This weekend, I drove my parents to the mountains. It’s an annual pilgrimage to visit the mountain towns where my father worked as a musician back in the 1950s. We began with breakfast at the Iron Kettle, where we watched the short order cook working furiously to fry bacon, scramble eggs, and flip pancakes. Then we followed a narrow road that curved past farms, through pine woods, and to small towns nestled in the mountains.
Even though it’s still only September, autumn has arrived in the mountains, bringing bright foliage and cold winds. We wore winter coats to walk in the woods. My parents even put on winter ski caps, but I decided it was just too early for such extreme measures.
That evening, we stayed at the old mountain inn where we’ve stayed so many times before. It’s got a porch filled with wooden rocking chairs, several docks, and windows that overlook the lake. After dinner, we sat in the big comfortable chairs near the fireplace, listening to the flames crackle. My mother and I flipped through the pile of guestbooks to find old entries I had written and to read aloud entries we thought especially funny.
My father kept saying that the inn was old enough to have ghosts, and he’s disappointed he’s never seen one. “I’d love to see a ghost,” he kept saying. But after an afternoon spent walking along lake trails, we all fell asleep pretty early. I’m guessing the crowd of locals who were still up talking and laughing at the bar kept away any ghosts.