Mom and grandmother and Steve did stay at home after all yesterday, which was a little saddening, but John and I still went down to be with the rest of my family. We were down in Minor Hill, which, if you’re familiar at all with southern TN, is about 30 minutes outside of Pulaski, in Giles county.

We were at my great uncle Cletis’ (at 93, he’s my grandmother’s youngest brother)200 acre farm. It’s right on the state line; half is in Tennessee and half in Alabama. We took a walk and crossed into another state. Also there were horses! 3 of ’em, all pretty friendly and all registered walking horses. No riding, since they aren’t used to so many people at once, but plenty of romping and nuzzling. Bob (beautiful black horse with a white star on his forehead) tried to eat my shoe twice. I went over to met him and he went for it, so I kicked him off..then he started following me when I walked away. Forunately not far. The back of the pasture went up in a pretty steep hill that ended in some woods and John was itching to tackle the thing, so we left the horses behind and went hiking up that. There was a rock outcropping at the top filled with fossils. I came home with some crinoid imprints, a piece of fossilized cora lreef, and a quartz crystal pulled straight from the rock. We stayed up there for a while, enjoying the view and the sound of absolutely nothing until some more people started stirring around the stable, and we went down to join them. As soon as I was in Bob’s line of site again, he came bounding up for more pettings and attempted shoe-eatings. 

Betty and Palmer are my grandmother’s niece and nephew-in-law. Them I’ve always known because they still live in Pulaski, near Betty’s parents, Cletis and Alma, my geat aunt and uncle. (Although, sadly, Alma is no longer with us.) Everyone else there were cousins of varying numerical degree whom I rarely ever see . Jackson is Betty’s newphew…so he’s some random cousin of mine, I guess. Anyway, he’s a positively adorable little blond-headed boy who’s semi-obsessed with lawnmowers, tractors – anything you can ride on and mow land with.  He’s also now convinced that John is his best friend in the world. There’s another massive hill bordering the pasture on the left side that my cousin Janet was climbing and Jackson decided he watned to tackle it to. He was already in awe of John because he taught him how to climb under the electric fence to pet the horses, so we agreed to walk with him up to the top of the hill. I swear that thing kept growing. It got bigger half way up. I didn’t think it would ever end. And two thirds of the way up, Jackson somehow persuaded his way into a piggy back ride. 

After all that we decided to go back in and be social – and rest! – for a while, so we sat in Alma’s imacuately white front parlor. Gleaming white carpet, white couch and chair, white lace curtains – I remembered the curtains from when I was little, they were sort of Alma’s signature. We’d been talking for a while when JAckson (who had just worn out his uncle Jeff with football) came in desperately wanting to go the top of the hill again. And he knew just who to ask; it was highly amusing to watching him crawling into John’s lap and using him as his personal jungle gym. We thought we had him convinced with lots of “We can’t, it’s too dark, we couldn’t find our way back down” because he wandered away for a while, but he came back pretty quickly – with a giant flashlight. Smart cookie, that one.  He was undeterred by darkness and the threat of bobcats and coyotes, so we finally went back outside to play for a while before we left. But we so did not try that hill again.

We ended the day by swinging by John’s parets for a while and talking. It was midnight by the time we got home, but damn. What an awesome day.