I wasn’t going to get up early and go to breakfast with my mom, Kate, and Anne, but when I heard they were going to visit a farmers’ market, I revised my plans hastily. I love going to our local farmers’ markets and was eager to visit one on the other side of the country to see what they had going on. My aunt opted to stay home and leisurely get ready. But before we could even head out, my mom realized there was a neighborhood yard sale going on and hit the pavement in search of deals. She came away with some books and an extra suitcase for me (which I was pretty sure I was going to need, based on how much I’d already bought.) I tried to buy some little Crocs for Maysen but was outsnagged by a lady with twins.

Beans

The farmers’ market was great. There were lots of stands selling things we don’t usually see up here at the FM. Broccoli, leeks, okra, collard greens – and nearly ten stands all selling goat products of some sort: goat cheese, goat meat, goat milk, goat milk soap. I was in heaven. I picked up a small bar of goat’s milk soap, a microwaveable heating pad filled with cherry stones, and a jar of pumpkin butter. (Pumpkin butter!) When people heard where we were from, they inevitably asked us about onions, wine, apples, and lavender.

The corner house

(the house across the street from Anne’s. I wanted to buy it and move there. Only $375,000!)

After the farmers’ market, we went out to breakfast at a place Anne frequents. They had marvelous pancakes and I couldn’t come close to finishing my breakfast. I was surprised to find out my sister drinks coffee now. Not the espresso drinks but black brewed coffee. Yikes! Midway through our meal my dad called to tell us my aunt was locked out of the house. She didn’t have her cell phone but she remembered our home phone number and called my dad asking him to call us and tell us to come home. She was still in her pajamas. We finished up and headed back to rescue her. Then we packed up and took off for High Point to visit family.

Vinegar Barbecue

(Vinegar Barbecue at Kepley’s. Nasty.)

We visited my mom’s cousins at Mickey’s house. He is one of their favorite cousins and has stage four lung cancer from working in a paint factory. They reintroduced us (or in Kate’s case introduced) to the wonder that is Cheerwine. More on that later. Mom, Aunt Elaine, Mickey and other family caught up and shared horror stories about their growing up years. Then we went off to find my grandparents’ graves. We drove around in circles a while trying to find the graveyard, and eventually stopped at a Krispy Kreme to call Jason and ask him to get googlemap directions for us.

Grandpa\'s Grave

(Grandpa Dallas’s gravestone)

At the graveyard, we trooped around looking for gravestones. My grandma and great grandparents’ were in the same place, which was fairly easy to find. But my grandpa and great uncle were in a different spot and were tougher to find. I found out my great uncle was stabbed to death in a bar fight and that my grandpa fought in World War II and was a “mean s.o.b.” according to my aunt. My aunt brought Kate and I into fits of laughter when she went dumpster digging for discarded silk flowers to put on my relatives’ graves. My mom was mortified and hid in the car.

Kepley\'s

(Kepley’s)

We then went to find a hotel and dinner. My mom wanted to stop in at Kepley’s Barbecue, a place she and my aunt used to walk to and eat at when they were younger. We all ordered barbecue except for Kate and were disappointed to find out it was no longer smokey-sauce based barbecue but vinegar based – a very big difference. I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of mine and my mom even didn’t finish hers. Turns out the original owner had sold the place soon after my mom and aunt moved away and he had completely changed the recipes of everything. We did, however, gorge ourselves on the hush puppies before calling it a night.

Hush Puppies

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