Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama

I arrived in Slocomb, AL about 3 (Oops, that’s 2 – crossed a time line) in the afternoon.
The trip up was very relaxing – no traffic to speak of – even on I-10.

Jack tried to exert his will, but I had written directions from Susan, and I won out. And we had no trouble finding the house

I met Susan and Tommy in VB in 1977 shortly after we moved there. Susan worked for the same insurance agency I did.

Currently, Susan drives a school bus, attends college, makes baskets, and canes chairs, and her work is meticulous! They have about 5 ½ acres here, and have measured out a walk that is a little less than 2 miles – really nice. Yes, I have traversed the walk – sometimes multiple times a day. – (and sometimes not at all I have to admit – once again the weather)

Tommy and Susan are both readers, and we all like similar books. I picked up “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown and devoured it. (I was reading to the Lost Symbol during the day, and listening to The DaVinci Code at night – very confusing) Then I started on one of Susan’s books, and hoping I can finish it before I leave here.

Yesterday, we ran some errands. Ending up at the commissary at Ft. Rucker army base. We were just about finished shopping –ready to head for the checkout, when the fire alarm went off. We had to evacuate, and wait across the street until the fire unit arrived to check it out. It seemed like hours, but was only about 20 minutes. They figured a youngster had tripped the fire alarm.

When we returned home, we all had a mixed drink (well-two to be absolutely correct) All of you that know me well – know I drink so little that it could be said I don’t drink at all (anymore)
Over dinner they decided to add to my wine education. So we talked about wine, sipped wine and talked more about it. Then, we opened the bottle of wine I brought them from St. Augustine. Myra!!!! It stunk!!!! It actually smelled bad, and tasted worse. I can’t believe I liked it when I first tasted it.

Anyway, the tasting and testing continued through the evening until very late. I stood up to go to bed, and Oops!!! No legs. Need I say more?

I have to tell you that Tommy and Susan are the very best cooks. They developed a taste for Italian food while in Italy a while back – for the past 1 ½ years, they have been following South Beach. They have adapted their cooking accordingly, and I tell you, I never knew dieting could be so delicious!

Last Nite (Friday) more wine tasting – Champagne this time, to go with our “legal” dessert, wine with dinner, and cocktail before dinner. I’ll be staggering my way out of Alabama.

Their son and daughter-in-law arrived for a flying visit yesterday, and took advantage of the visit to … TA DA!!! Drum roll: …. bottle Tommy’s very first batch of homemade wine. What fun!!!! As you may be able to see in the photo. We were searching for some “wine bottling” music when we came across a station playing “malt shoppe oldies” More fun – these were the songs my girls’ Dad and I danced to as teenagers!!!

And, once again, I stumbled off to bed

Saturday: Grilled fillets, salad, and …….. sautéed onions and mushrooms flamed with brandy.
Wow, I’m going to miss this restaurant!!! And once again – more education for my palate
It’s still early, so I don’t know what shape I’ll be in when I stagger into bed tonite.

OK – Sunday – Last day here - repacked the car – again. More palate training – with dinner – we grazed – anti-pasto, some wonderful whole wheat flat bread with mozerella balls (marinated in olive oil and basil.) We watched Mystic Pizza, worked my way through several glasses of wine, when I realized it was only 9:30 p.m. - Give me grace!!!! (and more wine)

I wanted to ride Susan’s scooter, but I felt it was a little heavy, and I was afraid I’d lose balance and break my hip or something. Susan says this would be the best place for a broken hip, personal service, great food, wonderful company. But, I decided it wasn’t the right time. LOL

Brooke: Congratulations from Lt. Cmdr Culpepper for making Chief!!!! (Well, he just learned about it) And good luck on your retirement.

I leave in the a.m. for Texas - I’m taking a blue highway – Hwy #90 – along the coast, but it also weaves along with HWY 10 so I can jump on the interstate to go through big towns. Part of it will take me along the gulf – Biloxi and Gulfport. Susan says it’s a wonderful drive. Should take me about 2 days to get to Houston

Bear Hugs,

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