May 22, 2010- Tamales with a View

Kate Murr

Boy Scouts are prepared and expeditious. They start their days early and with great commotion but, if you’re lucky like we were, they also offer you coffee and feed you. Mr. Kennedy, the troop leader, invited us to join them for breakfast and ran me off when I tried to do dishes. The boys were gentlemen, making Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids, and demonstrating to me their alcohol-burning aluminum can stoves over which they would be cooking their lunch on the trail.

After breakfast, Brady and Jane shot some more cannons on the historic Shilo battlefield, where Brady nearly surrendered to a mountain of ants he disturbed while loading the cannon with FIRE. Fortunately, he only got one bite that I could find and the pirates decidedly lost the May 2010 battle of Shilo.

Our lunch on the trail happened in the town of Crump after some parents at a downtown little league game directed us to the local diner, Na Na’s (long “a”, folks) for a hearty “Plate Lunch”. At this particular diner, a plate lunch consists of meat, three sides, and a roll or cornbread all for $4.95. For the record, I only ate one plate lunch, but considered ordering another because it was so darn good. A kind local, who looked very hot from putting a metal roof on a building, bought our lunch, and a lunching doctor asked us if he could help us in any way.

We biked up from Crump. I’m not even sure we went north or east or west, but we definitely went up. We stopped on what seemed like the rooftop of Tennessee to catch our breath and lay on towels for a while. Turned out our rest stop was a driveway to the new in-ground cabin built by Jim and Teresa, who pulled up in a golf cart just as we were gearing up to leave. They invited us to stay at the cabin, which had a porch with a million-dollar view of the Tombigbee River Valley below. The kids and I explored the house (and tried to figure out how to work the toilet) and Stuart relaxed on the porch…momentarily. A snake slithered up the hill to the house, ignored the pelting of Stuart’s warning rocks, and headed straight for our bikes. Brady was heading out the door about the time Stuart was picking up a stick of lumber to keep the snake away from our gear. Of course Stuart yelled to me to keep the kids inside and he ended up killing the snake. The kids and I watched out the window as he lifted the limp viper and flung him down the side of the hill.

Besides the snake visit, some neighbors drove up to the cabin about the time we were sitting down on the porch to enjoy the view, Shirley’s tamales, and some Spanish rice and nachos. They were very friendly and gave us the idea that a still was rumored to be on the property. We didn’t see it, of course.

Stuart sat up late on the porch, looking out to the stars and a few angry deer surprised him. We enjoyed the space immensely, and the view was green and filling.

Thank you Jim and Teresa!

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