Last week was a special one. It was my last few days of my twenties and the start of a new chapter in my life; my dirty thirties. Despite the best efforts of the pandemic and the weather, it didn’t dampen our spirits or our celebrations and I managed to have a memorable week anyway.
Tuesday May 5th was my last day of being 29, Cinco de Mayo AND Taco Tuesday. Jessica invited us over for a cook out to celebrate – a great way to end my twenties. Jesse and Kaci joined us, as well as Daniel. I expected this to just be a little get-together for cinco de mayo but was delightfully surprised when they brought out a little cupcake with candles, sang happy birthday, and gave me flowers and gifts. It’s hard to express my gratitude for these people who have made us feel so welcome and supported through all the madness of 2020 and brought such light into our lives. We had a pretty terrific thunder and lightning storm close in on us after dinner. But as we took shelter under the porch, Junior and Jessica’s girls had fun running through the mud puddles and playing in the rain. It was a really great way to say goodbye to my twenties.
On my birthday, in true getting-older fashion, we spent most of the day running errands and doing some pretty boring adult stuff. But after we got Junior into bed we broke out my new telescope (a gift from my wonderful husband) and got a good look at the Super Moon, also known as the flower moon.
On Thursday Chris got home early to continue the celebrations of The Week of Rachael – or the Month of Rachael (as I prefer) – and we set off for a hike. Our first choice, Black Rock Lake, was slammed with visitors so turned around in search of somewhere a little less crowded. We took a little drive and scoped out some property in the area (we’re starting to think about exit-strategies for the camp hosting life) and found Rabun County park.
We walked around the park and down to the small lake. There we found a Canadian Goose sitting on her nest. When she slipped into the water for a swim I took the opportunity to grab a couple snaps of her eggs and Junior giggled as she honked and paddled around the lake.
We found a trail toward the back of the lake so we decided to follow it to see where it went. This turned out to be Junior’s first ever hike (without being carried) and he soldiered on for 1.5 miles. He had a blast playing with the foliage and sticks along the trail and stopped to hug every tree he came across.
Chris took Friday off and we went for another walk in the morning. Black Rock lake was much quieter so we set off in search of Junior’s beloved ducks. He walked the mile long trail on his own, quacking furiously and calling out, “ducky” the whole way around until we finally came upon them on the far bank of the lake. An older gentleman was nearby and had been feeding them some bread. He offered some to Junior so he could feed the ducks, but as Junior took a piece of bread he promptly stuffed it in his own mouth and all the fishermen around erupted with laughter.
It was a wonderful week and I’ve been fortunate to receive many cards, messages, phone calls, flowers, gifts, and love from everyone. The greatest gift, undeniably, has been spending time together as a family and making memories I will always cherish.
Earlier this week we said goodbye to Jesse and Kaci who have become like old friends to us over the last few weeks. We’ve spent many evenings sitting around the fire and chatting about life. It was fun to have met another couple who shared so many of our interests and views that we were able to have such good laughs with. They’re a wonderful couple and, though I wish them all the best on the next chapter of their adventures and I know it was just time for them to go, we will miss them and hope that our paths will cross with theirs again down the road.
In recent weeks we’ve turned our attention to the future of our adventure and what our “plan” for the next chapter will be. While we enjoy the beautiful scenery at state parks and are grateful to have met some awesome people, we both have been pining for a place to put down some roots and at least have a home base. We love the Clayton area and hope to make it our home when the time is right. Before we can do that, however, we have to take a trip to Tennessee for a few weeks and work on our house there to get it ready to sell.
We plan to make the trip this summer – and it’s something we are all looking forward to. It will give us a welcome break from the daily hosting grind, and give us a chance to visit with family and friends while we make preparations for the next big chapter of our lives; embarking on our homestead journey.