24 May 2013

Last week...we got engaged.

I tend to romanticize a lot of things in life. But last week really was romantic. I keep thinking it's a big dream, but a look at these photos, and I know that all the happiness was real. It still is. Here's what happened, in words and pictures.

Saturday, May 11.
We set our alarms for 4:30 a.m. (Trae in Chattanooga, I in Chapel Hill) Trae called me at 4:40, asking me if I was up. It had been two weeks since we last saw each other, on my birthday. Now, we were both driving separately to Cumberland, to spend a week at the old house.

We met at the dock with a pound of shrimp and time to spare. The first day we went to the beach house and read books. I wore my bathing suit the entire day, even in the 7-hour car ride.

We went for a walk on the old road south of Table Point, under the tall pines. There's some sort of old road bed there - a trench running from the backside shore inland. We walked along it until the palmettos got too thick for us to follow it. We picked lots of ticks off each other. But once we stepped out of the woods onto the marsh, the breeze was wonderful.
Sunday afternoon.
We went to the north end, my favorite part of the island. I think Trae knows this. Walking around, it was low tide and the sand bar stretched out very far, making the Christmas Creek outlet narrow. Trae asked me to marry him. I said yes. He gave me a beautiful ring. Then, I took some photos, but they were all out of focus. I think I was too happy to concentrate.

Out of focus birds. Everything on my memory card of that afternoon on the beach is fuzzy. haha!

On the way back from the beach, we saw a snake track across the dunes:

The rest of the trip is kind of a blur. We did so much.

We spent lots of time fishing on the beach, and caught exactly one fish! We used it for bait to fish in the ocean and creek, but didn't catch anything else. Our worst luck yet!

One day we drove out to cedar point before sunset. It was such a beautiful time of day to be there. We saw bobcat tracks and watched the sun set from the tall dunes. Over the entire week, we saw two bobcats.


 And so many of our mornings on this porch with coffee and a stack of old magazines.


10 May 2013

Anna and Elizabeth's story songs

Anna behind the crankie, Elizabeth singing on the right.
My newest radio story is a non-narrated piece about the 25-year-old, old time musicians Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-GevaltIt aired on The Story with Dick Gordon on April 30, and on May 9 it aired on WMMT mountain community radio. How I heard about these women is a long story, and I've written it below. You can listen to the piece here:

Williams Island is on the right. Photo taken from a canoe in the (Tennessee) River.

Two or three summers ago there was a potluck dinner on Williams Island Farm. It began in the afternoon, a fire in the stone-circled ring with a dutch oven shoved in the coals, cooking some part of somebody's animal. There were a couple fiddles and a banjo. Later on, after whiskey, beer, moonshine, I'm sure, and a good meal, it was dark and the fire was still burning and sending up embers and I sang a ballad or two and there was more fiddle music. The night ended when we canoed back across the Tennessee River, Charlie Hunter's fiddle serenading us, the music bouncing off the rock face beneath the Baylor side. It was a lovely night, and that evening someone first told me about Elizabeth LaPrelle, the ballad singer.
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