"Aren't you the nature photographer?" he asked when I got out of the car.
"Yes! Dragonflies and damselflies!"
"We've met before," he said.
"I remember! Are you leaving?"
"Not yet," he said, grabbed some soft drinks from the back of his trunk, then headed through the gate toward the dam.
When I caught up some minutes later, I saw him and his wife, toast each other with their blue plastic cups.
"What are you toasting?" I asked when I was close enough.
"This is our mid-summer toast," she said, smiling. "A bit late, but this is our first visit this summer."
We chatted a while, reminding each other that we're all teachers (they've been retired about nine years), commenting on the beautiful afternoon, before I took off toward the odes.
An hour or so later, I followed them back through the gate.
They love wildflowers and always consult their guide to Tennessee ones, the same book I have on a shelf. They also read when the come, classics mostly, each a different book.
"So many Virginia meadow flowers this year!" he said
"Yes," I said, "but no cardinal flowers, thanks to the really big mow."
"Don't worry. They'll come back," he assured me.
"How long does the drive back home take?"
"About two hours or so," he said, "depending on the Chattanooga traffic."
"That's an awfully long way to come to read and see flowers!"
She said, "We love it here. Reminds us of Europe. There's something magic about Sewanee."
"Especially Lake Cheston. It's so peaceful and beautiful," he added. "We're headed to Green's View next."
"Just know that it's changed a bit," I warned them. "It might not be as accessible as it used to be."
"Oh," she said, "we always manage. As long as we can get there, we always manage. I'd never let this slow me down."
Afterwards, at the hospital, I thought about mobility -- hers, Boo's, and mine.
I think it's time to stop complaining about my bad feet.