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The STORY of the Georgia Gathering by MtRider


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MtRider writing from Darlene's computer again. I'd sign in under my own name like some have done but......I'm the techno-idiot, remember? Actually, I simply can't ever remember my code to get in under my name. :shrug:


Do you know I've only NOW just read what Wormie and others have written about this weekend? :o:tapfoot: I can see there are some DEFINITE inaccuracies that need to be addressed! :rolleyes: {....like the tablecloth thang!} Unfortunately, I can't see the keyboard in the candlelight [Darlene likes to save electricity y'know and lives in the dark!] So I'm having trouble typing.


In all seriousness, I'm sorry more of us weren't able to give you all a real-time play-by-play like Wormie was doing. But we DID do so many things that utter fatigue was hitting all of us. Hey, it's a familiar state for me and I had all these compadres along. :0327: Nutthin' like gettin' to know one's friends by seeing them snore! [.....now I aint' sayin' WHO snored and who didn't] Course I'm the one who kept falling asleep in various places....so I guess I'll just move along on that snoring topic. :P ]


{additional note: Madison just came out and commented about a BEAR getting into the bedroom last nite and growling SO LOUDLY that it kept her awake. :o:whistling: I doan know *what* that girl is talkin' about! :shakinghead: }


Now those who know of my efforts to write stories down in Fireside know that I often get a good first chapter written and then...... :shrug: Just to give you fair warning, this may take a while. But....it will be fun when my brain is activated enough. :curtsey:


Let me just say that I do not like airports. Planes are fine but I was near to dropping on the FLOOR when I finally crawled through the security checkpoint with: one wheelchair [nice, lite, sportchair], the bag that fixes onto the wheelchair [but ya gotta send it thru the machine... contains merely my wheelchair fingerless gloves and the tire pump. Did you know that air expands in sealed containers when you go up in elevation? My tires are near flat when I descend from 9,000' to visit flatlanders.]. Also had my allowed carry-on knapsack, coat/down vest cuz honey, it was COLD at 3AM when MrMtR and I left my cabin. Then my shoulder bag-purse-thing. ALWAYS have small hip pack attatched to me - for things I ABSOLUTELY must NOT lose! [i get very brainless when I'm so distracted!] I keep one of those thingies that go around your neck to carry I.D. and plane ticket (& lotsa dollar bills to tip the people who push me in wheelchair) -- yeah, it make me look like a kindergarten kid bringing home a note from the teacher pinned to me shirt but..... :shrug: ....this is about SURVIVING airports!


Well then there is my four legged cane that folds out into a seat - quickly enough so I can mostly avoid sitting on the floors in public. :curtsey: I DO try to avoid collapsing/crawling/etc in public! B) Then there is the stick cane which is shock-corded so that I can fold it up and tuck into the magazine rack at my plane seat. And the boots. To avoid more weight in my checked bag, I wear my heaviest [still fairly light-wieght for my walking ability] footwear. Untie the boots and tuck the laces and throw them into one of my dozen or so trays and send them all skidding down into the security machine. In my sox and feelin' nekid without my ever-present hip pack, I wait in line to totter thru the 'Narnia door' which assures everyone that I have not tried to carry my SAK on board with me. I want NO trouble at this point since all my earthly belongings already sliding way down to the inaccessible side where anyone can walk off with them.... :o ....I'm waiting while an elderly gentleman tries to walk thru the Narnia door without touching the sides and setting off the alarm for the eighth time. So I decide to remove my necklace that holds my wedding ring; having already removed my watch, medic alert bracelet, and everything else except the multiple zippers in my cargo pants. I do NOT want that alarm BUZZING while I'm waddling thru. :o Well, it didn't. WHEW!


But now there is an ittly-bitty crowded space where a half dozen of us "disableds" flap around trying to get our trays of belongins off of the now backed-up conveyor belt....but all of our wheelchairs are still being scanned. I can walk [basically] but I canNOT actually CARRY my carry-on load so I need to heave all that onto my abscent wheelchair. I content myself with pulling my hair back outta my sweating [serious!] face into a ponytail and attaching my hip pack securely to me. Since I haven't been knocked off balance yet by this milling crowd, I dart over to grab my boots and wedge myself onto the bench to put those on. Before my toes are mashed or I step my sox into something unpleasant. Ah....finally my wheelchair has been deemed acceptable and I begin to empty my line-up of grey security trays....loading my bags and canes onto it. I've got this down to a routine and yet already someone is hollering about "Who Left This Purple Coat?"....right in my ear. I just snatch it out of the helpful woman's hand and force my wheelchair thru the crowd. I am using it as a rolling walker and it clears me a path to the main hallway. This technique is helped by the 4-legged cane sticking way out the front like a lance, y'see.


Water! I MUST HAVE WATER NOW!!!! Veteran infrequent-flyer that I am, I have gotten thru security with an EMPTY water bottle which I fill at the nearest drinking fountain. YUK! 'City water' when I'm used to well water. :rolleyes: Oh well, it's wet and I'm HOT and tired already. I tank up myself and then find a place to rest a bit. Then of COURSE I need the restroom...AGAIN!....and a good thing I can fit me AND my loaded wheelchair into the handicapped stall. Tho I get strange looks. I'm walking weirdly enough by this level of exhaustion that my disability is not in question tho.


Water - check! Restroom - check! OK...find my gate and get the wheelchair tagged for being sent to the belly of the plane after it deposits me and my stuff to the door of the plane. I ask the gate man if the connecting walkway to the plane has a steep incline. With a dramatic roll of the eyes, he affirms that INDEED it is steeply downhill. [meaning, a small plane] OK, then I canNOT manage without an assist. There are no hand brakes on my "rolling walker" and .....well, it just wouldn't be pretty as my runaway wheelchair leaves me at the top and spews my stuff on it's way to the door of the plane. :shakinghead: Sooooo, I sit smugly in my wheelchair with three tons of baggage and disability devices draped all over me. Everyone else is vying for position at the first of the line but I know *I* will go first in style. Disability has its privileges! :curtsey:


The gate man is very cordial and careful as he rolls this contraption of middle-aged woman and her stuff down the hallway that looks more like a slide at an amusement park. :o The airplane folks are very nice and I even get to grab an extra water bottle before finding my seat. Oh RATS! Bulkhead seating. :( No "under the seat in front of you" space to put my bag. :wacko: Ack! And small plane means tiny overhead compartments. I do some fast McGuyver-type maneuvers [Wormie, night maneuvers are nothin' compared to a disabled woman fittn' her stuff on a tiny plane!] to SIT ON enough of my stuff so as to shrink the bulgy knapsack and with a final swift karate sidekick, it pops into that narrow overhead bin. Again I'm in a rush! Have to finish before all those hordes of 'normals' begin to board. Yep, I'm quietly sitting with my seatbelt on, fold-up cane and book wedged into the dinky magazine holder, and slugging down water cuz I'm sweating and shaking again. Here comes the hordes and I'm content cuz I AM ON THE PLANE! Whew!


I'm happy to report that the plane ride was a non-event. Dontcha love that! My ears even ppped at appropriate times so that when I finally met Darlene, I could actually hear her. I say "when I FINALLY met Darlene" cuz it took a long time for the assistance lady to cart me and my loaded wheelchair through half of the acres of the Atlanta airport. We EVEN went on those evil subway thingies that destroy my equalibrium. I tried to stick my cane in the doorway sideways so she couldn't take me on THAT THANG but this woman must have met my kind before and she dodged my effort and barged us thru anyway. I got her back tho. She was pushing me and my 12 tons of stuff on realllly flat tires! Gave her a good tip for that effort tho. :lol: She even grabbed my checked bag from the carousel [it was the fifth one to arrive - yea!] and planted me and my stuff near the baggage gate. I assured her that my FRIEND would be here shortly to fetch me......really, she will be here.....no, I've never seen this woman but I'm SURE she will not just lure me into arriving in Atlanta and expect me to roll my wheelchair full of stuff up that mountain! Surely not! :shakinghead:


After seemingly hours, I finally break down and call Darlene on my cell phone. Mebbe we just can't recognize each other from the pics exchanged? Mebbe she can't find a middle-aged woman with greying hair sitting so patiently next to a large navy suitcase with red yarn tied to the handle, a blue and black LOADED wheelchair, and wearing brown cargo pants/the largest BOOTS in the airport/white tank top cuz....yes, I'm totally ROASTING again. Nope, too many people at the airport look like THAT! Darlene must have confused me with someone else and is even now making off with some poor, bewildered disabled person up into the hills of Geeorgeea.


Well no, Darlene answers her cell phone and explains that she's ALMOST THERE and to just be patient and yes she can find me......and it's all the weatherman's fault cuz she's used to calculating time in terms of SPEEDING down the mountain but a deluge of rain prevented her from doing that. She's not happy that she was forced to keep pace with mere mortals. So I sigh and exercise more of my infinite patience and watch the crowds of people milling about me. I also am proud of myself for remembering to call my mother to let them know I've arrived safely off of that airplane. I'm still not able to say that Darlene will rescue me but I'm fairly confident. I'd really hate to tell my mother that Darlene forgot me. :unsure:


I'm up stretching a bit from my long wait and suddenly this dark-haired woman grabs me. Just in time I deactivate the martial arts response and do not take her head off with the heel of my foot. Whooooooeeeeeee! :cele::balloons: I'm FINALLY meeting Darlene in person!






MtRider [....WHAT? You thot I'd get around to the whole story all at once? :shakinghead::D Ya gotta stay tuned... ]

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LOL OldMBear!


OK, to continue the Story:

Finally, after developing a friendship for the past four years, Darlene and I got to hug each other in person. :hug3: Then we had to keep LOOKING at each other, trying to match the well-known voice with the unknown face. The pictures we exchanged do not translate the expressions of a face in motion. Fascinating. I had the advantage cuz she immediately pulled out into Atlanta traffic and mostly kept her eyes on the road. Oh big cities! We were both ready to climb to higher ground in her Mts. It was periodically raining but the storm was passing on. She had a number of stops to make. Like: ....36, I think. :lol:


I was swiveling my neck around, trying to look at everything at once. I haven't been in a big city for several years....many, many years, actually. There are so many trees....still green leaves. And I saw the infamous kudzu swarming like a whole bee hive over hill 'n dale. I do hope people start eating that stuff pretty soon or it's gonna drown everything!


I can't remember where we went. A Walmart. A food store. [yeah, had to sample the blueberry muffins before we'd even unloaded all the groceries into the back seat of the truck. I was beginning to wonder how we'd get everything in. We had my wheelchair, big suitcase, carry-on bags (2), assorted canes.... I'd already dug into the suitcase for my tennis shoes and fresh sox. I'd worn my heavier hiking boots to save on the baggage weight limit. Six hours later, they were hot and cumbersome. I'd never been to a grocery where they had no bags. You just shove groceries into your vehicle loose. Well, Darlene solved that. By the time we were done, the backseat was so PACKED that nothing was gonna slide around and break. Good strategy! :24: But of course the muffins were up front with us. At some point I'd satisfied the protein need by eating my very squashed PB&J sandwich. We made at LEAST three stops trying to find some latin spice sauce that I'd never heard of. But I got to taste it at supper! :yum3:


As we ventured further and further from the city center, the Mts appeared in the distance. Beautiful! Again I was struck by the difference from my neck-o-the-woods. So very green and lush and such great variety of things growing. Out west we are more stark, rocky (of course), and the aspens have mostly lost their leaves by now. Only the needle-trees are still green. The long day [and the long days of preparing for the trip] began to catch up with me and I took a snooze while Darlene went in the last couple stores. Then we were climbing and seeing the vistas of her Mts. Ahhhh, now this is more like it! [NOT thinking about snakes...mind you! ;) ]


We wound around and down and up and .....yanno? I could never find my way back in there again. No wonder everyone is still talking about "Richard" getting the guys lost later in the dark....but I won't get ahead of my story. We'd made contact with Wormie. Darlene says "How are you?" "Lonely" :P He'd arrived and was sitting in the driveway. So she told him to go on inside. He decided to start clearing some stuff from the Great Room that was still in disarray from the construction and floor sanding/finishing.


Now I'm not sure but Darlene may have taken the long way around....or even doubled back and gone in circles [which would explain why I was so completely turned around]. I think she was hoping that Wormie would get everything cleared and cleaned before we got there. If that was her plan, it didn't work. Mebbe Wormie took a little nap on the VERY comfortable couch :shrug: because when we pulled in, there was still a lot left to do before PARTY TIME. :band2:


:wormie2: Wormie and I got to know each other while hauling in load after load from the truck. I saw the goats, pigs, 3 cows, LARGE GORGEOUS DOGS, one horse from a distance. The chickens and puffy turkey I saw up close and personal cuz they'd gotten out of their pen. I could easily identify the loud-mouthed goat that I'd heard many times over the phone while talking to Darlene. I'd know that mouth anywhere! A beautiful setting for a farm. .....What? We aren't done unloading yet, Wormie? Sheeeeeeesh! Where do we put this stuff? Dunno? Here on the floor I guess. :shrug: We'll sort it out later.


I hauled my stuff into Darlene's "slumber party" room and began to create space. In theory, there were to be FIVE of us in that bedroom but right now there was construction stuff, tools, nails, buckets of paint, sealer, plaster, etc ALLLLLLL over everywhere. But WOW, that fireplace rock that Darlene had been telling me about was gorgeous! Also sharp [no polyeurathane on it yet] and it bit me! :o


Well, 'organize' and 'make do' is something that I can do so.... :dusting: ..I hid all the construction stuff behind the large armoire (sp) and tucked other things here and there. [Darlene will spend the next 6 months calling me to ask if I know where this or that might be hiding. :lol: ] I also moved things over so that a twin air mattress could fit into the large closet for one member of our slumber party. Darlene was trying to get laundry done so I kept that process going. She was in the kitchen cooking a wonderful chicken dish for our supper. With that latin sauce we'd FINALLY found! She kept calling out, "Where is my _______ (fill in with some kitchen tool) " None of the newly constructed shelves were filled yet. No drawers. No doors. Just shelves put up a day or two before. Most of the contents of her kitchen were out on the deck under tarps. [i DID mention the downpour of rain, didn't I?]


Meanwhile, Wormie had attacked the Great Room with a vengence. I got in on the moving of about a thousand books. Darlene and her brother had been sanding and refinishing that WHOLE floor [as well as all the other floors too] so EVERYthing was out of place. But those floors were so pretty and shiny! I sock-skated everywhere. Well, we just sort of stacked books and books and books and books and ...... I was quite tempted to sit down and read some of the wonderous OLD books she's collected. I'm a book person and could be quite content sitting under the piano reading. Well, I didn't know it was a piano yet cuz it was wearing a tablecloth....and lots of fine particles from floor-sanding. I located the wood stove at some point. This was important, as I told Darlene, cuz I'd left Colorado during a big drop in temperature....and it's heading this way. We're gonna need the wood stove soon. Being a warm-blooded creature, Darlene never appreciates it when I send her cold CO weather but :shrug: at least she has warning.


Eventually it was time to eat but....ooops, it's also time for Wormie to go on his night maneuvers to fetch GunPlumber from that same Atlanta airport. It's a LONG way between D's house and the airport but....I suspect it's a bit shorter if you don't make two dozen stops along the way. So we sent Wormie off with "Richard-the-GPS" and settled down to eat. We had also been monitoring another situation all day. The Saga of SnapshotMiki and The BUS! :0327: Gotta give that girl a metal for perseverance! The BUS was delayed, causing her to miss a connection...causing her to miss a ride up to the Gathering. :wacko: Thru Thursday and part of Friday, the phone lines burned up in an attempt to get Miki HERE! Between yummy bites of supper, we played central switchboard, connecting GP with Wormie at the airport . Look for the red yarn waving from the attenna on the red car and a tall guy standing next to it calling out "What's the password?". Long before the guys decided to come home, I had to crawl up.....and I mean UP....into the bed and pass out. [What's with all the TALL furniture? I feel like I've climbed a beanpole and am visiting the giant's mansion. I'm not THAT short....am I? :unsure: ] At some point I was vaguely aware of hearing voices - Darlene and the guys talking. I rolled over and returned to sleep, content that all the Thursday arrivals were now safely HOME. :welcome:



MtRider [....now that I can move again a bit...I'll type more before I forget what happened! ]


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Hush, Wormie! I keep trying to drag that durned turkey over to sit on this post but....he's not cooperating.

I've never done this with a PC.....





testing...do you see the turkey?

MtRider ....trying to learn to post pics..... SIGH :wacko:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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aaauuugh.....I can't figure out how to get my pics in here. I really want to "illustrate" my story but....


I'm using Irfan photo program, PC, and ...... HELP!


MtRider [ :yar: He was such a pretty turkey with all his chicken friends around too! ]

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i have been having problems witht he photo uploader--keep getting the internal error message


I don't know...it worked for me. I'll be calling the server people tomorrow though.


Here's Fred...my dorky turkey who loves to turn his face purple and fluff out his feathers.


He's Thanksgiving dinner.


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It's okay to mention he's Thanksgiving dinner at Mrs. S. but I learned long ago not to tell "others". It always amazes me that people don't question where their turkeys, pork, beef, chicken, etc. come from. The first time a girlfriend from CA came to visit I told her she was eating a homegrown cornfed black angus steak she just stopped with the fork at her mouth. What do you mean she said and I told her it was a cow we'd raised and butchered. She was appalled and looked at us like we were cannibals. I didn't think she was going to eat the rest but after staring back and forth at us and the steak for probably 60 seconds she took a small bite and was then ok with the rest of it.


We laughed but have been careful since then who we tell. :24:

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i have been having problems witht he photo uploader--keep getting the internal error message


I've gotten that about 50% of the time too, when trying to upload a pic. But if I just click "back" and do it again, it works.




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HEY! That's the turkey I was trying to post! :happy0203:


The bigger problem is that I've never tried to post a pic since we changed to this board. I've had too many computer problems to get around to trying to learn. Now...if we're gonna change boards again, mebbe I'll just wait and learn on the new board. [last time I was posting pics, I was on a Mac!]



MtRider [...poooor Fred..... :yum3: ]

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I'll have to remember to include that in the Story! That turkey was our fluffy cheerleading squad. :lol: Or was he just laughing when we missed? :unsure: He cheered with the rest of us when someone found out they had The Gift too! :cheer:



MtRider [...OK, teasers aren't fair. I'll work on the next segment of Story today....before I forget the fine details like gobble*gobble*gobble :lol: ]

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The Story of the Gathering


[understand that my memory is getting foggy….so I may mix up events, weather, players. Excuse or correct any bloopers. :curtsey: ]





Opened my eyes and after a nanosecond to remember where I was, I slid outta the bed. YIKES, that's a long way to the floor! I'd already done this once in the night. I still feel like I'm in the Giant's house cuz it's a really high bed. The dresser comes about even with my nose. Darlene has an armoire that could fit me and all five of her huge dogs inside! Hey, someone could have slept inside there! Except I hid some of the contractor's tools in there.


The bed is very comfortable tho and I slept well. I took one look in the mirror and began to mutter things about Georgia’s humidity levels. Sheeesh....I sent out an SOS for Madison's hair straightening device. Whew, that's better! The day is cloudy but no rain. I've been concerned that heat would be an issue but it's downright chilly this morning. [actually, the weather was totally lovely the entire time I was there! :thumbs: ] Beautiful region!!!!!!


I stumbled out to the Great Room and greeted Wormie. How's the couch? He had planned to set up a tent but found bee hives in his intended location. That and .....very wet, cold ground from the recent big rain storm. Since he was on that midnight run to Altanta, we talked him into just taking over the couch. He could then be our foremost outpost near the front and porch doors. We'd cover the back door. B) Gunplumber kept his surveillance from the over-garage room. His faithful sidekick, Grrr [Darlene's DD1's tiny dog], was sure to sound the alarm....well, if faithful sidekick’ wasn't still buried in blankets sleeping!


Darlene was off to bring Madison to school and promised BREAKFAST if I'd clear out the kitchen. Sounds like a deal to me. GP retreated with his book to the Great Room, under the guise of “staying outta the way” but could be beckoned if needed. At some point, two long folding tables were set up adjoining Darlene's regular dining table [with extra pieces added]. This arrangement stretched diagonally a good distance across the Great Room, between the piano corner and the couches/TV/woodstove corner. Then we could all eat family-style. Wormie unloaded some paper products he brought. I grabbed a pen and wrote my names [MrsS name and the real one] on one huge Styrofoam cup. I managed to keep track of that cup through thick and thin that weekend. I EVEN brought it home with me as a souvenir. After all, it didn’t add anything to my suitcase weight. Miki? Did you ever find your cup? It kept disappearing.


At the moment, I can't remember breakfast. Egg sausage sandwich? Mebbe? I continued with trying to get the kitchen cleared for the impending LARGE meal production. Darlene asked if I could find some kitchen things from the piles outside on the deck...under plastic that held GALLONS of water in unexpected pockets. After dousing my sox once, I decided bare feet and shorts were a better choice. Scuba gear was needed in the deeper zones! :o


Darlene and the guys had a mission this morning. Was it GP who noticed from his aerial abode that the pigs had been carving out an escape tunnel and managed to short out the electric fencing? Yanno, I was really sorry their impending escape was thwarted. I've heard SO much about Darlene running around trying to recapture the hooligans that I was looking forward to seeing that LIVE & IN {muddy} PERSON! :yar: And now she's gone and put them all on restriction too. No more watching Hogan's Heroes! Was this when the first blood-letting occurred, Wormie? Dunno. There was so much going in and out that whole day.


I think after that Wormie felt the front gate needed surveillance and had taken up his position at the end of the driveway. Well, I saw him carrying a couple long guns around anyway. Sheeeesh, I hoped everyone remembered the password this year!


Evidently MomM and MrMomM remembered. They were the next to arrive. Whooooeeeee...they brought goodies and music stuff and….... :blink: saws and all sorts of odd things! They hauled everything into Madison's room. Well, we decided it was time for serious sustenance with brownies and other yummies. Per my usual style, I was zipping around doing this and then getting distracted and would begin doing something different. Still clearing out the spaces and trying to put things back where they'd been before the construction/floor refinishing. I climbed up to get fragile goblets into the safety of the shelf over the fridge before the whole crowd arrived. Someone had cleared out the area around the wood stove and someone took the tablecloth [protection from sanding dust] off the beautiful piano. Family photos were arranged on the top and it was interesting to see Darlene and her family in their younger years. Hey, this place is shaping up quickly with more help now.


By this time my energy meter was BEEPING furiously and that comfortable couch just sucked me right down. I was gonna just rest a moment [heck, I can sleep when I get home…didn't want to miss anything!] but soon *ZONK* I was completely OUT despite all the carrying-on around me. [ :unsure: Hmmmm, I'm not sure if MrMomM had his video {with audio} equipment set up by that time...you wouldn't...would you? ;) ] After forty winks, I was ready to roll again.


The laundry was going constantly and slowly progress was made. MomM and I stared when she brought out one load....in a bewildering color of PURPLE that had spread to everything. Ooops! {MtR pats Darlene on the shoulder..."Hey, I think it's all pretty"” } ….....purple being my favorite color.


I was heading for the kitchen when someone, who could only be Stephanie, reached out for a big hug! :hug3: She looks like her picture and wears a big smile. Her sons were introduced and I told them that Madison was so excited that they were coming. She wasn't home from school yet though. They had also been the party to FINALLY rescue poor Miki from the clutches of that renegade Greyhound bus! I never heard where the bus ambush and rescue took place. Miki barely said hi to anyone but headed straight for the shower. After suffering two-plus days of captivity, who can blame her! When she emerged however, she was a lot happier. Her eyes had stopped spinning and her voice was calm. She still didn't want to talk about her horrific ordeal yet though. We wondered if she could endure this torture a second time on her way home. :unsure:


At some point Lisa-from-Georgia and son arrived and the two moms-with-teen-sons set up in the guesthouse. Ha! Did they think they'd get out of the massive cleaning effort? Not! Everyone was set to work there too and the brooms and inflatable beds and linens and....all manner of things went back and forth between the main house and guest house. How many times did someone call out, "where did the broom go?"” B) Personally, I think Fred-the-turkey was stealing it! I caught him sitting up on the top rail of the fence just watching for his chance!


MtRider [dividing this cuz the program complains that I put in too many smilies.... :rolleyes: ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
fixin' mising apostrophe's that didn't transfer...
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Miki soon joined me in the scuba diving search for vital kitchen things. I was drippy wet and had soppy, dead leaves stuck all over me. Did I mention one had to brave the pouring drain spout in order to access one part of the loot? Don't ask me where the water was coming from, since it had stopped raining the day before. :shrug: Anyway, it worked well to hand the newly-discovered under-water treasures to Miki at the door. She would then either hand them over to the dishwashing/drying crew or stash them right inside the door or under the piano on a towel. [i think we were using the purple towels and rugs under the wet things. :lol: ]


I kept seeing lots and lots of women in that narrow kitchen. It was rather like fitting freshman into a VW. At one point I know MomM, Miki, Darlene, Stephanie, Lisa, and I were ALL squeezed in there making potato salad. Well, I think MomM was still washing dishes.had to watch her or you'd have your bowl clean and back on a shelf before you turned back with more potatoes to peel. ;) I think she and Lisa set a dishwashing record that day! At some point I let slip that I could peel garlic and...well, Darlene uses a LOT of garlic. I got real familiar with the Real Lemon juice bottle after each garlic-peeling session. But MMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! I'll peel garlic for her cooking any day! Of course I ended up using my SAK to do the garlic [well, washed!]. See, I needed that knife. Darlene has plenty of quality knives, mind you. Just a matter of finding them. lol


At some point, a quick lunch of sandwiches, chips, Wormie's yummie pickled okra, and brownies were hastily consumed. The teens were going to get to see one of Madison’s volleyball games and they whooshed out the door. That morning, Darlene and I had been concocting a serious plan to have EVERYONE come and cheer for her during that game but…...she didn't look like that would be her best idea of a good time. {sigh} We decided to modify the plan. ;) We'd all been smelling the marinating meat that Darlene had planned for the BBQ supper, so we didn’t pig-out on the sandwiches. I'm not sayin' nuthin' about the brownies and the okra! :yum3:


We knew that Zophiel had a looong drive down from Maryland but as the sun was getting lower, we began to ask, “"where is she?"” Funny tho...no one even suggested sending out Wormie, Gunplumber and Richard to help guide her into this remote location. Then she arrived and our membership was complete. [Except MacKinnon & Mom due the next day] Zophiel is a person who always has a smile on her face. She, Miki, Lisa, and I immediately began a fun game called, Setting Up the Air Beds. It's a good thing we started early cuz it kinda dragged on through the whole evening. Miki, Zophiel and I decided to get the Slumber Party room set up. I'd been present for the purchase of some of the air beds so I knew where they'd been stashed. I tossed a twin into the large closet for Madison. There was a queen that Zophiel began to roll out. Miki had a twin. Lisa had a bed to set up over in the guest house too. The three teen boys got by on their sleeping bags, I think.


Zophiel plugged in the bed and it grew to gargantuan proportions. Yikes, it's alive! Remember there was already the Giant's bed, dresser, and armoire in there…and the fireplace. So Miki and Z did a cute do-se-do around and around trying to fit both beds and still have a pathway to the bathroom. :shakinghead: Even with Miki's head practically sticking up the chimney, it wasn't gonna work. Then...a brilliant idea! Darlene and Zophiel could access the bedroom's bathroom on the left. Miki, closet-resident Madison and I would head right, out the door to the main bathroom. It was either that or someone was gonna get stepped on in the middle of the night!


Since I was now familiar with the linen closet, I was also handing out bedding materials. After all the calisthenics, neither of them wanted the nice WARM flannel sheets that went with the bedding sets. Okaay, so I dug around some more...standing on tippy-toes to reach the top shelf. [this short thing is gonna give me a complex! ] I finally produced suitable light COTTON linens only to have Darlene shrieking later. Something about Miki's top sheet [the red peppers in the design matched the rust red bottom sheet nicely, I thought] being a tablecloth. Good thing that Zophiel's bed was right there cuz I just had to roll on the floor laughing. I let Darlene pick out something more...um, proper! :laughkick: Then we had to tell Darlene that the rest of the air beds required four 'C' batteries to inflate them. That meant another run into town.


By now I was ready for another nap but there was too much going on to miss anything. MrMomM had been very busy NOT being in the kitchen. His ploy worked well. He was setting up all his very technical equipment and...well you know things like that need a lot of checking! [That's his story and he's stuck to it!] :lol: By now other cameras had already been snapping too and GATHERING 2010 was being recorded for posterity...and hilarity!


Supper was so special. All of us seated up and down the long tables. Darlene's cowboy friend was our guest that nite too. The food was wonderful. [Was this when you used that sauce we searched for in FIVE stores, Darlene? It was worth it!] Besides the marinated BBQ, there was the potato salad made in crammed kitchen. I think we all had a hand in part of that. The salad dressing was wonderful. Garlic bread made with real garlic! But besides all that wonderful food, it was just so MUCH fun to see each other and talk and laugh and pray together. There was a calm unity that transcended the fact that in many ways, we could have been strangers. But there were no strangers at that table. :grouphug: And we DID pig-out then!


Meanwhile, back to the beds. It was sometime later when we noticed that Zophiel's bed was beginning to look a bit saggy. Uh, oh. That's not good. We finally had to conclude that it was not holding air. Soooooo, we instituted Plan B. This is a survival group, after all. WE have a PLAN B! Zophiel had brought a camping air mattress - that looked decidedly less comfortable than the nice, poofy air beds. But she was game and we set up her sleeping bag and cotton sheet and air mattress on top of the failing air bed. Mebbe it would retain some loft?


About that time the set of batteries arrived and the other air beds took shape. We passed the batteries from bed to bed until every one was poofy to that person's satisfaction. Had to pass them to the guest house for Lisa's bed too. Then Darlene found another air bed. Apparently we'd been dealing with the wrong one. Yeah, figured that out already. Z and I looked wearily at each other. We'd already wrestled this bed twice but...here we go again! Out with the leaky one and inflate the good one. There was barely room to set a foot down by now so we had to work in tandem. Sheets, bedding, pillow, bear. Ok..and none of this is table linen, is it? :rolleyes:


Meanwhile MrMomM had set up a video he'd done using footage from Gathering 2008. Many of the group enjoyed watching the chicken plucking and reminiscing. I think plucking a chicken looks easier than plucking a duck. No way a duck comes out looking nice like that! LOL Well, there are many classes planned for tomorrow. One by one our group trailed off to find their beds.


That's when we found out who really snores…… :P


I finally lay down and then couldn't sleep. This was a day to contemplate. Meeting face to face with folks we knew, in varying degrees but not InRealLife. :bounce: It was so much fun. There were a few surprises. Wormie...y'know, cuz he has arms and legs…..and he's not nearly as bright a green as in his posts. GP had posted a pic so he was recognizable, tho with more black beard now. Shall I reveal that he is cheery and even hilarious in person? :whistling: Wish we had had the video running that one evening... Miki was a surprise because I expect to be the shortest person in any group and she ran off with that prize I think. MomM and MrMomM looked like what one would expect a "mom and pop" to look like. And she immediately set about keeping a watch on me...so that I wouldn't overdo myself too much. :hug3: I'm not sure how successful anyone can be at that job. LOL I thought about what Zophiel had shared about her life and was glad to have had this chance to get to know her better. If I ever get to visit my brother in VA, I'll have to look her up. Lisa and Stephanie both prize their children and work to provide a good home for them. A home that will be prepared…no matter what. No surprises on that. The teens are having a great time together. Lisa's son has melded in easily with the other three who had met at the last gathering. They are all helpful and polite young people. Delightful! I enjoy watching their interaction.


Darlene and I have gotten to know each other very well through these past few years. 'Warts and all', as I say. We found that meeting in person didn't change anything. We already know each other's strengths and weaknesses, peculiarities and soft spots of the heart. Our sisterhood under God created our friendship and we have both benefitted from this relationship. It is just plain FUN to interact in person though! :hug3:



MtRider [...while on bedrest...another day recorded. Stay tuned for a report on the busy SATURDAY! ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
same fixin'
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I really love reading your version of all that went on at the gathering!!!! Sure wish I had my notes but they are still with my suitcase in limbo--I mean Deming. I really did like my tablecloth/sheet! It matched perfectly! And the meals certainly were wonderful. I did get to practice my waitressing skills a couple of times. Probably a good thing since I start work in a week or so in AZ. I'm not sure how to do the photos as I would like them to kind of tell a story on their own--especially the bee-keeping session!!! Kind of an "Armegeddon"/ "Three Musketeers" remake! :huh: And "The Gift" photos should be interesting also. Darlene--Thank you so much for hosting all of us and our idiosyncracies!!!!!! (Had to look that one up). Will keep adding details as I remember them--or am reminded. I love my haircut!!!!!!!!!!!!

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