Travelogue: I Can’t Believe This Place Exists, but It Does
July 7, 2012
I’m up top the mountain in Monteagle, Tennessee, where the hooting dog still hoots, the rooster down the road continues to launch his fake-sounding “cockadoodledoo” at 4:53 am, and swifts have taken up residence in our chimney, chattering like bats all day long. It’s so LOUD up here.
I had a note from Lily, an 18-year-old knitter who is Sewanee bound this fall. She wisely has begun sussing out the yarn situation atop the Cumberland Plateau. Her inquiry sent me on a little recon mission to a place people have been telling me about all summer. They keep saying, “It has vegetables. And antiques. And goat cheese. And yarn.” It’s on the highway to Sewanee, they keep saying.
Well, it’s true. There exists a place where you can buy quinoa, fresh eggs, a nice side table, and hanks of hand-dyed silk. It’s the craziest place I ever saw, so new that it doesn’t even have the store sign up yet.
This is Mooney’s Market & Emporium. And this is Joan Thomas, who opened this dreamland about a month ago.
Here’s a great article about her efforts to rescue this building.
Each room has its own purpose. Antiques room, yarn room, weaving and spinning room.
The vegetables walk into the cooler, they’re so fresh.
Joan says she’ll be cranking up her loom soon after many years away.
No space wasted here.
Sewanee spinning vixen Lynne Vogel has her handspun yarns and creations here, as well as Claire, a spinner who was actually on site when I stopped by.
Recycled saris. Had to liberate some of this stuff. Do you think there are any saris left, anywhere in the world?
Thanks to Joan for creating the sort of place that we all dream about. So great. And be sure to Like Mooney’s, because heaven knows there’s plenty to like there.
PS You are all cordially invited to the Cottage Tour on Friday, July 20. Somebody asked me when I was going to paint my shed again; she thinks the eggplant is starting to fade. I think it’s just starting to get good. Here’s the story of how the shed got painted in the first place. Stop by and provide some input on whether the shed needs a new coat. I guess you know that I’m not all that interested in painting the thing again.
PSS I know you’ve been worrying. The bluebirds are definitely back in the bird house this year. In seven years, this is the latest they have come. The dowel that serves as their perch fell off during the winter, so I had assumed they ditched me for nicer accommodations. It is all decay in this place, let me tell you.