office view last week
It was late in the week when I spotted them. I'd been watching the two geese all week long but only with a naked eye. On Friday I decided, finally, to deploy that pair of binoculars I'd so wisely packed away in WLS.
And then I freaked.
GOSLINGS!!! Yellow, fluffy adorable waddlers. To all parts of my parents rented cabin home I cried, "Oh MY GOD!!!" When they didn't respond immediately, I stepped away from the sun room windows and went into the house to find them, insisting that they must come NOW!
Pretty soon my stepfather had commandeered the binoculars and not much longer after that, the three of us were walking (slowly and quietly) toward the lake, sunroom binocular view too distant and unsatisfactory. We were after a close up. As close as we could get.
look at these goose peeping paparazzi - the nerve!
As the week dwindled from a large swath of time into our last few hours together, the goslings remained a point of connection and for me, metaphor. It was Mother's Day weekend, after all, and my first with my Mother in five years. It wasn't my easiest week. ever. Work was tough - the show in pre-production and a week from setting off on the road, it was admittedly hard to be the company manager away from the company. Lots of needs, expected and not, arose. My days were filled with emails and phone calls, my face illuminated by the laptop for hours at a time. I was constantly in a state of wanting to remain present for my parents and needing to deal with the daily urgent matters of this national tour. Through all of that though, I was comforted by being in the presence of my mother. If someone snapped at me over email or was disgruntled on the phone, I could easily fall into the safe haven of my parent's home and temporarily pretend the demands of the world outside were non-existent.
Thing is though, it's not my parent's home. Not even close. It's a rented cabin by a lake in Briar Branch, Tennessee, a tiny tiny community about 35 minutes north of Chattanooga. They are there now after nearly 40 years in Baton Rouge because way back in the late 90s, they went searching for mountaintop property and landed here. With my stepdad retiring two years ago, plans were quickly put into motion to design a new home and make the move.
The transition's been difficult. The move itself was rough. And while this little slice of Tennessee country is beautiful and serene, it is also extremely isolated. You have two people who, for the past 15 years at least, were five minutes away from everything, including my sister. And prior to that, only about a 20 minute drive from "the big city." Their new home, which will be lovely, won't be done until Thanksgiving at the latest so they are in stasis for the next seven months, most of their things in storage, their creature comforts tucked away until it's time to settle into their permanent digs. And, of course, they have to find everything anew - hair stylist, doctors, a church, the closest quality grocery store.
I wanted, no, I needed to see them in this new space. I needed to offer my companionship, my cooking, my comfort, my familiarity - as much for me as for them. We took long walks around the property - I met almost all the neighbors, two of whom showed up on horseback for a visit Sunday night - I cooked several meals, and we explored Chattanooga a bit. I even met their interior designer and helped them pick their new colors, tile, doors, even their brick!
My last day with them was Mother's Day. We took Mom to brunch at a Georgia winery and then spent one last sleepy afternoon spying on the goslings and making Christmastime plans. I felt fortified and ready for my challenging week ahead. They, especially mom, seemed happier, more comfortable and acclimated. We helped and nurtured each other this week and the results were evident by Sunday. We were all sad the visit was over but ready to conquer the work in front of us.
Chattanooga is a lovely big "small" town, full of art everywhere you look and undergoing an intense revitalization. I'm excited to explore it more on future visits.
Sights from a week of long walks through the country
Before I left on Sunday, I ordered them a pair of the same binoculars, a late Mother's Day, early Father's Day gift and a way for them to continue and keep up with the goslings. The joy and entertainment the little fuzz buckets bring is worth 20,000 pair of binoculars and it gives me some comfort to know that perhaps they help my parents feel a little less lonely.
Not a picture I took - are you kidding??!! Mama Goose won't let you anywhere near them! - but a similar scene.