I was so eager to get on with the global part of this tour, that I--yes me--forgot about the local. The day of my departure from the Dirty South, best pal in all things life, love and henna related, Erin Mitchelson, took me to Flying Biscuit, a restaurant in Atlanta, GA specializing in southern comfort food. And how comfort was needed...
Erin, with hubs, Matt, moves on to greener pastures in New Hampshire before I return to Georgia at the end of this trip, and so this was a kind of big goodbye for us. Happily, we will reunite in the Dominican Republic later this year for a few weeks, but this day marked the end of the Mitchelson Era for me at UGA. No department has ever been graced with the likes of Matt and Erin, and I think I speak for many people when I say that any department on the receiving end of these two generous, big hearted people will be a lucky one indeed. They both will be missed deeply by us all, but especially by me, as they helped me more than anyone to find and make a home in Georgia.
So, it was with great saudede--a word I was to discover in Portugal that is sometimes described as the "the love that remains" after someone is gone--that Erin and I shared a last meal in Georgia together at the Flying Biscuit. We partook in huge mimosas; creamy dreamy grits; collard greens; tender, flaky biscuits and fried green tomatoes with goat cheese. Basically all the soul food hits...minus the pork and fried chicken, and a few little extras. Delicious and nourishing to a saudede soul.
So good in fact, that I forgot my debit card on the table--a terrifically bone-headed thing to do given that I was leaving the country for 6 months. But maybe I was just seeing if they would hold a place for me and Erin so we could come back. I guess I'll give all the money I've got to continue to enjoy the company of a fabulous woman who has made Georgia a terrific place to be.
The love remains.