The past week has been a very busy time for both me and my tired and stressed Mountain Boy.
LC's brother traveled down to the south - first visiting his son in Alabama, then traveling to North Carolina to visit with his daughter, then finally making his way back to Tennessee to spend time with both of us.
He, as with us, is in a period of transition in his life. Also wondering where the road will take him..............
On the morning of the 30th we finally moved back into our house.
After my having a brief and vaguely unsettling interaction with the male in the house who was not on the lease LC spent our last night in the cabin tossing and turning.
And hoping for an excuse to fight on the morning we finally drove up to our home with both of the trucks and our 16 foot trailer filled with the things that we still possess after 21 months of traveling from one end of the country to the other and back again.
Thankfully they were gone.
And what remained in our house was chaos.
Some minor breakages. Broken glass in the kitchen drains. Water damage underneath the sink. A lot of trash both inside and outside the house. And a whole lot of dirt.
Dirt covering everything.
After six and a half non-stop hours of cleaning we finally began to unload the trucks and the trailer after deciding that the house was not yet clean but was clean enough for now.
Carpet in the den and the office was pulled up because it was irretrievable.
Thankfully they were the only rooms in the house with wall-to-wall and we happily found brick-type linoleum in the den (after expecting nothing but concrete in this converted garage) and long-suspected but until now unconfirmed hardwood floor in the office that matches the floors in the rest of the house.
And three beautiful old brick steps leading from the den up into the kitchen. They will be lovely when we are finished with them.
In addition to the cleaning of every flat surface in the house (including inexplicably the ceilings) there are hundreds of staples we need to dig out of the floor from the carpet lay.
But we're in.
And as with everything else since we arrived back in Tennessee it feels both strange and familiar, foreign and finally like.........home.
We have already purchased some yard sale furniture and now have a ready excuse to go for the next few weekends as we begin again to make a home here.
Plastic storage containers completely fill one bedroom.
Before we began unloading the trucks we first tied Jamie to a post on the back porch.
Within an hour LC came walking through the side door and I was surprised to see him hanging on to Jamie by the collar.
She had broken her leash.
LC and I just looked at each other and then laughed at the irony of it.
LC bought that leash for our dog right before he left Tennessee, and while I was in Juneau and he was readying to leave we spoke on the phone of the worry we both felt about James.
How she would fare on the long journey across country. Concern about her slipping out of LC's grip at some point and in some state on the way across country and be lost to us forever.
We felt that way often as we took her for extensive walks on many trails in and around Juneau.
And again when we came back down to the Lower 48.
But we managed to keep her safe and we didn't lose her and she did not break her leash until the very day that we moved back into our home in Tennessee.
The picture above of the gargoyle was taken at M&M's home not far from Lynchburg on our final day at her small and rustic and very sweet cabin.
I love that heavy concrete figure that I found resting silently and angrily on the front porch of the cabin, and can relate to the animated, angry, go-way and stay-away face. He is beautiful.
These are all pictures taken from M&M's home on our last day............
After take pictures of garden ornaments and flowers and gargoyles I slowly wandered across the road to the horse farm and stood taking pictures of these beautiful and friendly horses.
As I continued walking along the road in front of the horse property I looked over and noticed Choctaw standing and watching me intently underneath the lone tree in the middle of the pasture.
He is the most beautiful of a handful of beautiful horses that live in this quiet place.
He is very tall and very muscular and with beautiful dark brown and white coloring
He is beautiful and he knows that he is beautiful and the king of his world.
As I continued both walking and snapping pictures I frequently looked over to the tree to see if Choctaw was still watching me. He was. He was following my every move.
When I first noticed him he was behind the tree staring at me, and as I continued walking he slowly moved around the tree one step at a time so that he could visually follow me.............
New rails on my truck. A $10 yard sale find.
A trailer partially unloaded so we could dig out our mattress .
And a beautiful cabin that I will miss.............
Smaller but still wonderful white tailed deer.
Small and large herds can be seen grazing in fields throughout the area and they frequently run across M&M's land while moving from one untouched hillside to another.
On our last day I snapped these pictures of a lone deer who ran down M&M's wild vegetation-filled hill and across the front lawn.
Before she got to the road she stopped and seemed unsure where to run next. She wandered in circles for a few minutes, walked slowly back the way she had come and then surprisingly ran back up the same embankment and back into the same woods from where she had first appeared.................
Late in the day about a week ago we drove to Lynchburg to meet up with LC's older brother.
This is the same man who came down to Tennessee to help his brother load two trucks and then drive them all the way across country to the ferry terminal in Bellingham Washington.
The same man who then spent 2 1/2 days on the ferry to come to Juneau Alaska.
The last time I saw this man was in Juneau.
At a time when I was so happy to see LC again after five months of separation, and at a time when I was so incredibly hopeful that he and I would live a lovely and quiet life in such a beautiful place.
And now I was going to see "Big Brother" again back in Tennessee.
Only it would not be in Lynchburg.
Not long after we arrived in this little Jack Daniels town he called to say that he had taken the wrong highway and was coming in from a different direction than anticipated.
We ended up meeting him at a gas station.
The tour buses of tourists and leather-clad Harley Davidson riders all drawn to quaint and small town Lynchburg and the Jack Daniels Distillary are gone.
I have ridden my bike through this town late in the Fall all the way through late Spring, many times on a Sunday morning and the place is completely and absolutely shut down.
A very sweet and very quiet town.............
More horse and deer pictures taken across the road from the cabin very late in the day and with the sun rapidly fading...............
I heard from my youngest boy recently.
After staying in Winnipeg for only a short while he has accepted a job at a ski resort 90 minutes north of that city.
He will make snow until the real thing arrives and then work the ski lifts.
A quiet, fun, outdoorsy job that he sounds excited about.
He is well. And as long as I keep hearing from him I am well too.............
I heard from my oldest boy recently.
He and his wife, after four years of marriage, two graduations and two budding careers, have decided to start a family.
A month after arriving back in Tennessee I learn that my first born child will soon have a child of his own.
And I am glad we decided to come back when we did................