I had this idea that it would be amazing to see a bunch of women around Mack’s cabin’s awesome kitchen table and Mack was kind enough to indulge me and, yeah, so he made that happen and yesterday a bunch of us all sat around it and ate and talked and did dishes and drank and sang* and basically carried on as we are wont to do.
Y’all it was so amazing; I mean it, so nice that I about couldn’t stand it. At one point I was just sitting on the porch swing watching the light dim along the ridge, listening to laughter echo across the holler and I was just grinning like a fool. I had to take a moment, just to step back and kind of process how awesome it was. Which is the corniest thing, but I don’t care.
I don’t know. I wanted to say a little something about how much it tickled me to find Coble, the Professor, NM and me in the kitchen trying to get everything organized and we all bemoaning the fact that we didn’t have three tables to put up in the other room where we could have sorted and organized food by genre (salads and side dishes, main courses, desserts–of course) and, as we were talking about that very thing, suddenly realizing that it was all the midwesterners calling on our ingrained potluck organizing social skills who were in fact standing there trying to organize things.
I swear to god, I never thought of there being any such thing as “midwestern culture” when I lived there, but it’s funny to me how, now that I’m down here I will find myself being able to pick out the midwesterners by certain things–like who’s standing in the kitchen organizing the food.
Mack bought the four-wheelers down for folks who are not chickenshit to ride, which pretty much was everybody but me. Malia and SaraClark were all riding the four-wheeler like they were born on one and I’m pretty sure were exchanging tips with Mack about how to keep them in proper working order and which native plants work best if you have to rebuilt engine parts out in the wilderness.
Oh, and y’all, Mack’s kids made a sign so that folks would know the right place to turn–it was a giant woman symbol (the circle with the cross underneath) with the tiny cat from the upper right corner there in the middle of the circle. It was so awesome.
And the food… Oh god, the food was fantastic and there was so much, way too much, but it was awesome.
And I have the hugest dog-crush on Mack’s dog, Rocky, who is an outdoor dog, but slowly, one paw per quarter hour** worked his way into the cabin where he helped himself to as much food as he could charm out of folks.
Okay, so here’s everyone who was there–Mack, obviously; me; the Professor; Rachel from Women’s Health News; Kofax-award nominated commenter, NM; Ginger, who made the brief bout of flashing actual flashing (sorry about that–next time we will make the ‘to the bra’/’beneath the bra’ determination before the shirts come up); Newscoma, who is just one of the most awesome people ever; Squirrel Queen, who I feel like I’ve known for a million years (and I better see some of those orgy pictures up on the web); Malia and SaraClark, queens of the fourwheeler; Kate O’, who is totally my hero for being graciously at ease in every kind of situation I’ve ever seen her in; Ivy, who should, along with Heather, have her own TV show, where she just doles out advice about plastic wrap and calls folks ‘bitches’; Kathy T., who almost didn’t get to leave after she started running her fingers through my hair; Coble, (or was she? Maybe it was just me in two places at once! Or twice at the same place. Hmm. Very deep.); and Lynnster, who came clear from Memphis, sat in the back yard with this kind of regal ease that made me smile and somehow I didn’t get a chance, again, to monopolizing her time. Soon woman, soon.
Anyway, y’all I cannot begin to say how much it meant to me that you came and brought food and had a good time and indulged me in getting around that table just to see what would happen. I have to say, I think what happened was awesome and I really feel honored and grateful that you’d all make time in your busy lives to drive clear up to the middle of nowhere to hang out for an evening. Really, thank you so much.
And Mack, I kind of don’t even know what to say to you. You were the perfect host–gracious, charming, funny, and conscientious. I’m sorry I threatened to tie you to a chair if you didn’t stop fretting, but, you must admit, if you had to be tied to a chair, you’ve got some awesome chairs to be tied to. The place looked amazing and you made everyone feel at ease and welcome. And by god, that table was perfect. You have my undying gratitude and loyalty. And, in honor of you and your people, today I will be called Tia B.
*A little Hank Williams Jr., for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the proper response to “Hank, why do you drink?”
**You think I’m kidding, but he really stood at the back door of the cabin and put first one paw inside to see how that’d be received and then another paw and then a third, and finally was like “Well, hey, fuck it. Today, if there’s food and folks to feed me, I’m an indoor/outdoor dog.” and just came strutting in.
Edited to add: Check out the Squirrel Queen’s awesome logo! And the photos! I kind of want to frame that logo and put it on my desk at work.