This past weekend, I hosted my first non-family visitor! My friend Laura, who grew up 2 blocks from where my parents live now but herself resides in New York City, flew in for a long weekend in the mountains. We had a fairly boring few days, at least as compared to my parents' visit, because of the storms and my own oddly somber mood, but we hit The Pretty Penny for some DELICIOUS homemade-from-scratch lasagna and berry cobbler and adventured to Lake Moomaw the next day. These photos are mostly from that excursion.
Laura came bearing gifts, including a pair of sandals from Greece (identical to a pair I bought in Athens years ago which fell during Leilani's initial reign of terror) and a pretty little coat hook for me. For Vista, there was a gigantic bone, which she is alternately enthralled and baffled by. It's a little too much for her to carry, but she keeps trying anyway!
Aside from our trip to Moomaw, Miss Laur and I mostly lay about and read. Laura works for HarperCollins, and is singlehandedly responsible for my current love of romance novels. Most of the books I own (and there are quite a few), she's read before, but she still is constantly picking them up and flipping through. Once she's done, she leaves them in little stacks scattered through the house. I spent last evening tripping over unexpected piles of books.
Laur and I both grew up on the outskirts of Washington, DC, but we developed into very different people. I'm from Northern Virginia by way of the South (Tennessee and North Carolina), while Laura is from NOVA by way of the North. So while I consider myself a Southerner and have always felt hemmed in by urban areas, Laura is undoubtably a Northerner and, after going to high school and college in urban areas, feels right at home in the big, bad city. While country living is new to me, the country itself is not. For Laura, it was ALL new. Case in point (taken from an actual conversation):
Laura: Oh my God, that guy is on a tractor! How cool!
Kelly: Um, yes.
Laura: What, it isn't cool? Am I making a fool of myself?
Kelly: I mean, I guess it's cool. But mostly it's...normal.
(For the record I should state that I learned to drive on a John Deere tractor.) The weekend was peppered with conversations like that one, and the occasional observation that our green was "so much better than Central Park." An opinion I certainly don't disagree with!