Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Can Make A Difference

Thank you all for your well wishes and expressions of concern for me and my instigator, Mary, in wake of the recent floods and tornadoes that ripped through the South. Fortunately, Western North Carolina was spared the devastation and both of us, and our families, are fine.

Unfortunately, that can't be said for some of our sister states, especially Alabama. My heart aches when I see the pictures of the destruction and can only imagine the misery of those who have lost loved ones.

Some of you have asked what you can do to help. While there are many agencies hard at work trying to assist victims, I would encourage you to make a contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. These good folks are on the scene making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat, and support services to get them through this very difficult time.

To make a donation, visit the American Red Cross website, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation. Together, we can make a difference.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Crazy is, as crazy does

Go here to find out how my adventure began.

Boy, what a hectic couple of weeks it’s been. Between Eva acting up (again, still, probably forever), running over to Autumn Leaves to lend a hand with their new pottery classes (nothing like getting your hands dirty to forget your troubles), and trying to clean up the yard from some nasty storms that blew through here, well, there has just been no time to do much else.

But now things have calmed down a mite, and I can try to share some more details about the weird goings-on that Clare and I were involved in that I mentioned in my last post.

As if witnessing a potential murder wasn’t enough excitement for a day, my cute little Ford Fusion decided not to start when Clare and I got back from the waterfall, where we saw Mr. Monkey Tattoo shove another guy off a cliff.

Being out in the middle of nowhere and out of cell phone range, there wasn’t a prayer we would ever find someone to help us out. But that’s when my guardian angel came a callin’ (hope she doesn’t have any other clients, ‘cause I certainly keep her busy 24/7).

Seemingly out of nowhere, a woman by the name of Josie came walking down from the trail. Turns out, she lived nearby and offered the services of her son, Gerald, to help fix the car. Apparently Gerald wasn’t a trained mechanic, but at that point beggars couldn’t be choosers.

While Josie sent her two younger sons off in search of Gerald, she invited us to her house to await his return. To make a long story short, it took a couple of hours for Gerald to make an appearance, which brought us to having dinner with Josie and her family. After the meal, Gerald got my car running again (some stupid wire came unplugged, which I probably should have looked for had I thought to pop the hood – guess the murder unhinged me more than I thought).

Unfortunately, as so often happens here in the mountains, a dense fog had rolled in and there was no way on God’s green earth I was going to be able to navigate down those twisty, mountain roads for home. Josie graciously offered to have us spend the night in her guest room. Picture it: me, Clare, twin bed. Kinda’ scary, huh?

We were finally able to hit the road early the next morning and, once in cell phone range, I called the local police to tell them what we witnessed and made a call to Jed to fill him in on our exploits. Clare was right, he wasn’t too thrilled to hear what had been going on, but, bless his heart, his major concern was if Clare and I were okay.

I also made a call to Mary Berger, the one who got me into this mess, and related our story to her. And can you believe it? She's having me write everything down, so she can write a new book. Geez, oh man, will that woman ever give me a break?

Get a hold of my initial adventure, The Trouble with Mattie, at these fine retailers.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And this is why I call her “The Instigator”

Go here to find out how my adventure began.

With my best friend and soul mate, Jed, out of town for a couple of weeks, I’ve really been trying to knuckle down and get things done around here, and keep my promise to him that I wouldn’t get myself into any trouble. But a girl can only clean out dust bunnies, tend to houseplants, and reorganize so many closets before feeling a bit stir crazy.

I gave my friend Mary Berger a call to see what she was up to and find out if she felt like getting together. As luck would have it, she was up to her eyeballs getting ready for an upcoming book fest at our local community college and trying to finish firing her latest batch of "Lil Ole' Gals" pottery figures. After hearing how bored I was, she suggested I enlist Clare to take a hike. “I hear the trails around Cherokee are looking mighty good now,” she said. “Besides, how much trouble can you get into out in the middle of nowhere?” Little did she know how those words would come back to bite her in the butt.

It took some doing to talk Clare into the whole hiking idea. If we were going to head to Cherokee, she would far rather play the slots. But after pleading with her, she finally took pity on me and agreed to come along, especially after she heard about a particular walking trail that had a great waterfall.

Looking back on it, I have to say the trip started out innocently enough. With the car windows rolled down, Clare and I belted out songs from a Garth Brooks CD to pass the time (BTW: Clare can’t carry a tune to save her life.) We found the parking area for the waterfall trail and, typical for us, ran our mouths off while making our way along the path.

Then, out of nowhere, we heard two men’s voices. And while it was hard to make out what they were saying because of the roar of the waterfall, I’m here to tell you it was clear they were not happy. Clare and I were behind some bushes, but had a pretty good line of sight on what was going on. The one guy was short and stocky, the other was larger, heavier, and wore a baseball cap, so I couldn’t get a good look at this face, but I couldn’t help noticing the tattoo of a monkey face on his arm. These two guys started pushing and shoving each other, and the next thing we knew, Mr. Monkey Tattoo pushed the other guy over the edge and then ran off!

Clare and I tried our best to scan the base of the waterfall to see if there was any sign of the guy pushed over the edge, but didn’t see a trace of him. The first words out of Clare’s mouth were, “Jed ain’t gonna’ like hearing about this.” My first thought was, “Dang it, Mary, you said I couldn’t get into trouble out here! This is all your fault for suggesting a hike in the first place.”

You know, just reliving this as I type gives me the willies. I need to go make a cup of peppermint tea and calm down before I share the rest.

Get a hold of my initial adventure, The Trouble with Mattie, at these fine retailers.