Nice trip to West Virginia today to visit Rivendell and benefit from a rare Stove sighting. He's doing well, still studying in Bologna, and will return here after another year there. Meanwhile, he'll be visiting Jakarta next... He has a lot of plans for Rivendell, all of which sound very good - I just wish he'd be living there so he could take charge of them. We'll take care of what we can from here, but the time is limited by work and other commitments.
On the way out there, I saw something very odd. It was a family of three. The mother was vaguely reminiscent of a younger version of rialian
's mother. The father looked a bit like his dad (only a bit younger). And with them was a boy of about 14 who resembled Eyovah. They all looked about 15 years younger than the corresponding members of rialian
's family, and they were by no means identical to them, but the similarity was enough to induce a very wyrd feeling, kind of as if I'd time-travelled back to 1989 or something. I hoped they would be more fortunate with their Eyovah than we were with ours.
The land was lush with rains and heat. We gifted rialian
's parents with some Dry Elven Wit (home-made dry damiana mead). It had an odd effect on his mom. After making a series of very weird faces, she became ... Cheerful. This may be one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse...
After grilled steaks and salad, we went berry picking. I found exactly one (1) berry while everyone else filled their buckets.
Finally I split off from the berry picking expedition (as clearly, I lacked the requisite expertise) and took a walk into the woods, hoping that maybe I'd find some errant berry vines hidden by the thicket. I went far enough into the trees so I couldn't see any man-made items, and after locating every type of thorn bush except the Blackberry kind, I found a faerie glen...
The only problem was that it was guarded by a big fat spider, which was ready to leap onto my hair in the event that I ran into the web (which I was about to do momentarily). I stopped about two inches away from the spider and its web. After going "EEEewwwwww YUCK!" about 10 times, I decided to approach the glen another way (this time sweeping ahead of me with a branch just in case - my vision isn't great). My stalwart wand vanquished the spawn of Shelob, and I was able to walk to the glen with no further challenge! I didn't stay long, but the short time there was renewal of spirit.
I left the woods just as rialian
happened to be getting back from the Hunt (er... the berrypicking expedition), and as I walked up to him, he found ANOTHER cache of unpicked, ripe berries right next to the house (as if the ones he already had weren't enough!). I asked if I could please pick this batch myself, so I could return from the Hunt with more than one berry. So he generously gave those spoils to me.
We returned to our own town in time to miss the horrible traffic jam that our city becomes on every 4th of July, and spent the evening paying as little attention as possible to the fireworks (neither of us likes loud popping noises, and we don't trust most people with incendiary devices)... So it was a very happy Fourth. We picked red raspberries and a few blueberries, and drank white mead...