A busy day of socializing in the Carolinas. PJ’s cousin Laura lives just a few miles away from Andrew Jackson State Park. We set out a little breakfast buffet on the picnic table and Laura and her beautiful daughter, Rachel came by in the morning. We sat out beneath the trees sipping coffee and the cousins were able to catch up on family goings ons and their recent college graduation trip to Italy. It was great to see them and share the latest twists and turns in all of our lives.
Our friend Tom came by mid morning to visit also. Tom and PJ were roommates back in the wild eighties in a house in Cardiff they dubbed the Ponderosa. He and his family moved out to the Carolinas about ten years ago and have settled in a beautiful spot right over the North Carolina border. We last saw them back in October of 2016 when we passed through on a long convoluted route to Mexico. Tom joined in the conversation and got some coffee into his system to stimulate him to go for a walk with Cali and me. We left the ladies to chat about things they might not want to elaborate on in front of us guys and strolled over near the canoe launch to see what was going on. Not too many people out and about as the day was starting to heat up with that famous southern humidity. A pair of camouflaged fishermen in kayaks were seriously casting away along the shore. I can’t picture there being fish in this small lake serious enough to get that geared up, but good luck boys. I tried to talk Tom into going for a paddle on the boards but he wasn’t having it. We poked around along the grassy shore for a few minutes then retreated back into the leafy shade of the trees.
Cali, Extra Large and in charge
We returned to camp and rejoined the gals. Squirrels were trying to sneak up on our leftovers as a hawk was getting chased out of a nearby tree by a couple of fearless jays. Rachel just graduated from USC so she and Laura we’re heading off to the campus to tie up some loose ends and bring her things home where she is starting a new job in management at the local Kohl’s store here in Waxhaw. We said our goodbyes and hope to run into them again up in New England this summer.
PJ, Tom and I set off on a short nature trail that circles the lake. Fortunately, most of it was in the shade of the tall trees. Despite being a bit on the warm side, it was a beautiful day. We spooked a large heron that flew past in front of us and tried my best to get a picture of the hordes of tiny frogs that frantically hopped across the trail as we hiked by. A few kids were fishing off the mini docks by the canoe launch and birdsong filled the air coming from tree line.
Tom headed off to get a haircut and we settled in to take a nap. After a quiet afternoon we drove the short distance to Tom’s house in Waxhaw to enjoy a tasty dinner. We were joined by his amazing daughter Jane who entertained us with stories of her job working with special needs kids. His wife Barb and youngest daughter, Leah, were off at UNC getting Leah settled in to start an internship for the summer relating to her major in food sciences. Sorry, we missed them but we’ll catch them on a future adventure somewhere I’m sure. Tom fired up the bar-b-que and cooked up some gourmet salmon and asparagus on the grill. The fireflies were sparkling along the large stand of trees that are the back drop to the expansive park like back yard. We stood with Jane watching for their twinkle. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any lightning bugs. Dinner was excellent and it was good to see Tom and spend time in their gorgeous home. Thanks for everything and we’ll see down the road.