We're back in New Jersey now, and what a shock to our systems it was to go from serene countryside to traffic and buildings. We've only been back a few days, but Tennesse already feels like years ago. It was so wonderful taking in all that nature and even more wonderful seeing family and friends we hadn't seen in far too long. We enjoyed a few family get-togethers while there, and we already miss everyone to pieces.
On one of our last days in Tennessee, the Copeland family had a fish-fry and potluck get-together at my grandparents' old home. It is breathtaking there. It always was, but my aunt Vivian has transformed the house and the land around it into something out of Southern Living. It'd be the perfect bed and breakfast if the house were only a little bigger.
I was happy to see the apple trees from my childhood were still thriving:
Seamus even tried one:
I was sad to see how the little creek had dried up, but I'm sure a rainy summer would fix this.
We had fun playing in the yard with cousins and aunts and uncles. Since his pants kept falling down, Seamus ended up hanging out in his underwear most of the time.
My dad fried the fish (which of course this vegetarian didn't eat):
And everyone else hovered around the kitchen and the back porch:
We ate outside under the trees:
Then we headed back to my parents' house to celebrate the 4th of July with sparklers and bottle rockets.
We also had a fabulous time visiting T's family. We love staying at his mother and step-father's house, which is so relaxing. I loved waking up and having my tea on their porch and watching the humming birds and purple martins.
T's family took us fishing and camping...two things we've been desperately needing.
Mammaw and Papaw Mark took us fishing on the Watauga Lake:
We camped with T's sister and nephew and Mammaw and Papaw Mark. Kelly and Minnie, Mammaw and Rhonda's dogs respectively, came with us too.
Rhonda and Minnie:
Around the campfire:
We will miss picking berries:
And catching fireflies:
And throwing rocks in the lake with Mammaw:
And even though we stopped at nearly every one on the way to and from Tennessee, we will miss Cracker Barrell: