Warning: Hokey Heartfelt Blathering Ahead

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.

30 thoughts on “Warning: Hokey Heartfelt Blathering Ahead

  1. Oh, I forgot to say that the most awesome moment was when Mack’s daughter came by and was like “Wow, I’ve never seen so many women in one place.”

  2. Yes! What you and Ivy said! How lucky are we to live an a time where binary codes can bring together such a diverse, fantastic group of people.

  3. Let me chime in about how it was wonderful to find so many awesome blogresses in one place. Everyone was at least as friendly, pleasant, generous, and cool as I had expected, most of you even more so. The food, the drink, the rest of it — wow-I-had-a-great-time.

  4. bridgett, I wish you could have been there, too. There are not words to describe the awesomeness. Well, I suppose there might be, but I cannot string them together.

    Anyway, I had a blast and I LOVE seeing everyone.

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  6. What an amazing, inspiring, funky, foul,hysterical,unbelievable evening. It was a night filled with delightful conversation, laughter, feasting and friendship. It was such an honor to be among a cast of women from all walks of life but all walking for one night down the same path.
    And to Mack, a huge thank you for all your hospitality. Thanks for opening your home and your ears to a pair of visitors from Hooterville.

  7. Thank you, Aunt B, for organizing the amazing day. I vote for it to become an annual event, if Mack can handle having us back! Start on that gazebo now, Padre! :)

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  9. I think Squirrel Queen should come up and help build the gazebo as her and Mack bonded over moving grills and hauling shit around.
    SQ is Mack-Lite.

  10. B, thanks so much for organizing this. I had the best time. I owe some of you ladies back for provision of certain supplies – please don’t hesitate to bum from me in the future.

  11. Thank you B.!!!! I had the best time, I wish I could have stayed longer.

    Are Mack’s glasses with my Apples 2 Apples game? I realized about 1/2 way home that I’d left the game in the cabin. Anyone take it home with them or will I be “forced” to trek out to that beautiful, Tennessee haven again to retrieve it?

  12. I now own many things I didn’t own prior to last weekend. I have a big-ass box of shirts. I have at least two board games. I have various un-matching utensils, and a padded bra. I can use most of these.

    What I no longer own is a pair of glasses. Did I mention that?

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  14. Mack, I never even saw you with any glasses on at any time. Are you sure you had them?

    I ated too much food(oh tamales, mac’n cheese, potato salad,grilled pita bread, procuitto and cheese, cherry dump cake, califlower and potato curry, two bean tamale pie and more),
    I laughed too much (bitches), saw more bras than boobs(but plenty of freckles), I only set a few things on fire and I didn’t totally destroy my pedicure shifting gears on a 4 wheeler.
    I smelled the beautiful blooming native phlox, missed seeing the snake and petted all the dogs. Hank Jr was resurrected from my deep subconcious and I am glad that nobody brought up
    David Allen Coe, Merle Haggard or Jimmy Buffet. I met new people, learned new things and just enjoyed hearing other people talk about the same interests that I have and expressing thoughts and views that I haven’t considered before. I feel a little less lonely in the world today. Bravo, Ladies, Bravo!

    I feel like there should be a toast at this point, but I’m out of limes.

  15. oh, I almost forgot about singing Hank Jr.! Thanks for bringing that up, saraclark! :)

    I have plenty ‘o limes left…and a few Coronas in my fridge that I held back for myself…cheers!

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