Perhaps a bit of an overstatement, really. However, last weekend I headed to the hills seeking some clarity and relaxation, but Mentone had other plans for me. Nature always wins — we shouldn’t forget that.
I arrived and headed straight to Andy’s memorial chapel. Seeing that peaceful green spot, looking up at the trees, I did have some bit of thought and I’ll even share the most obvious. It’s something my father preaches to both of his children (and anyone who listens) and that is to leave what you are working on better than when you started. Andy took that up a notch and forged pure beauty with a light tread.
After this it was time to visit. I hugged Marc, who is still running the MSH like a machine and with finesse. I dropped by Lucy’s place and left a note and then I planted myself on the brow and listened to trees and birds and pre-eve chittering of creatures. Only one couple came up and disrupted the moment. It was an incredible stretch of alone. I don’t remember the brow ever being so still (except in winter). After the solitude began to grow old, my cell phone rang and Lucy was on her way with a bottle of wine. So we had a glass or two and headed to the hotel after sunset. Marc was waiting due to the fact we were 20 mins past seating time. Oops. But he still sat us on the porch and I had another incredible meal. After the campers and other restaurant goers left, Marc, Lucy and I had a revealing chat on the porch that probably kept up neighbors and may have scandalized any dropping eaves.
The following day found Lucy and I in the valley on a fruitless journey for plants. Sans plants, we cruised the tiny town of Valley Head and I heard the maddening call of an ice cream truck. We kept stopping, listening, and finally I spotted it a few blocks over. Lucy does not have a lead foot, by any stretch of the imagination, but she gave it a go and the chase was on. He was hauling, but we finally caught up to him, honking all the way, at the entrance to a dirt road. After such a hunt, that ice cream was good and the plantless state forgotten.
Then I went on a solo woodsy ramble at DeSoto State Park. After working up a sweat and encountering a bee the size of my head, I went back to my gorgeous turrett bedroom. I had my own little suite with a jucuzzi bath tub and a seperate shower. Honestly, sitting here on my couch in Atlanta, I’m amazed I left that room willingly. I stayed in what used to be my summer bedroom. (Yes, I had a summer bedroom — deal with it.) It’s much improved and hardly recognizable — so most of the things that haunted me about that place seem to have left for darker corners. Restorative jacuzzi experienced, I headed back to the brow.
And here’s the thing about Mentone, you never know. We say that about everything. But seriously, you never know what is going to happen. Ritual is disrupted — maybe nonexistent. Well, you have to really struggle with a set plan, that’s how I’ll put it. So back on the brow for sunset day 2 — drastically different. Lucy joined me again. We had to bum some vodka from one of her neighbors and we sipped slowly. But then company came. Gwinn, the keeper of the vodka, walked over and joined us; then her girlfriend Debbi pulled up. Come to find out, I have cousins there. Cousins that know my mother and have provided a family history of the Duncans. Deb is one of them and shared her family history with me. My mother’s side of the family is fairly scarce, or so I thought, not so much. I’ve got tons of cousins running around. In fact, as Deb and I sat there debating if we were 2nd or 3rd, a girl walked up with her family and said her last name was Duncan!! Bring out the rolls, it was impromptu family reunion time. Odd odd odd stuff and yet so typically Mentone.
And then, wildness. The ladies all went home, but while I was chatting it up with my cousin, Lucy was hatching a plan. I can’t tell you the plan in its entirety, but I will say that Lucy is waging a war on tacky. It was a full moon and after I went home and read about my grandfather and took some details down about his life (there was a picture of me in the book that I didn’t know existed!!!), I dressed in dark blue jeans and a grey shirt. I snuck out to the car and made sure the interior light was off. Picked up Lucy by moonlight and we were off righting the wrongs of taste and city ordinance. Adventure and mishap ahead of us — born to be wild once more. Ahh, Mentone — you are such a blast.