Well, I’m back from my trip to Tennessee to visit my old classmate–I’ll call her “Martina” to spare her any embarrassment. As you recall, i was quite nervous about what I had commited to in going to stay a night. Nervous, but excited. On the 4-hour drive I played all my old 70′s cd’s, especially Fleetwood Mac and Bob Seger, singing at the top of my lungs.
When I arrived, i was happy (but not surprised) to find her just as beautiful as she ever was. Martina was alsway “the pretty one” in our circle, especially at our 10-year high-school reunion. She seemed normal. She has a 15 year old daughter who joined us on the porch to catch-up, as she had heard lot’s of tales about her Mom and “Potsie”–my identity for many years. Things were going swimmingly until the daughter mentioned that the entire back yard was full of buried cats.
“Whaaa?” I knew she had always had a cat or two sharing her life, but…
“Oh, yeah, every time one dies, we plant it in the yard. There’s a whole litter under that tree. Then we just find more, or they find us–i think they must just know…”
So, I’m drinking a cold one surrounded by a field of dead pussys. Cat ghosts. Having never particularly been a cat person (I’m a dog-Mom), I felt a little disquited. I tried not to think about it, which was pretty easy to do after several more beers and funny conversations.
The next morning we got up and drove to Sewanee, where we had gone to the boarding school on the campus of the University of the South. There, we re-visited all of our old haunts, including Shenanigans, where we had a shenaniwich and beer. (back in ’77, beer was off limits to us, legally anyway).
We hiked to some of our favorite spots on the Mountain. You see, when we were boarding students there, with no access to cars, all of our free time was spent in the woods, doing whatever comes naturally to adolescents. At times we would just sit and soak up the beauty that we left behind so many years ago. There was no awkwardness in our silence. Rather, it was comforting to know that we were returning there with a safe, old friend.
After a couple of hikes around Lake Cheston and Morgan’s Steep, we stopped-in at the Smoke House General Store, where Martina promptly pounced on a hot-pink shirt covered in cats. She really wanted it, but it was overpriced, so she skipped on it. I did, however, get her pic with it, so maybe for her birthday…
When it was time to go, I hugged my friend with a tear in my eye, and made her promise to come for a visit with the crazy dog lady this fall!