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Saturday

While much remains left to share about the Bon Appetit Grub Crawl, I instead want to write about the current. My nephew Samuel is getting married today. He is my sister’s 5th of six. He is marrying a sweet and sassy girl named Valerie. We’ve driven from Florida to Tennessee for the wedding, dividing the trip into two sections to make it easier to manage. I am the sole driver, and five hours are about all my hands and joints can handle. In recent weeks I have be dealing with a mysterious inflammatory process in my joints. There are other symptoms but the stiffness and strange freezing and cramping has made dependable fine motor skills a bit unpredictable. Gripping a steering wheel and navigation the up and over mountain roads has required a two day travel permit on either side of the wedding.

Tennessee is pretty, lush and verdant. While Florida stays ever green, there is something about the deep vitality of an early summer forested mountain. I must admit, I find mountain and hill terrain unsettling. I am a flat Florida girl. I belong on the savannah not in the hill country. The fascinating thing is that my youngest loves the hills and mountains. Down in his core he says it feels good and right.

We’ve listened to The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde while driving from Gainesville to Atlanta. The unabridged version of the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevens was less than four hours. Some modern works of fiction unabridged run over 25 hours in length. It is an ode to tighter writing and good editing. That lean story was fabulous. We are now listening to Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is creepy and magical and enthralling enough that my oldest has threatened to take the ipod and sneak listen on his own while the wedding events are going on. I hid the ipod.

I rented a Chevy Yukon, a panzer of a vehicle to carry a (partial) bedroom suit to my niece. It means I have capacity to go to the Atlanta Ikea store and purchase my home office desk and wardrobe. It is an inevitability that tomorrow in a southward drive, we detour into downtown Atlanta and buy the two boxed pieces of furniture with their stick drawing visual assembly diagrams and 5,000 pieces for construction. It will give me something to do next weekend in the vacuum.

I’ve had the boys for four solid days of uninterrupted, total saturation time. I realized – nay, we realized – we have lots of fun together, the three of us: laughing, joking, cutting up, critiquing and having a general running commentary. Sometimes they just sleep in the car while I drive. It feels like a cocoon of what truly means something to my heart in this world. And I suspect some day soon, sooner than I anticipate, my sons will fall in love and want to marry, too.

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