My wife wanted to eat trout. Yes, I know, we're in Western North Carolina for a week, out of tourist season and the crazy Florida woman can't go a week without a dead fish on her plate. So we went to Bubba's in Burnsville.
Geeta has eased off her vegan trajectory a bit, thanks perhaps to the wisdom and tolerance of age, or the recognition that woman does not live by lentils alone or maybe she simply missed the flavor of eggs and fish. She likes to cook and she and her husband are the most extraordinary left-over hoarders you have ever met, so eating out is a special event.
These family consultations are not for me. I spend most of my time at Celo with my brain switched off so when a plan is hatched I am not terribly aware. Put a glass of wine in front of me and I drink it. Decide to eat out and I go. Otherwise I read my Kindle on my phone, take pictures and let the neighborhood tales of increasing age, ill health and social dissolution flow round me like a buffalo stampede around a rock in the prairie.
These days the Ingles grocery store ("American Owned") in Burnsville is a foodie Mecca, with shelves groaning under the weight of products designed to appeal to visitors (Carrs Water Biscuits) and more prosaic local tastes (Little Debbie's). When Geeta and Bob moved here in 1974 my wife used to bring suit cases filled with avocados, artichokes, tortillas and salsas from the sophisticated land of eternal youth in California. This is no longer the case; we now go sauce and mustard shopping in Burnsville to see what we cannot buy in Key West.
Not much changes here, which is reassuring. The thrift shop...
...it's bin with the intriguing sign...
...and a peak inside:
The doctor with the funny name, if smoking can be a jocular matter these days:
Heavy padlocks on the front door of the abandoned picturesque building, with an open window frame on the other side. Who are they kidding?
The yellow brick road mural is still in place...
...as is the 19th century courthouse depicted on the painting:
These days dogs no longer appear to be banned from the park. How civilized! I have ambitions to one day stay at the Inn in the background. Not easy to do when you have a family living close by.
The young trim woman shocked Bob again when she listed the schools her four children attended locally, but she made me very happy by keeping my coffee cup filled. The perfect waitress. I very much enjoy coffee and hamburger. Why that combination? I dunno I just do, and I don't like strong battery acid coffee: hot weak and not bitter is perfect for me. My BBQ-bacon-cheeseburger was the ideal meal alongside my bottomless cup of coffee. And the real potato fries were excellent.
Then, just as the blackberry cobbler arrived so did a visitor, a middle aged man once attended by my sister-in-law when he was sixteen. That visit engendered another genealogical recitation of local who's who, rather in the manner of a prolonged Biblical generational listing of who begat whom, but I couldn't the wait. The vanilla ice cream was melting and the gooey pudding resulting was too much temptation. While the others were distracted with the history of prominent Burnsville residents past and present I got on with the grave responsibility of demolishing the pudding.
We returned to downtown Burnsville to walk off the dinner and while Cheyenne tried to demolish a small hedge hunting for escaped slices of day old pizza an oblivious Bob told me the story of the Kenyan Quaker pastor (I had no idea such a thing existed) who took his first look through a telescope in the Burnsville town square. It seems he was less impressed by Mars than he was by the sight of the mountains of the Moon.
And so home and to bed. Cheyenne loves her Celo bed so much we will get her one such for her Cudjoe Key home. Apparently this lumpy thing is more Labrador friendly than her closed foam mattress in Florida.
What Cheyenne wants, she gets. I got a great burger and cobbler and coffee and I love Bubba's. I will be back no matter what Bob divine's of their politics. They are demon cooks and that's what matters.