A Mosaic in the Making

    Amazing Blue Ridge

    Nicki Black  June 26 2010 01:03:23 PM
    The end of each school year always brings a much-anticipated event called Camp Bide-A-Wee. When our DD was about 5 years old, she started spending the first couple of weeks of summer with her paternal grandparents, getting loved on, getting to see her cousins, and getting perfect eggs over easy (compliments of her Papa Noel) and bacon and movies and fishing and games of Sorry to her heart's delight. It's named Camp Bide-A-Wee after her grandma. When DD was born, my MIL (that's mother-in-love, btw) did *not* want to be called "grandma", but something more special and befitting. After some brainstorming, probably while watching old black and white movies, she came up with Bide-A-Wee, in delight of DD to always bide a wee more time with her. Papa Noel came next, needing his own unique moniker. Since he is a straight-on ringer for Santa Claus, his name was obvious - problem solved. And it was much easier than when we had to name DD. She went incognito for the first 3 days of her life because when I saw her little face she didn't look like any of the names on our prospective list, throwing a monkey wrench into the game plan, and eliciting great grandma to finally declare over a bucket of KFC extra crispy, "I'm NOT leaving your house until this child has a NAME!!". Heh heh...

    And so Bide-A-Wee and Papa Noel graciously keep our DD for as long as we'd like, but generally she gets homesick around week 2, so 2 weeks it is. So far our DS has been a bit too young to join the ranks at Camp (requests for a potty trained camper, truth be known), but next year I am looking forward to a gloriously delicious event - the moment I can ship off 2 campers for 2 or more weeks and DH and I can act like we're kids again, taking the convertible out for a spin on the back roads at dusk, hearing the sound of our own voices, having a date or 2 (good gracious, what's that, anyway?), perfectly all alone and fancy free. I.can't.wait.

    For serious.

    Image:Amazing Blue Ridge
    [DH & DD. He's not that short. Just in a hole, haha.]

    I sit here day-dreamy and googly-eyed, especially typing this at the very moment DS throws a squealing fit for being in a time out. Can next summer come soon enough?


    Ok, well, this year we also decided it was time for DD to ride her first real roller coaster. It's not like we had been withholding anything. She's been tall enough to ride for at least a few years now, shooting up over 4 inches in a 12 month span a couple years ago alone. It's just that we haven't made the time. We live about 3.5 hours from the nearest big park, and it's in the opposite direction of the grandparents, who are our always-amazing and willing sitters. Going to the amusement park would involve a 3.5 hour trip to the grandparents to drop off the DS, then 3.5 hours to the park, then 3.5 hours back to pick up DS, then 3.5 hours back home (and 3.5 hours to drive back to pick up DD after Camp, then 3.5 hours back home). So that's exactly what we did last month, and we had a blast. ... Well, a blast minus my car's starter dying en-route to the park at a gas station so completely in the middle of Nowhere Mountain Town, USA, that our cell phones didn't have enough of a good signal to get a call to AAA. It took hours waiting around in the 90 degree heat to make a connection to the AAA dispatch, and we couldn't find a legitimate address for the tow guy. They finally located a local who knew the area, so he hauled us back to the in-love's to swap cars, and start all over again. The whole miserable ordeal delayed us about 8 hours and wiped out our entire extra day of lagniappe fun time. Argh. I guess it saved us from spending more play money. But it did hurt like a kick to the head to pay for a new starter.

    Did I say argh already?

    But with all that behind us, we made it to the park, had a great time, and decided to take a meandering route back to the in-love's through the Blue Ridge Mountains. It took an extra 3 or so hours, but it was amazing. The Blue Ridge has always been like a long lost friend to me. I grew up in the plains, with cornfields and flat land as far as the eye could see, but I think my soul was always waiting for me in the hills and vistas I now call my home away from home. And DH and I seem to spend all of our every-5-year anniversary getaways there, from our honeymoon at Biltmore in Asheville, to the quaint railroad town in Dillsboro, to the eclectic and artsy Floyd.

    So while driving over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go (literally), I began to melt and relish the sleepy moon just starting to show it's face over the horizon. Flip flops kicked off onto the floorboards, windows down, hair blowing and billowing out into the cool mountain air, my heart wrapped itself around a new revelation and appreciation of being right there in that moment in time, supping up a fresh wind of God's paintbrush across the land below and the heavens above. How blessed we are to see such beauty, and know that it was made just for us to give glory back unto Him. When life gets complicated and jumbled, I go back to the Blue Ridge in my heart, and reconnect with God. Three and a half hours becomes a moment away, and I can breathe again, and quiet myself. This is all part of my mosaic - simply a piece here and a piece there that I've collected from shards along the way, coming together to form the bigger, more colorful, picture of me.

    Image:Amazing Blue Ridge