Pinson with the Parents

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 | Family, Travel

My parents are amazing. Their mid-80s are like the new mid-60s. I spent a few days with them last week, in Alabama. Mom is still like a merry squirrel, always moving, always talking… my dad at times seems like a grumpier parody of Walter Matthau, although he has this really entertaining habit of reading aloud road and business signs. “Abundance Love Christian Academy” is delivered as if he were addressing a Toastmasters Meeting, his roadside recitations allowing for no gaps in conversation. We went for a hike in the hills near Turkey Creek—my 80 year old parents, hiking up a mountain—and then explored the old swimming hole where my brother and I used to cool off during those hot Alabama summers. The creek winds through this beautiful forrest, off the road to the Turkey Creek Landfill. For a while there was going to be a prison built on the site, but the locals got together and came up with partners and funding to make it a nature preserve. As a kid, I remember the road on the way to the creek always littered with bags of trash, people too impatient I guess to drive all the way to the landfill. Now it’s all cleaned up, just pristine forrest and burbling water, conveniently about 1/4 mile from the dump.

Later in the week, my mom and I did some further exploring and found this cool old cemetery, The Red Hill Cemetery, off Tapawingo Road near Pinson Valley High. It’s not like Pinson is this big town, so it was somewhat surprising that I hadn’t stumbled across this place in the years I lived there, or that I had forgotten about it. The gravestones date from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Behind the graveyard an old road leads to an abandoned house with a tin roof and field-stone chimney, slowly being swallowed by the forrest. It’s the perfect setting for a horror film.

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