"Baby, could you stop and get us each a plate lunch and bring it to the woods?"
"Or would you rather have chicken and dumplings, green bean casserole and pecan pie?"
"Hey! You guys want chicken and dumplings?" JB called.
Skipper answered for all, "Heck yes. That beats potted meat and vienna sausage."
My car smelled yummy. I couldn't wait to dive in. They were glad to see me, but in no hurry to eat. In spite of Clint's turkey in the oven, a few more stories had to be told, and the cooler wasn't empty yet.
I walked the couple of blocks to our camp. Last year the building burned to the ground in a thunderstorm. Locals said the gas bottles went off like rockets. What was left had to be buried. I was shocked to find no trace of JB's thirty-seven years of camping. This is where we parked our motorhome over the winter. I slept by the fire ring under the stars at full moon. No more handmade, four adult seats swing a friend traded JB for his leather jacket, or motel-sized refrigerator from Lake of the Ozarks with a story of its own. The crushed rock drive is overgrown. Five layers of used carpet, camp grass, is history. So are we.
Too stunned to weep, Mother Nature did it for me. A cloud came up and drenched me. I could almost hear her laughing. Might as well laugh, there was nothing to do but keep walking in the downpour. JB rushed toward me with my car. Too late. Dr. Seuss said it best, "I'll bet you never yet met a wet pet as wet as that pet can get."
Mud. Mississippi mud sticks to the boots and doesn't crumble off. The way of the woods: fresh fried crappie; another deer and turkey season. Nature cycles uninterrupted. The winner in the end. We are mere ghosts of the past.
2010 Red Convertible Travel Series