Friday, January 4, 2013

Moonshine and Magnolia

lj sylva
Her: "It'll be like Abbey Road but in Sylva."  Me: !!!
winter tree finder
Mountain house reading.

xmas party
Dolled up.

Happy New Year to you! And you. And to you, little blog.

We were up at the mountain house in western NC for the weekend leading up to New Year's Eve.  Man, the stuff the happens up there. It really is a different place.

One case in point: Mom and Dad returned from the little bookstore one afternoon and reported that they'd seen a guy--a kinda militia-looking dude with a crewcut and a Krav Maga t-shirt on--buying multiple copies of A Witches' Bible. He said they were gifts for the members of his coven, and that that night was a special celebration for them. Then he said the German name for it, which sounded to their ears like "Frauyellen," but I'm sure that's not how you spell it, and it meant that it was a night to "celebrate the women."

He said they were all going down to the lake, and that they would wash the women's feet by the light of the moon.

I actually thought that sounded delightful. I mean, probably chilly. But I just thought, there is stuff you could be into that makes way, WAY less sense to me than that. Like golf, or the Tea Party. Sure, he is not the person that I would have thought would be up in that, but carry on people. Carry right on, good mountain folk.


Another case: On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, Dad cozened Matt, my brother Dave, and me into going with him on his usual walk around the mountain. We've done this lots of times, and it's more for fitness than nature contemplation, as it involves about 50 minutes of briskly climbing steep hills. So, okay, but on this day he said he had added a section on a forest track that extended it to about three miles and just over an hour. We were game, so we set out.

A little ways in, we ran across some neighbors from down the way, friends of mom and dad's who may or may not have a small-batch home distillery for spiritous liquors. I cannot say for sure, in case there are any revenuers reading this, or perhaps Boss Hogg. We exchanged the pleasantries of the season and complimented him on a recent batch of his work that we had sampled. Then we went on our way again.

We headed into the new portion of the walk, and I kept saying, "I mean, where ARE we?" It was just parts of that mountain I ain't never seen before. There are just a handful of houses on the whole side of the mountain, but somehow this was like, really truly the back side of nowhere. And it also seemed like more than three miles. As we climbed a hill, me thinking we would crest it and see Shangri-la, who should reappear but the crafty neighbor, coming the other way. I was like, how did he get here? We left him way back there and, I don't know, is he a leprechaun?

He hailed us, we stopped, and he handed my dad a mason jar filled with almond liqueur that he'd made. He had gone home to fetch it and set out to meet us again. I still don't know exactly how he knew where we'd be, but probably leprechaun powers. But yeah, mason jar of hooch. That's some mountain hospitality. We opened it and all sampled it, and it did fortify us for the walk home.

Which turned out to be much longer than three miles, Dad having misundercalculated, and was in fact closer to eleventy-nine thousand miles. But it the walk hadn't been so long, we might not have come upon the mason jar of booze.


So we did that little hike and then the youngsters among us left our children with mom and dad and got gussied up and went to Asheville for some New Year's revelry, where I danced for two hours basically sober, then we saw the New Year in, and came home and hot tubbed the New Year in some more, and I went to bed and was awakened by Laura coming down with a stomach flu, which I then proceeded to get, and was sick in bed all of January 1 but it's all okay now.

And that's the rest of the story.

What are you up to? Did you have a nice Christmas? I bet you did. xoxox


Michele said...

Mountain Hooch! Sounds very enjoyable. Happy New Year SubMat family.

Keely said...

No, I didn't. I was sick for Christmas, and I am still sick.

Mountain hooch would totally help with that though.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, how I've missed you!

Happy, happy new year.

Camp Papa said...

The Mountain provides.

Anonymous said...

I always love the mountains & the mountain folk! But I would never want to live there; I really require municipal services. My husband, on the other hand ... There are all kinds of ways to be. xox

Anonymous said...

Wow. We didn't have anything as crazy or wonderful as that, but fun was definitely had.

Anonymous said...

We have hootch at our cabin as well in a Mason jar labeled "not water". I noticed they sell moonshine in the liquor stores but everyone knows if it is taxed by the government, it isn't the real deal.

Anonymous said...
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gretchen said...

Good Lord, I love the way you tell a story, woman. Witches, moonshiners, New Years revelry, vomit. It's all there. Hope the vomiting has passed and you've come safely down from the mountains.

Star said...

Enjoyed your tale, thanks so much, as always. I had a lovely holiday, and it, too, involved lots of walking (and picture-taking). Thanks for asking!

Ginny Marie said...

Happy New Year! It sounds like your year is off to a wonderful start, except for the whole stomach flu thing. At least you got it over with. :)