This must be the place

He slinked by, turned and glanced at me.

“Well, hey there, you must be Jack, eh?” I said to him.

This must be the place

art theplaceI had never heard anything like that before.

Sitting on the porch of my grandfather’s camp on Lake Champlain, a voice echoed from the small portable tape player covered with paint specks and years of winter storage dust.

Mountain Momma

If you’re lucky enough to stay home this Labor Day weekend, revel in the fact you live somewhere other people — lots of other people — love to visit.

By Friday, droves of tourists will be here. In our house, we approach these prime time tourist weekends the same way others react to the weatherman’s call for a wintery mix: hit the store and stock up while the getting is good, because by Saturday, the inventory of hotdog buns and selection of sweet pickle relish will be severely depleted.  

Mountain momma

My kids have been in training all summer for the Haywood County Fair.

They haven’t been raising giant pumpkins nor whipping their dairy cows into shape for the show ring. Nor have they been boning up on their bingo skills, perfecting recipes for the cake walk contest, or even rehearsing comedy routines for the variety show.

This must be the place

art placeThe floor below me began to shake.

For a moment, the idea of the structure collapsing seemed plausible. All around me, thousands of people were screaming, thrashing their arms wildly with manic looks on their faces. It was Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., and I was partaking in my first Southeastern Conference (SEC) football game.

Mountain momma

art mtnmommaThe scramble is on across WNC to pack in a few last drops of quality family time before school starts back.

This must be the place

art placeThis might get loud.

I tend to say that to anyone who finds themselves in the passenger’s seat of my rusty pickup truck. I live and die for rock-n-roll.

This must be the place

art placeI was afraid of getting caught.

As a teenager, I found myself sneaking into the back door of my grandfather’s garage. Amid the darkness, I stepped over firewood, fishing gear and forgotten storage boxes layered in dust. Sliding past his couch-on-wheels Ford Crown Victoria, I located the refrigerator and reached for the handle. Opening the door, the bright light illuminated the interior of the garage. Squinting my eyes, I found what I was in search of – a cold can of Coors Light.

Mountain momma

Living within walking distance of the farmers market has lots of perks. For starters, it’s a great excuse when asked, with a tinge of poorly disguised incredulity, “You don’t even grow a few vegetables, not even a couple of tomato plants?”

This must be the place

art placeI wanted to be close to the source.

When I was 20 years old, I decided to become a writer. Standing in the mud at Bonnaroo 2005, I realized all I wanted to do what talk to strangers and write about them. It’s a fascination that will never subside, a thirst that will never be quenched.

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