(The view from our back door. I think we’ll make it the front door.)
Rich and I drove to Asheville for the weekend. This is the second birthday in a row that I have been in the place where we will live, in Sugar Hollow atop our own little mountain just south of Asheville. We met with our contractor and draftsman on Thursday to see what they had made of my plans for the kitchen and seeing the drawings made me want to have it done, now. We took our lovely tenants out for dinner in Biltmore Village. We went to the WNC Farm market and filled the back of the car with apples and pumpkins. On Friday Rich was more patient than I had dared to hope, tagging along behind me while I gathered up wool and silk and books and yarns and ribbons at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. Business expense, don’t you know. We pet the bunnies but the alpaca and sheep weren’t in yet; they were being judged today but we had set aside today for getting more familiar with our terrain.
As birthdays go, this one puts me pretty much in the autumn of my years but I can’t remember feeling healthier or happier or more excited about the next decade of my life. This is most likely a mood and I’ll find myself in some funk or other soon enough but at the moment, every little thing pleases me.See how delighted I was to discover Rose Finn fingerling potatoes at the tailgate farm market this morning? So easy to please! Behind me is Annie of Flying Cloud Farm which is the organic farm located right smack at the foot of our road. They have a nice website with a blog and they also have very nice pastured pigs.I really hate to think of this darling fellow as the tenderloin roast on our table next year, and yet…
And lest this weekend be all about me, we went off in search of golf. Rich found this beautiful course about 20 miles from our home and while we admired the view we chatted with a serious golfing type guy who told Rich about all the possibilities, including many for something called “winter golf”. Winter golf???The icing on the cake for Rich was discovering that Tiger Woods is building his first American golf course practically in our backyard. Rich is at this moment on Google Earth looking at the topographical map and calculating a path one mile over the mountain- a sort of as-the-crow-flies approach to the development called The Cliffs, home to Tiger’s golf course. I don’t get golf but I’m happy for Rich and pleased to know he’ll have places to go and things to do while I make a garden.
After we went ‘looking for golf’ we drove back to our house one last time for this year. We are trying not to be so overtly gleeful about our future prospects as to distress our tenants unduly. They have been loving the house and would gladly stay on and we do feel badly that we’re there planning our future which means they have to pack up and move at the end of the year. Still, part of the plan for this weekend included finding the right trees for the bat house and the owl box. Rosario and his brother take care of the lawn for us (we collect rent, pay property management. taxes and Rosario and it all just about equals out. Ah, me.) and today I showed him where I thought they should go. Rich says I look very determined when I’m executing a plan of action, but it was important to me to get these up now so our bats have the opportunity to relocate prior to renovations that will force them from the attic vents where they happily reside. Yeesh. It’s like we’re evicting everybody.
While we were there I took a picture of our black walnut tree and looked around for saplings.I have a friend in Florida who would like them and I was considering dropping them by on our way south tomorrow. I found 4 or 5 that are several feet tall that I was pretty sure are black walnuts but they’ve dropped their leaves already and I realized there was a possibility that they could be hickory trees. We have lots of mature hickory and oak trees about the place, too, and I couldn’t discern with certainty. Nor did I have a shovel or pots. Poor planning. So, FC, if you would still like some, please be patient. I’ll get them for you first trip back in the Spring.
The garden is original to the house and is bordered by a beautiful picket fence. We are about the same age, the fence and I, give or take a year and the fence has held up nicely, even with wisteria overgrown on one side. Someone made it out of hardwood that shows no sign of rot or decay. The garden is a bit of a dilemma; I think I probably need to rototill the whole thing and start anew but there are remnants of day lilies and roses.
As I was considering what was growing inside the garden I noticed this beautiful lichen growing on the pickets. It’s as though an entire miniature forest, with little red-topped trees, is growing and thriving there. Amazing.
Did I mention that it was a glorious day? As I was growing up my grandmother always said that the weather was “just excellent” on my birthday. I tend to keep track and it does seem as though on October 24th, the weather is usually beautiful, at least in my neck of the woods.
The car is packed full with produce and fleece and it smells wonderful in there. Tomorrow we drive south to our home for the winter; the cats are expecting us. It is the autumn of my life and the view from here is pretty special.