29th November, 2014.
We are in Woodstock, New York, in what feels like a ski lodge but is actually just a wi-fi café with a delicious assortment of teas. There is crisp white snow and fairy lights everywhere. People are milling around, enjoying their post-Thanksgiving feast tight trouseredness. We are staying with a guitar strumming man we met several moons ago around a camp fire. Last night we got drunk and pretended we were 1940s movie stars, something I quite often do when drunk, calling everybody darling.
We barreled through New Orleans, sleeping in the car, in an old and possibly asbestos riddled campervan, and in a tent right on the levee that broke. Spent mornings watching men fish for shrimp with nets and buckets, days looking at art, looking for alligators, dusks on balconies, feeling somewhere between France and California, and evenings dancing to live music and daring each other to be braver and love more.
After New Orleans we went back to Atlanta, where we now have the absolute sweetest circle of friends. Our main man, Dylan, and our new sister, Suzie-Q. Despite being late November, it felt like early summer, and we sipped coffee barefoot in the park and watched Hels cover herself in mud. We farmers marketed and cooked and danced silly dances in the kitchen, trying to keep the broken hearted smiling. We stayed up late with mandolin players, fiddlers, banjo picking. Ate fried green tomaters and said not goodbye but see you later to our new bar-raising best friends, inspiring me to be a better girl, a better person, a better lover, a better friend.
From Atlanta we drove back to our cold and beautiful North Carolina home, packed up all our pretty things, frozen and holey and covered in burrs, and said goodbye to our much beloved Snaggy Mountain and all the kind strong folk there, the angels teaching us lesson after lesson, whether or not we were in the mood to learn. We drove 12 hours that day, finally stopping to sleep somewhere in Delaware at 2 in the morning. Smokey bathtub, starched sheets.
On the drive north the sky turned from blue to white and the trees grew bare snow blowing in our eyes. Now here we are in Woodstock, in the very same square Jess and I fell in love with on Halloween 2009. The Catskill Mountains are a magic place, and it feels so perfect to be back here again.