Yesterday we took a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway,
and out of my memory banks fell remembrances
of how one Sunday every fall, we got up at dark thirty,
met a few families at the courthouse,
and caravaned to the mountains to see the colorful leaves.


We stopped at a roadside picnic table,
and after lunch,
the kids took a walk in (yes, IN)
the nearby creek
while the parents relaxed and talked up a blue streak.
(The sun photobombed this photo from yesterday.)
(Which is perfectly fine.)


My friends laughed and skipped
from stone to stone on one foot,
and I joined them . . .
for maybe two stones
before I fell into the creek.
I was clutsy, no question about that.
(And I’ve not developed physical grace with age.
I’m still unsure on my feet
when walking to the falls that are at our front door.
The Engineer says I need to put my feet down with more authority.
I say he just needs to hold my hand.)


We never had a towel
and had usually thrown away the picnic napkins
on those childhood day trips,
so I’d just drip dry,
and shiver all the way home
despite being wrapped up in Daddy’s suit jacket.


Now it’s true
that we went to the mountains to see the leaves,
and it’s true
that we had a picnic,
and it’s most definitely true
that I fell into the creek every darn time.
But I can’t imagine why Daddy
would wear a coat and tie for a leisurely day-long drive
through the mountains of north Georgia.
That just doesn’t make sense.


Stories are constructed.
Memories are fallible.
Some tales are ruined by questions.
Some tales are never questioned and should be.

But that doesn’t mean stories shouldn’t be told.