Those Chicken Friends Visit the Visitors

I hope my old friends, Susan and Alex, get a kick out of being called, ”My chicken friends,” because that’s how I’ll always think of them on this blog, ever since they hosted us at their house in Atlanta last year and introduced us to their daughter’s chickens.

That was one heck of a fun hosting. Yet, they outdid themselves a year later when I mentioned to Susan that I’d be in Tennessee this fall, and she immediately booked an AIrBnB about five miles from our campground. When fall came around, they drove all the way out to us and hung out for a short weekend of dining, Airstream-viewing, Banjo-petting, curtain-washing, and all around, good ole, fast-track catching up.


A short backstory: Susan and I met when our children, Finn and her first child, Cara, were babies, and she invited me to a playgroup in the northern suburbs of Atlanta where we both lived then. The group started with something like 15 moms, and, although I moved and kept in touch mostly through our online Scrabble game (seriously), we’re the only two who truly are still close friends. We share a parenting style, and I joke that Cara is like my second child. But there’s so much more to Susan and Alex than their kids (and Cara’s chickens).

Susan has always been super curious about practical things that are new to her, and she’ll delve into something with gusto. I won’t get off topic here with stories about how I’ve counted on her for years to keep me hip (we’re not actually hip if we use that term, but you know what I mean).

One of her consistent obsessions has been cooking, and cooking very well, so for the short time they were visiting, we ate ribs at a brewery, traditional southern food at an excellent restaurant, and a meal she threw together at their AirBnB of tacos—featuring her own smoked pork belly and chicken thighs that, of course, she’d also smoked but then finished in her sous vide.

Good grief, all of it was good.

But being able to spend time with them around a table was the real benefit. Sherri and Mooch joined us at the brewery, where we happened to be sitting next to other guests from the Airstream Park, so Susan and Alex got their first taste of how much Airstreamers really do like to talk about Airstreams. The next day’s restaurant lunch was as high-quality as I remember having (I had grits with alligator sausage, which I can’t believe I loved). And, of course, the dinner Susan made at their place was the best of all, but more on their BnB below.


When I first arrived here at TCPC, I could barely wait to show Susan. As an outsider, she’s been interested in camping and our lifestyle in detail, and this beautiful, Airstream-only neighborhood I knew would flip her lid.

We first walked around the road loop to check out the Airstreams we could see from the front, and then we walked around the outer fire-break loop to check out the way people have set up their lots with outbuildings and gazebos and little balconies facing the woods. Mooch and Sherri graciously gave them a tour of their place, and we said ”Howdy” to the couple we’d met at the brewery the day before.

What a perfect fall day for looking at beautiful Tennessee and at beautiful Airstreams. When we were greeted on the loop by residents also out on a walk, I joked, ”Here are the visitors’ visitors,” and we were all welcomed by each resident we saw.


The house Susan and Alex rented nearby as an AirBnB has its upsides and downsides—one major upside being a washing machine I felt confident to use for the front set of four Airstream curtains. They’ve been in dire need of washing for more than a year, but especially since we left the Ho Rainforest and I’d discovered they’d grown mold in a corner. Ewwwwwwww.

Again, I knew I could count on Susan’s expertise here. She coached me in scrubbing the dirtiest spots with an oxiclean paste, and then we washed them on the delicate cycle and dried them in the sun in her rental yard. What a huge relief they not only came clean but didn’t shrink; I was able to get all four panels put back on the glider tracks in the right order and everything. Thank you, Susan!

Otherwise, spending time at their rental house was surreal, with all that space, and hot running water, and a huge sofa. Everything seemed big!

We played Fluxx at the six-person dining table after dinner—each of us coming so close to winning that we stayed until late at night, prolonging the visit.

Banjo was the big winner at the AirBnB, though. She totally fell in love with Alex: the way he played with her, riling her up just enough that she jumped around him ready to wrestle if only he’d get on the floor with her (wisely, he did not), and scratching her back just the right way, for as long as she asked, as if she were queen of the night. Alex and Susan’s beloved little dog passed away a while back, so this was good dog-time for them. Certainly for Banjo, too. She was ready to leave at the end of the night, but I think she would have been happier if we’d brought Alex with us.

So, the chicken friends struck again, with a short but packed-visit to us, this time. Problem is, back when I was careful with my data use in Canada, I let Susan and my Scrabble game lapse, and I haven’t taken a turn since. I better do that soon; there’s a 25-year friendship to be maintained!

5 thoughts to “Those Chicken Friends Visit the Visitors”

  1. That first photo of Banjo is exactly how Baxter looks when he’s trying to direct scratches to the required spot 😁