18. On Friday, I was re-counting a difficult conversation I had had. I shared that I was amazed at how easily the conversation had gone. My friend's response to the story was, "Well, Beth, perhaps that difference is that you're working a program of recovery... a symptom of sobriety." That was a phrase a co-worker of mine had used as a response to every single compliment he had received, indicating his gratitude and his humility in the same breath. I then, pondered the compliment I had just received. Sober, by the way, doesn't just mean "not intoxicated." It also means reasonable.
19. My cousin Ginny and I were were driving up the Blue Ridge Parkway today and got behind a Jell-o green mustang with West Virginia tags on it. While in one of the many tunnels, the driver of the mustang found it necessary to rev his engine several times, making a echoing engine noise for all to hear. My cousin's response was , "What's this? My carbon footprint is bigger than yours?" Carbon footprint is an interesting way to convey personal responsibility for one's consumption of resources, conspicuous or otherwise. The only other way to create a carbon footprint would be to step in a mound of ashes, and then walk away....don't think I'll do that.
20. She was also describing a child who attended her son's school. He was born and raised in Asheville, and at the age of 5, his accent was as thick as mud." This phrase conjures images of a child trying to speak through a mouth full of peanut butter. Poor child probably had a hard time getting his words out, much less understood.
21. "She can't find her way out of a paper bag" was also used in conversation w/my cousin today. She was describing a woman who looked great, and worked hard to appear as though she had it all together. Unfortuately, she wasn't very smart, and had even less common sense, which is what the phase intends.
22. Frying Pan Tunnel is the name of one of 26 tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I googled it to find how the tunnel was named, and was unsuccessful in finding anything but maps and the Wikepedia entry on tunnels of the Blue Ridge Pkway. Most of the tunnels have names that indicate their geographic location in some way, or may be Cherokee words. I have included it because there's probably a story seed there. Maybe a tall tale. It certainly has me thinking about the men who built those tunnels, and the stories they shared around the fires that cooked the evening meals.