Back in the place where we will live…

view1(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.rosyfins!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.pigsI 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???golfThe 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.bathouse

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.blackwalnut

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.housenow

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.fencelichenfence

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.fallcolor

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.

17 responses to “Back in the place where we will live…

  1. I am so glad to know that you had a good birthday, Vicki. The photos are magnificent!! I don’t know what is wrong with me, but the magnified view of the lichens is better than the big “O” for me!! That golden tree is magnificent, too, and your big rocks are to die for. Mine are wimpy, compared to those…..LOL

    Have a very safe trip back south!!

  2. Such an uplifting post. And, yes, today was perfect weather here in our corner of the world. Good to know your birthday was lovely. Safe travels back.

  3. Gorgeous, Vicki. I know you are so eager to be there. I’m so glad you’ve had wonderful tenants caring for your home. That’s cool about Tiger Woods too.

  4. It is an amazingly gorgeous place, and I know you’re delighting in its history–while putting your own stamp on it. Exciting times!

  5. Breathtaking and incredible. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday weekend. I’m so very pleased for you! (And the weather was quite lovely here, too – the only day this week – so thank you!)

  6. A belated Happy Birthday! Bat houses and gardens and fall color on the mountains; just perfect.

  7. Well, … that was pretty damn great.
    Happy Birthday girl!

    Thanks for thinking of me … I’d be happy with with nuts.

    Okay, here is what I mean by that … you don’t have to dig up any saplings, I’d be tickled pink to start from seed with either of those trees you mentioned.

    I have your wine cooler bag that I need to get to you.

    I happened to be in Tampa yesterday, and made the mistake of going into the Petsmart on SR 54/I-75. They had a sweet blacklab pup named Harley that would fit in well at your mountain home. He licked my hand and almost came here. You can find him on Petfinder.
    I’m sure the cats will adjust nicely … enjoy!

  8. Oh I missed your birthday, Vicki! Belated good wishes to you, and all of my love. Your excitement over your new home is contagious. I can’t wait to invite myself down for a visit. I’d like a room with a view, please.

  9. Lovely pictures, beautiful! And happy birthday to you! I can report your grandmother is still correct about the weather – it’s been raining, cold and crappy all week, but yesterday for the first time it cleared up to blue skies and sunshine.

    Safe journey.

  10. Happy Belated Birthday, Vicki! What a magical place… the views, the trees, the british soldier lichen growing on your fence!

    I camped just down in the valley of Mt Pisgah this past April… I know you’ll love it there come springtime.

  11. That autumn view is quite spectacular. What a grand way to spend your birthday, walking around the place where you will live and dream. It looks like magic.

  12. Happy Birthday!!!! What spectacular autumn color you will have there…. I will have to drive up to Williamsburg to see real color… just small bits of red and yellow here. How peaceful this place seems…..

  13. I missed your birthday! I am going to write it on the calendar rigth now so I don’t miss it again. Although next year, you will be firmly settled into the Asheville house and I will still be here sweating. Safe journey. See you when you get all that felt turned into Florida Craftsmen Gallery.

  14. Spectacular scenery.
    And happy birthday.
    As it happens, here in central PA we had clouds and rain–ALL DAY.
    And, it was our daughter’s wedding day. Ah, sigh.
    4 o’clock wedding, then around 6 the rain cleared–and a lovely mist settled on the river. It was ethereal. Fortunately the photographer had a quick eye. She grabbed the wedding couple, strolled them up the river bank, and got some great shots.
    Your future home–for the autumn of your life–looks absolutely stunning. And I too love the lichen forest.

  15. I can attest that the weather was most excellent on Oct 24 here in DSM or DM Iowa also. Twitter has me confused as to which is the correct abbreviation. I grew up with DM but am seeing DSM on that darn Twitter. Any hoo my thoughts meandered a bit! Happy Birthday!

  16. Happy belated birthday, Vicki! As you are the epitome of beauty, grace and gratitude, it is only fitting that you be enveloped by such beauty.

    Bruce will be GREEN with envy upon learning of Rich’s glut of golf gifts.

    Alas, Meg’s wedding day fell on your day of birth! A good omen, indeed!

  17. Happy Birthday!!! My daughter’s birthday is October 24 as well.

    Your place is so lovely. I know the feeling of wanting to get here. I’m sure you will love it as much as we do.

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