Two days and nights in Covington, Georgia.

Leather chaps for sale.

My in-laws kept the kids while the King and I escaped to a bed and breakfast in Covington, Georgia. Upon our arrival in this charming small town, we were greeted by loud, incessant revving-up of a biker rally in the square. I considered a pair of leather chaps but decided in favor of a blueberry muffin instead.

Alas, the King could not find a ring in my size.

Wandering back towards the spaceship we witnessed what could only be described as flash mob happening, possibly organized by a coalition of missionaries and Bikers For Jesus. They did a really good job of looking angry and confrontational. Such a good job that I wanted to get away quick before scene went Hamlet.

We checked in to Twelve Oaks, the home that inspired “Twelve Oaks” in the Gone With The Wind film. To show how clueless I can be about all things Scarlett O’Hara, it was the Eldest who made the connection and informed me there was a “Twelve Oaks” in the book by Margaret Mitchell. I looked it up and sure enough– he was correct. He’s never seen the film and I wondering if he’s ready to watch it and apply his critical thinking skills against the romantic portrayal of southern antebellum life.

A sitting area in the common area on the third floor.

The common area.

The King found a fridge in the common area where he could leave a bottle of pinot for proper cooling.

Our luxurious Suite Home Alabama bed.

On the first night, we stayed in the Suite Home Alabama on the uppermost floor.

Surveying the writing desk in suite.

It was indescribably relaxing to sit down and write without looking over my shoulder to make sure little ones were doing their assignments or playing safely. To do nothing but let the pen run across the page. There are times when the tension rises between who can run free- words or children- for both require my eyes, my watch, my time. Usually, I choose free children. But it was wonderful to free the words without having to make a choice.

I love the light in the bathroom.

And of course there is nothing like lounging around in a bathrobe that feels like a down comforter. I brushed my teeth at all the recommended hours- a rarity for me.

Breakfast table waits.

Breakfast was delicious: fresh eggs and bacon with home-made strawberry pancakes and whipped cream infused with bourbon and vanilla. The food was wonderful but sitting at a table with friendly strangers was even better. Guests from Portland, California, DC, Germany, and more shared our backgrounds- and our reasons for being here- and wound up leaving the table at 11, two hours after breakfast began.

The sitting area where wine and cheese were served at 5 pm.

Lichen patterns on gravestones..

I was reminded again of how enchanting people can be if you have the time to hear their stories. And I had all the time in the world.

Bankers wear very shiny shoes.

The King had to attend a work-related conference in downtown Atlanta so I had the day to myself. As he shined his shoes, I was reminded how fortunate I am to no longer worry about “work clothes” and business attire and hairstyles- he does the part neither of us particularly admires. It is a birthday gift he gives me every day of our lives in common.

A beautiful and rather serious iris.

I borrowed an umbrella and spent hours walking in the rain without worrying about oncoming traffic and frothy children always tippling, close to spilling into busy streets.

I came across a back alley that led into a large and very old cemetery, so I found a few bricks and sat down to scribble for a spell.

The King is all business in the morning.

Around lunch, I returned to move our luggage into The Salvatore Brothers’ Study. Then stole the handful of sunshine hours to sit on a blanket in the backyard and read Robert Musil’s journals.

A little chandelier hanging from a trellis in the Twelve Oaks backyard.

Little purple flowers opened their faces towards the sun.

When I brought the King back for a sunset cemetery stroll, the little purple flowers had closed their faces. We are vulnerable to light and dark, wind and rain. Our plant friends have needs as well.

Lo and behold, we stumbled across a house with a Hollywood style marker out front. I felt insufficient for having no idea about “The Vampire Diaries”- what are they and what is the show about?

More beautiful flowers along the way.

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