our cabin in Ashe County first weekend of June. Are you making any more mountain trips soon?

A Day That is Dessert said...

Oh, the mention of that book brings back memories. It makes me want to send Judy Blume a fan tweet, also! Wish I could join you in the mountains - beautiful.

Veronica said...

Looks like a lovely weekend! Wow, how is Laura reading Judy Blume already? Isn't she still 4? ;-)

Kelly said...

Your pictures are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Chilly - what are you people talking about? People swim in the sea here when it hits the heady heights of the low sixties.

Your kids have such a great life. The mountain house sounds perfect.

Michele R said...

That was such a great, major book. And it's 41 years old! And been banned off and on! (banned--don't even get me started on Blume's "Forever" that I read at age 16). Somehow I discovered the book when I was in 6th grade and my mom read it after I did and loved it and cried.
At our local school many girls are "starting" in 4th and 5th grade. The other day I heard that a 4th grade girl was sort of limping around and when asked what was up she said she had her first monthly visitor (as she put it). But the teacher sent her to the clinic since she was limping. Turns out she had the sticky side of her personal product facing up and not down!
P.S. I heard that in later versions of the book, the verbiage about the "belt" was replaced with details of the adhesive type.

Becky said...

Michele R, I just looked in her copy of the book and you're right! The old belt-and-pad stuff is updated. Funny. That was dated when I read the book 30 years ago, but I guess I just read around it.

And yes, this is all happening too fast for me!