Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No Time to Chat

We're insanely busy, so I'm gonna give you a nice pile of pictures from the past five days, with captions.
Two little nieces reading on the stairs
All little cousins like to sit on their grandparents' steps. It's a family trait.
Julia was at camp all last week.
She slept in a tent.
She made a friend ...
... or two.
After camp we all went to church together on Sunday. The flowers were pretty.
Teenaged cousins eat, A LOT.
My niece Kyrie and her hubby of one year, Jonathan
When I tried to take a photo of cute cousins, Katie bolted from the chair.
But I got a cute pic of her anyway :)
Ben is a great boy, and he likes his dear sister, Hannah. Do we have some good looks in this family, or what?
The eating was fairly constant.
The Iowa cousins arrived -- Kesse and Hannah.
Kyrie, Julia, Kayren, Kesse, Hannah, Patience, Aleya, Katie -- holding Nathan and Ben
Cousins give the best back rubs.
Julia, Kayren and I bought new rings at Linda's Rock Shop!
Then we went to Quotations Coffee Shop and Alynn got me a chai latte.
We also dashed to Pisgah Forest. Some friends had a birthday party there. Julia and Aleya took a turn in the tubes.
Kyrie and Jonathan are expecting their first bambino.
On the way home yesterday we stopped in Statesville and Mooresville, and dropped in at Birkdale Village.
I love the Fragrance Shop. If you have a smell you love, they have it.
Hundreds of apothecary jars
We had some time to visit with Kara and Peter! They look great.
I had to share this innovative planter idea.
Back in Oriental, the kids went sunfish sailing today.
Aleya and Kesse did a fine job of it.

Julia, Kesse, and Aleya took to the oars.

Then Jonathan and Kayren jumped on the sunfish. He was a natural.
The sunfish must have worn Kayren out because she fell asleep with her crochet hook in hand.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mountain Memory


Mountain rain wakes me, tapping on the roof
Like a child whispering
Like a memory whispering
Soothing and delicious to the mind,
Rain is the bedside chocolate
Wind is the mother’s milk
Fog is the warm aroma
Of the whispering leaves
Who rustle tenderly
Behind my eyes.
Moistening away the worry,
They say remember:
The smell of bright green grass
Soft as hair,
Pale brown apples too,
Fallen and sweet with bees,
The sharp perfume of hunting dogs
Asleep in their pen,
Last night’s fire, warm
Burnt and smoldering still.
Mist rolls down and through
The house windows
Across my morning bed.
Like a blanket, it says
And the waking rain murmurs

(Light rain in the mountains reminds me of my grandparents' home and yard where I visited often, over 40 years ago.)

copyright by the author

Friday, July 26, 2013

Three Generations in Town

Just in case anyone was worried, yes, I did get my slab-o-pie for breakfast this morning.
And then Mother, Hannah, and I were off to town for a day of shopping! We hit two thrift stores and the grocery; however, a stop at Bracken Mountain Bakery is required for us to soldier on through the stresses of all that purchasing!
This is the healthy stuff. Hannah and I split a blue cheese/onion flat bread.
This is the bad-for-you stuff. It is placed closer to the customers and under lights. Hannah and I also split a strawberry danish.
Their English muffins are the best in the whole world. A lady from California was in front of us in the line. She bought about 6 sleeves of these muffins. Her explanation was that she could not get anything like them in California. She was stocking up.
Across from the register is this astounding mural oil painting by Brevard artist Larry Gray. I've seen other of his work, and it is lovely in a rather ethereal and apocalyptic way.
Generation #1 chats with generation #3. We spent the day explaining to people that yes, Hannah is her granddaughter, but no, I'm not Hannah's mom. I've thoroughly enjoyed Hannah's company this week. We giggled our way through the grocery store.
Next door to the bakery is Rocky's, an old fashioned soda shop. Good for an ice cream and a hot dog.
We're back home. Today my sister-in-law Faith arrives with two little nieces. (And I do believe I hear the pitter patter of little feet downstairs this very minute!) Tomorrow eight campers return from their week away. On Sunday, seven more family members arrive from Iowa with a doggie in tow. I'll keep you posted on all the adventures!

Up on the Blue Ridge Spine

Yesterday afternoon Mother, Daddy, Hannah, and I drove to Pisgah Inn for dinner. Mother drives because she gets very carsick. I ride shotgun because I get moderately nauseous as well.We drove along windy hwy. 215 with its rock outcroppings and lush foliage.
Toward the top, after 17 miles of twisting, the rock walls appear.
You go into tunnels,
And come out into the cool green air.
A study in contrasts: dark green, deep blue, brilliant white
Sometimes the road shoots up, takes a curve, and you feel you could fly off into space.

The view from Pisgah Inn is always stunning, even on a cloudy day.

We entered the restaurant area. I believe the elevation is technically a bit over 5700 feet. My parents' home is at 3000 feet. My ears were popping.
The restaurant. Sit and rock in the grass and wonder at the view.
The inn has lovely walkways and paths, and exquisitely kept grounds.
Calla lilies in bloom:
This is the inn portion, from the "view-side."
Pisgah Inn has a wonderful gift shop, the perfect place to while away the few minutes until you're seated at your table. I've bought many nice things there over the years. Yesterday I startled Hannah when I asked her to turn and see this bottle holder. Yikes!
The restaurant. Pisgah Inn and Restaurant are open during the season, from April to October. The restaurant was full. I think it's the only watering hole along this section of the parkway.
Several bright quilts adorn the walls.
The copper light fixtures are unique.
I sat across from this nice couple.
And next to this lovely girl.
The view out the plate glass windows is fabulous. Of course, this is what everyone is here for.
We came for a fun evening together, but didn't want to break the bank. The restaurant has pricier items, up to $30/plate, but we wanted neither the price tag nor the huge portions. I ordered an extremely tasty chicken pot pie, full of meat and veggies and a delicious thickened broth, topped with puff pastry. I was very pleased. Yummy as it was, I couldn't finish the last few bites. It was filling.
Mother ordered the French onion soup, topped with Swiss and provolone cheeses. The broth was rich. She paired this with half a Reuben sandwich. Although this particular combo is not offered on the menu, our waiter said he could make that work for her.
Hannah ordered the spring roll. She said the inside -- chicken, cabbage and veggies -- was very good, but she was unfamiliar with the rice wrapper. I'm not fond of them myself.
Daddy also had the pot pie. That dish comes with one side, and I chose fried okra. Yes, all you foreigners and non-Southerns,  fried okra. It's cut, breaded, and lightly fried in oil. What a yummy, easy finger-snack! Here's what it looks like:
And I'll end with a few shots of the Blue Ridge, seen from the restaurant veranda.
It looks very much like the view from my parents' dining room windows. In fact, from their home, on a bright sunny day, one can see Pisgah Inn. Impossible, you say? It's true! The sun shines on those massive windows at the restaurant. It reflects like a giant mirror, and we can see it blinking and dazzling, from so many miles away. It makes one realize that the old semaphore communication techniques really worked!
We drove back down hwy. 276 into Brevard, and then wound our way home in the gloaming.
Our 4 1/2 hour outing was leisurely. I'm so glad Hannah could go with us. And because five years from now none of us will remember the reasons -- why was Hannah here without her family? why was I here without Adam? why did we go out to eat? -- I'm glad I can record it here to assist my failing memory. Thank you, Pisgah Inn. You've been helping us make family memories for decades.
Abundant rain this summer has made Looking Glass Falls a true cataract. Normally it thunders in the ears, but with my residual head cold my ears would not pop as we descended from 5700 feet to 2300 feet. The tons of water were a faint roar to me.