We’re back from a long trip to Cullowhee, NC, to visit family for Thanksgiving. Because the kids only had a short break, we ended up flying. Gordon is notoriously unbending when it comes to the airport arrival times, so we left the house at around 3:00 am for a 6:30 flight and ended up spending the first day travelling, then resting, then going over to visit relatives.
November isn’t the best season for North Carolina. It’s very beautiful in summer and fall, when all of the leaves change colors, but in November the branches are mostly bare and the mountains are grey and brown, with a sprinkling of hunter green pines along the crests. NC holds very mixed memories for me. That’s where Gordon and I met and married, and it’s where both of the children were born. But it’s also the place where we were crushingly poor and life was hard. When we come to visit, Gordon’s aunt, who is a very lovely lady, always tells me, “When I think of all the hard times you kids had…” I want to tell her to please not remind me, but I usually end up changing the subject in a sleek fashion like, “So Aunt Janie, where did you get this lovely yarn” or “Aunt Janie, can I turn down that bacon, I do believe it’s burning…” Left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t go back, but that’s where the family is and we love them very much and haven’t seen them in ages.
We took Tuesday to visit Cherokee Indian Reservation. It’s been a long time since we’ve been down there and we wanted the girls to see it. We’ll have to come back in summer, when the shows are on. There is a really beautiful and sad production Unto These Hills that tells the story of the Trail of Tears, but it wasn’t running.
We bought some awesome clothes and dreamcatchers. We just finished hanging them this morning.
This is ours.
It was made by Clifford Robinson, one of the local craftsmen on the reservation.
This is Kid 2′s dreamcatcher. You can’t really see it because flash reacts with her ceiling, but it has beautiful emerald green beads in the twine.
This is Kid 1′s dreamcatcher. This isn’t a Cherokee dreamcatcher, it’s Monague, which is a family up in BC, but it was very beautiful. The five circles represent the five generations of the family.
This is a gift for our neighbor. It’s also by a local craftsman, Fred Arch.
We also got a lot of books about myths and books about the little people. It would be really fun to do something with the Native American myths, but it’s difficult to do this without inviting a comparison with Patty Briggs.
The next two days we spent with family. Gordon smoked turkeys and hams, I made the egg thingies from Innkeeper (Gordon and the kids don’t eat them, but everyone else does, and they were specially requested), and we got to visit. We heard all of the local gossip. Someone went off the deep end, someone moved, someone is getting on in years.
Kid 2 bravely volunteered to go Black Thursday shopping with her aunt Michelle and her two boys. We never go, so we kind of giggled since Aunt Michelle is a serious, hardcore shopper, and let her go. When she was returned to us in the morning, after standing for hours in the cold waiting for Kmart to open, Kid 2 told us that this was the worst decision of her life. While her sister was freezing, Kid 1 got to go with the other Aunt, Trish, and was permitted to try some moonshine, so Kid 1 took the next overnight shift with Aunt Michelle. It was her turn. Kid 1 got to wait inside, but she “had to fight for Aunt Michelle’s Xbox with grown men.”
Friday we flew home. Our flight was delayed due to a mechanical malfunction, which turned out to be an overflowing lavatory, and we made it in late. I didn’t write much but I knitted 2/3 of a scarf. Will post pictures when done.
And that was our Thanksgiving. How was yours?