After much deliberation, we decided the mental health benefits outweighed the physical health risks, and launched an expedition to Smithfield VA for the annual Turkey day ritual. Over several rivers, and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go! Except Dot, the Greenman family matriarch is no longer with us. It is amazing to me how well her daughters have carried on the tradition, not only in the galley, but in the way they can fuss at the menfolk, who probably need fussin' at if the truth be known. So today some food, and a short side trip into the world of the NC cotton harvest.
So buckle up for a road trip and lets jump
It is not really that big an adventure, as we have been making the trip for almost 20 years, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, and we have found the most direct route. It takes about 4 hours. When Annie got her new car with GPS, the GPS Lady informed us it could be made in 3 1/2 hours, but the GPS Lady does not have to stop and pee. Every time we drive it there is some kind of anomaly. This trip there was a detour at Windsor NC because the Bridge over the Cashie River was out, presumably from the Tornado activity the night before, and the detour took us past some new to us farms where we saw this different method of baling cotton for the first time.
A little research produced this brief digression on the cotton harvest, complete with recording of
Huddie Ledbetter singing.
|Not NC, somewhere in Mississippi|
|A Postcard, no less!|
This is the rig we are used to seeing.
Link below is to an article in a Texas paper about both methods
See the new JOHN DEERE ROUND BALER in action. film clip.
I observed that the round baler does a better job, leaving less cotton on the plant.
This got me thinking about gleaning.
|The Gleaners (Des glaneuses) is an oil painting by Jean-François Millet completed in 1857|
And the advertising campaign by American Cotton to Romanticize Cotton.
Crossing the Border into VA
We arrived to find our accomodations for this year's visit,
Layne and Carol own American Family RV in Chesapeake VA, and always hook us up with a "guest room" in the yard. This year was a trade-in 28' Bullet.
The food was wonderful as usual. I took the risk of eating some oysters roasted on the grill, nothing to snotty, just the overcooked ones that are more like Oyster Chewing Gum. Another excuse to drench something in Butter.
Dawgs underfoot in the galley
Carols's Buttermilk Biscuits from scratch. 8 Min to make, 9 to cook.
I may be able to get the recipe, email me if you want a copy. Ate the regular stuff, Turkey, green beans, mashers, gravy, etc. Featured Beverages this year were Uncle Billy's Merlot, and Niece Eliza's
cider from Foggy Ridge Cider . Guests split, party wound down, and geezers were abed earlier than ever.
Stayed over Friday for left overs, left Saturday am, We had heard that the locks at Great Bridge were broken , so we came back a different route to check out the rumored " lotsa boats stacked up at the locks, only to find they had been fixed.
Since we were right there we visited Atlantic Yacht Basin, just to stretch our legs. In the past we were usually on a boat, and didn't stop. Probably the first time we have been ashore there in 30 years.
Seen on the way back:
|Just kidding, don't get me started!|
Americas two favorite stimulants for sale at the Williamston Pit Stop, 1/2 way mark.
Sunset on 17 at 70 on Little Washington by pass.
Home by 6 in time for Garrison's Home Companion and more leftovers.
And I didn't get sick. My acquired immune system was exposed to new stuff, dog hair and dander,
other people's germs ( several were coughing ) and foodstuffs mot prepared by either Anne or myself.
Therefore my white cells must be building their numbers and training.
And that is good.
Chris and Anne