March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mountain Magic

We just returned from a week in the mountains of North Carolina, and I will you that I had my first "mountain magic" experience.

Excuse me while spend some time reminiscing in hopes of explaining a bit...I am a sun, sand, and salt air type of person ~ I grew up in south Alabama and was blessed to spend my summers "over the bay." When school was released for the summer we loaded the car and moved to my great-grandparents' bay house until school started back after Labor Day. During this time we made only a handful of trips across the bayway for appointments, to do laundry, my great-grandmother's annual shopping trip to the Gem Shop. My double first cousins who lived in New York spent six weeks with us. The five of us grew up skiing behind a 14 foot Stauter with a 25 horsepower engine, riding our bikes up and down the boardwalk, sleeping on a sleeping porch or in the bunk room that I shared with Maggie when my Yankee Cousins {please don't take offense} were in residence, playing quadruple solitaire and checkers on rainy days, sneaking into the Grand Hotel pool {that is probably the most rebellious thing I did in my entire childhood/adolescence}, gigging flounder, pulling up crab traps baited with "little stinkers" caught with cane poles using bacon of all things for bait ~ {those are catfish for anyone not a part of my family}, nibbling lumps of fresh crab meat as quickly as MaMa could pick it, pulling a seine for shrimp, and catching pounds of seafood during jubilees. These are but a few of the countless memories that I will forever cherish of my childhood summers. Point Clear is, always has been, and always will be my magic place. It's where I want to be when life gets rough or when tragedy strikes. I want to dangle my legs over the edge of the wharf and listen to the waves crash against the beach. I want to bury my feet in the sand or stroll down the boardwalk to Julep Point in one direction or the other way towards Zundels. It is my refuge ~ mainly a mental refuge these days but nonetheless where I find solace. In fact when I think too much about any one of these memories it brings me to tears. Nevertheless Point Clear remains my magic place and I hope each of you has your own magic place with the same fond memories that I hold for "over the bay".

Okay, on with our mountain vacation...

Check out Exhibit Number One:
This is a picture of Frank when he was maybe ten ~ yes that makes it over twenty years old. We {after scanning it out of Norval's photo albums} gave this picture to Frank's parents for Christmas. For as long as I've known Frank and his parents, they have always talked about fond memories of their times in Linville with friends and family at this house and the Blount's house which is directly across the street. Each of those conversations would end with a comment such as, "We should do that again sometime." So Frank and I did...we contacted the owners of this same house, and rented it for a week. The owners happen to have a grandchild in both Mary Frances and Stephen's class, and I went to high school with their daughter 'n law, Scarlett {small world, right? ~ well we do live in Alabama}. When I approached Scarlett about the idea of renting the house she was thrilled, no really ebullient about the idea of us renting the house. She talked about all of the fun things they do in Linville and how it is such a "magic" place. The word magic certainly resonated with me because that is how I always describe my feelings for Point Clear. I've never spent much time in the mountains or in North Carolina, and I was a little hesitant but definitely willing. Those feelings of hesitation were magnified with Norval's death because everything was just more fun with her in the picture and then again as I was packing and making lists in preparation for the six of us plus the dog to embark on this adventure because as I am learning I don't do new things very well or at least without a fair bit of anxiety.

Exhibit Number Two:

This is a picture I snapped of the same house this past week. Notice how it looks wonderfully the same except for the missing swing. Amazingly the house has been added onto and can accommodate gobs of people ~ yet you would never know!
And so I ramble...I've never been known for getting the point across quickly or eloquently. The bottom line is that we had a blast and I understand why Linville is Scarlett's magic place. Linville will never replace Point Clear in my own mind but who's to say one can't have multiple magic places. It might run a close second with a different set of activities in which to partake. I wish I had more pictures of the inside of this house but it was truly March Inn in the mountains. This fact alone might be why I understood the magic of Linville. I wish my mother, and grandmother, father, and brother, cousins, and everyone who spent countless hours at our house over they bay could see this house and attest to the similarity of details. Everything from the beaded board to the wall decor, bunk beds, braided rugs from another generation, multiple sets of mismatched silverware, ancient cutlery, hordes of towels, a hammock and rocking chairs, the bugs, the smells, and the dampness of the toilet paper reminded my of my first magic place.
Goodnight for now but I promise I will be back soon with enough pictures to make you snore and all of the wonderful details to make your groan.

1 comment:

  1. Your Pt. Clear talk brought back so many memories. My time there was short, but I definitely felt the magic.

    To this day, an outside fan takes me back to sleeping on the sleeping porch...everyone right there...the water lapping on the shore. Easily some of the best sleeping...despite no a/c.

    I also remember trying to learn to ski behind the Stauter...never did.

    I remember helping fix dinner. Cooking was fun there - not so much at home!

    I remember playing cards and not even missing the tv.

    I remember steamroller, a bridesmaid luncheon, and several impromptu get togethers.

    I remember prom night on the wharf and a young Chris telling me he didn't want to date anyone else some 17 years ago!

    I remember singing on the pier with one of the Nash twins.

    I remember shuffleboard with Alex pretending to be blind. Oh, I could go on and on...

    Now I'm a little sad too!

    Glad y'all had a good trip. Can't wait to see y'all soon!