Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carolina On My Mind

The more we travel the more we are truly looking forward to seeing every state in this fine country. We have been to many already and, with the exception of California, have only seen bits of each. Each place has its special features and each requires further exploration in order to say we really know it. Along with West Virginia, North Carolina is a place we'd like to get to know better. What we've seen so far is exceptionally beautiful. We've enjoyed the Outer Banks with its sandy wildness and salty, ocean winds; and New Bern, an historical town which rests its real estate against the woodsy Croatan National Forest, where my dear friend, Linda Davis, lives with her husband Alex; and, now, we are in Boone in 'the high country' in the western side of the state where the trees are blazing with reds and golds. I am replete with the eastern fall air that I've missed for 34 years, having had lived in New Jersey for 11 years where autumn was my most favorite season.

Our visit in New Bern was gratifying for a couple reasons. First was because I was able to spend an entire week (sans the hours Linda had to be at work), with Linda who is my oldest friend. Linda and I met when my family were moving into our house in Fair Haven, New Jersey. Linda was the first, and only, person my age to come over and introduce herself. We've been friends ever since, even though we sometimes nurtured other friendships during our high school years. And, Linda and I haven't kept in touch 100% of the time over the years. She came to Rob's and my wedding 27 years ago, then we lost touch because I lost the piece of paper containing her address and phone number which was, I thought, tucked into my address book. Remember those days when everyone had an address book instead of smart phones? Then somehow, nearly 15 years ago, Linda called me and we spoke on the phone as though no time had passed. We didn't hear each other's voices again until a little over a year and a half ago when, after making contact through Facebook and texting, I arrived at her door for a two night visit while traveling from Florida to Virginia Beach. Again, it was as though no time had passed. We just got caught up. This time was no different. Second was because our husbands got to meet and Rob and Alex became like two peas in a pod. They probably won't appreciate that description, but it is how Linda and I saw it. And we loved it. How often does it happen when two couples, four individuals, find enough in common and feel an affinity with each dynamic that all enjoy spending time together?

I also want to shout out that Linda and Alex were the most gracious hosts we could have asked for and, unfortunately, at a time when we were under a bit of stress. Our bank debit cards were compromised and we had to shut both down. Several charges ended up showing on our account which we weren't able to address until after the Columbus Day holiday. I become Chicken Little when our money is messed with. No fun. No fun at all! The good thing is our credit union stepped up to the plate and removed the charges to our account. I have an idea from where this problem may have stemmed and I have taken action. Although it is usually near to impossible to make any arrests in these types of scams, I felt better doing something than doing nothing.

Rob and I drove a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday. It is impressive and when we head a bit south to Asheville on Monday, we will drive some of it from that end. I just hope the fall colors are still on the trees.

Here are a few photos (yeah, right), to check out.

Linda, Alex and Rob in front of the Tryon Palace, once on the short list to be the nation's capitol.

A mother Green Lynx spider with her newly hatched young on a sesame plant in the Tryon Palace gardens. The babies look like sesame seeds.

Some colorful peppers in the gardens.

I'm a sucker for bees.

Cannon balls.

What did I say about bees?

I don't know the name of this plant, but the berries really are purple.

Weather worn benches.

In the formal garden.

Rob and Linda enjoying a rest and a little conversation.

I wonder what this looks like in spring.

The engine of a 1919 Chevrolet. Notice the oil can. Too bad I couldn't get the whole car. Too many people.

A fun way to spruce up a town.

Outside a really cool, old-fashioned hardware store over the Mumfest weekend.

Love this photo of Linda.

Alex during one of his and Rob's deep conversations.

Pizza on the deck.

We joined Alex and Linda at church on Sunday. That's Alex playing guitar on the right. Probably the nicest service I've ever experienced.

An artist works on an inspired painting during the service.

We witnessed many baptisms on this day. Linda feels moved by the children. I felt moved by this big guy.

The view from my bedroom window in Boone, NC. I love hearing the cows moo.

From along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Breathtaking.

Peaceful beauty.

I'ma lichen a little moss.

I love Autumn in the east!

Oh, yeah. Remember what I said about bees?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome portraits Linda! We (including our friends) really enjoyed having you guys with us in New Bern for the week. Our pad is always there when you need it and next time I'll try and have 30A or 50A service ready!