Tag Archives: Tuckaseegee

summer visit to tuck

 

tuck

We’ve been busy lately – more so than normal, I think.  I took on a new job at work, have summer events for work (over on July 7!), all the normal summer busy stuff (garden to tend, berries to pick, lots of laundry to wash), and we’ve been getting ready for a distant cousin from France to come stay with us for the month of July.  She is 16 and coming to help out (maybe I’ll be a little less busy then), and to enjoy a visit to America.

Since we’ve been so busy, I really wanted to get away from everything for a few days and enjoy the summer.  And, we did so this past weekend at Tuckaseegee.  We were also there for Steven’s birthday, which was fun.  The weather was hot when we got there on Friday, and I quickly unloaded the car and jumped in the river.  Anne and Evva joined me.  It was so refreshing and I could just feel all the stress leave my body, washed away with the water as it flowed downstream.

sausages

cards

We got out of the river in time for a thunderstorm, but there is not much better than listening to rain drum on a tin roof while you are frying sausages for supper. The kids quietly played cards in the bunks.  It was a sweet feeling.

presents

open

rabbit

It rained on and off all day on Saturday, but we had a pretty morning.  It has become a bit of a tradition in our family to open at least half of your birthday presents at breakfast on the morning of your birthday.  So, the children brought out some gifts for Steven.  He was thrilled with the ball Hythe bought for him, and loved the bunny I made for him (corduroy and sherpa from Storybook Toys).

steve

hythe

evva

redwall

kickball

snake

snake2

Joined by a few friends, we spent the day playing kick ball, hiking to a water fall, and playing in the river.  The girls built an elaborate castle compound on a bar in the river, which they named Redwall Abby (since we were listening to that book in the car).   They spent hours on it.  I also found a ring snake in the house, which Hythe captured and claimed was his new friend.  He spent a few hours with it, basically cuddling it, until we finally convinced him to let it go.

tucker

Tucker also enjoyed the river – he loves swimming and fetching sticks.  So much so that he wore himself out and could barely move on Sunday – poor old dog.

supper

bday

bdayboy

clothes

colroing book

coloring book

Then, on Saturday night, we had Steven’s birthday cupcakes (he wanted “black with black icing”, which I interpreted at chocolate with chocolate icing) and he opened his remaining presents – some clothes from Phebe (grandma) which came in handy since he had dunked all the clothes I brought for him in the river, a coloring book made for him by Anne and Evva, and a busy book I sewed for him (pattern by Seamstress Erin).   He was so happy to have so much attention and so many gifts.

We came home on Sunday, worn out, happy, and ready to tackle the week (which, again, is busy!).

 

last hurrah of summer, or first of fall

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William’s great grandfather, with a large group of friends and acquaintances, purchased 3,000 acres of remote land in Jackson County the 1920s – for hunting, fishing, and investment. Somehow he, and then his descendents, were able to hold onto about 300 of those acres, which we call Tuckaseegee, through the Great Depression and all the change that happens in the economy and families over time. So the extended family can still enjoy the property today. And, they really enjoy it. This place is special to them. They have had their favorite memories and most fun times here, as well as their saddest times (2 uncles died here). William absolutely loves this place of river playing, trout fishing, waterfalls, remote hiking, and relaxing meadows. And, we decided to spend our fall break (or at least most of it) here.

At their new school, the girls have one week off for fall break, and we packed up and headed to Tuckaseegee last Tuesday. And by packing up, I mean that you need to bring nearly everything but the kitchen sink to this remote mountain cabin (old lumber camp): all your food, linens, towels, clothes for all weather, games, toys, firewood, blankets, soaps, toiletries, etc. This place is at least 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store (and has no phone or cell service and no internet), so you don’t want to forget anything. I am a perpetual under-packer and William, an over-packer, so when we go to Tuckaseegee it usually works out well for us. At this beginning of the week, temperatures got to 80 and by the end of the week it was in the low 30s in the morning. I was unprepared for the cold, but William had packed all the kids’ winter coats so we got by. Evva, for the second time this year, forgot to bring her shoes. Luckily, we invited friends to join us for the weekend and they brought extra shoes.

We hiked on the muddy flats of a drained lake, fished, canoed, did a little dunking before the cold weather came, had campfires, and played games. Then, our friends came for the weekend. Playing with friends is one of my favorite things to do at Tuckaseegee (my very favorite is sitting quietly in the meadow reading a book). Having friends to talk and laugh with, friends for the children (and us) to play games, explore, and splash in the river with – it is great fun. There were some great musicians among the friends and family who joined us, and I loved hearing the old time and Irish music while I cooked for the crowd, washed up, or put kids to bed. The kids also had a couple of fun games of real musical chairs.

This weekend also marked my absolute resignation to the coming of fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall – the colors, the coolness, crisp days, blue skies, apples and pumpkins, and all that. But, I also love summer and I will miss it – green trees, flowers, warmth, playing in water, vacation, less clothing, fresh melons, tomatoes, corn, etc. But, I gave up on summer when the weather turned cold and we got our first frost and trees were undeniably not-all-green. I am accepting the beauty of the red and gold on the mountains, the crystal clear blue skies and cooler temps, and mentally preparing for the colder season ahead.

This trip was a great way to welcome fall, and say good-bye to summer.

Tuckaseegee summer visit

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We finally got up to the semi-remote property that my husband’s great-grandparents bought in the 1920s, and is now owned by his family and extended family. This property is on the headwaters of the Tuckaseegee River, with lots of National Forest land around. It is a beautiful spot, with no cell phone reception, TV, or phone line. There is electricity, but staying in the 100+ year old “lodge” (which was built by loggers, and probably not intended to stay upright for more than 20 years), is really glorified camping. The wooden floors lean, the mice outnumber the visitors, and the doors barely shut (or else don’t open). But, the kitchen has a great gas stove, which is fun to cook on, and the rooms stay dark so that children (and hence their parents) sleep in, there is a new mattress that does not smell musty, and right now, the roof does not leak–plus there is a flush toilet(!).

Anyway, we always have a fun time–fishing and splashing in the river, hiking, roasting marshmallows, and playing games (baseball or board games, depending on the weather).  We, or I should say they, did a lot of fishing, and we had an epic game of Monopoly.

Though usually, we visit with friends or extended family, this weekend, it was just us. A few people told us they planned to come up on Saturday, but the weather ultimately kept them home.  We enjoyed the river in the morning before the rain and board games on the porch during the rain.

We are hoping to get back this fall for close to a week, rather than the usual weekend. It is quite a lot of work to stay there (bring your linens, food, pillows, clothes, towels, etc.–and then wash them all when you get home), so it will be nice to spend more time. And, get to explore more places with the little ones. They have not experienced all the trails, lakes, and interesting things in the area, and William and I are looking forward to being with them to do it.