Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's been a long time without much to report from life in the South. Emma is taking ballet and tap, both of which she loves. Our new little guy is almost five months old.

But the big news is that Louis and I were invited to a house party that included, on Friday night, a black tie dinner and, on Saturday night, a coon hunt! That's how we do things down here in the Southland! I threatened to wear my evening gown on the hunt, but I didn't. I would have been sorry. The twenty or so of us, host and guests, were transported to the starting point, an oilcan fire next to the mud, in a hay wagon drawn by a tractor. We waited there, half an hour or so, until dark. Then the hounds were let loose to find a raccoon. Soon we heard them baying. We walked to a spot beside the "road" no different from any other spot, where our leader, wearing a mining cap to light the way, suddenly plunged into the underbrush. After we had traipsed through the woods for ten or fifteen minutes, shining our flashlights before us, frequently stopping to let those who were slower catch up to the rest of us so no one would get lost in the dark, over and under branches and hillocks and tree stumps and tree stump sink holes, we seemed, I swear, farther away from the hounds than when we started out. After more traipsing and stopping, and another ten or fifteen minutes, we finally arrived at the aforementioned tree, the hounds were leaping and yowling, we trained our many flashlights up, way up, into the bare branches, and eventually were able to make out, very uncertainly, two very small yellow eyes looking down upon us. And that was it. Except of course, for the traipsing back and the hay ride home. The actual payoff was not the shooting of the coon (which shooting we did not do),let alone the eating thereof (for this was a "green" hunt), but the country BBQ dinner, for which we were all as hungry as hogs. Pulled pork, beans, rice, cole slaw, rolls, smoked salmon, and pecan pie! But naming does not do justice to the cooking, everything was slightly sweet, like well-made Southern tea, we all had second helpings, and slept in Sunday!