Just when I was starting to worry about the wuss factor

On the phone with my brother yesterday morning, I heard him talking about some nearby caves in the woods near the house where I'm currently staying. He said, "You should go out there and see them while you're in West Virginia." His suggestion reminded me of this nagging feeling I'd already been having. It's a sort of mental argument I've had with myself. Related to the fact that there are 16 acres here at my fingertips, if you will, not to mention neighboring property - much of it wooded - and every time I go out to shoot photos, or just walk around the property, I stop at the trees. I want to go on, but no: I stop. Every time. This stopping is related, of course, to the rational voice in my head that says, "You're completely alone up here. If something happened to you, who would know?" Not that anything would happen to me, but whereas these voices didn't ever come to me back in the years when I visited here every summer, they talk to me way often, these days. It's hard to completely ignore them, too. They talk loud.

I remember one weekend about 15 years ago when sis and I were here, and the last day before we headed back, she and a friend's way cool child decided to take a hike. Maybe he was about 10 then? Sis was in her first or second year of college. Said child ended up saving the day and helping her come out of those woods when she fell down a rock and cut her face open, thereby requiring the stitches of a plastic surgeon who had to be pulled off the golf course for the purpose of fixing my sister's face. That's the last time I remember anybody close to me hiking around in these woods, and while I realize one fall does not make it a necessarily bad idea to hike - of course not - I'm thinking it's best to have someone to go with you.

Regular readers will recall that this trip, I travelled alone.

Today while emailing with a Greensboro friend, she shared the magnificent perk of her new job - Fridays off. She mentioned her plans to hike and kayak on Fridays and that made me wistful, once more, to explore the woods so conveniently located above my current abode. I told her about my quandary and invited her to come up.

But that will require waiting. I want to go now.

On the other hand, aside from all the other objections already mentioned? I don't know what's in those woods! I mean, let's face it: I'm not exactly a hikin' mountain chick. The label appeals to me, but right. Whatever. I just don't hike much almost ever.

Enter: friend I haven't seen in years. Friend who happens to be the mom of the kid who saved my sister's booty the day she fell in these woods, I'll mention - for added texture to my lengthening story.  Friend who stopped by unannounced to say hello, a little while ago. People do that up here. And whereas at home I'm fiercely private and opposed to drop-ins without a call first, today I didn't mind at all. She was rather like family all those years ago, anyway, and so we had a thrilling visit.

So check this out - maybe half hour to an hour into her visit, she said something about going walking or hiking together. Seems she knows the caves my brother was trying to get me to visit. Seems she knows, too, a nearby way old graveyard up in those woods. Seriously. Just when I've started getting really excited about photography, somebody stops in and offers me a graveyard, of all things!

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow?! And then I shall be a wuss no more! (Says me.) Here's hoping I don't fall down and break my face...