Tag Archives: mountains

Lovely Lilies

I am back in flat Florida, just in time for my weekly blog post. It’s pretty hot here. Some people thought it was hot in North Carolina, but those people were not from Florida. If you can sleep at night without air conditioning, it’s not hot. If you’re uncomfortable standing in full sun but comfortable in the shade, it’s not hot. If you can enjoy sitting on a porch swing at two o’clock in the afternoon while drinking a cup of coffee, it’s not hot.

Here, it’s hot. Still, it’s nice to be home (home, you should know, has air conditioning). After camping for nearly two weeks, it’s nice to be sleeping in a real house. It’s nice to wake up in the morning and plug in an electric kettle to heat water for coffee, instead of pretending to be asleep until my husband gets up and puts a kettle of water to heat on the propane stove. I know how to use a propane stove; I just prefer not to.

It’s nice to be sleeping in a king size bed instead of a four-foot wide teardrop trailer. It’s nice to be able to sprawl without bumping my head or my elbow or my sleeping (at least until I accidentally jab him while trying to adjust my position) husband. It’s nice that modern plumbing is just a few steps away, under the same roof. I won’t go into the “instead of” here. It’s complicated.

Yes, I am glad to be home. I have to admit, though, that I miss my sister and brother-in-law, who are still in North Carolina, and I miss my Turk’s Cap Lilies. We didn’t know they were Turk’s Cap Lilies when we first spied the tall plants on our land. They were striking because of the whorled leaves and the many thin buds at the top, so my husband googled them. He told me what they were and then we waited for them to start opening up.

The two plants just happened to be the first thing I saw each morning as I looked out the window of the teardrop trailer. The blossoms opened one after another until there were more than a dozen of them. The last one opened up the morning we had to hitch up the trailer and head home.
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I was glad we didn’t miss it.

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Weekend Fun

I blogged early last week because I was going out of town for a long weekend in the mountains. My husband and I have a small piece of property in Western North Carolina and he wanted to visit before the trees and shrubs leafed out, so he could see the true lay of the land. Our bit of hillside is just over a ridge from my sister’s property, where she and her husband built a cottage last fall. The cottage will be their summer place and they were hoping to live in it a bit last year before wintering in Florida, but it wasn’t finished in time, so this was their first visit, as well as their first time hosting guests.

We had been keeping an eye on the weather for weeks, trying to find a time when the travel and access would be safe for Florida flatlanders in a two-wheel-drive vehicle. We chose this past weekend because there were supposed to be two days of full sun after a couple of rainy days, one of which would be our travel day. We figured we’d be okay as long as there was no frozen precipitation.

We left here early Friday morning and enjoyed a reasonably dry trip on the interstate, where we saw early spring flowers in the fields and on the fences throughout Georgia and South Carolina. In North Carolina, the only color came from daffodils, but they were everywhere. The gravel road to the cottage was a little wet, but easily passable. We had run into some brief showers on the road, but no heavy rain, and we hoped Saturday would be the same.

We slept in a bit on Saturday because we had celebrated our first evening in the new cabin with wine and Whist. I’m not very good at wine (I took a sip to toast our first night in the new cottage) but I’m great at Whist. Well…I’m great at having a good time at Whist even if I’m not getting good cards and I keep having to play forced fours. I love Whist as long as there’s a hope that I might get a good hand the next time. Whist and Chicken Foot are the only things that will keep me up past nine o’clock.

We went to town on Saturday to do a little shopping. It was gray and wet in Burnsville. That made it a good day to get in some groceries and sundries. When we started to get hungry, we decided to go to Spruce Pine. There was a pizza restaurant there with a microbrewery. We had tried to check it out on previous trips but never managed to catch it on a day that it was open. Saturday seemed like a good bet and it sure wasn’t a good day for sight-seeing.

We were just sitting down in the pizza place when my sister got a phone call from her North Carolina neighbor, alerting her to a new weather forecast which included the possibility of snow. Snow? We had chosen this weekend because there was no ice or snow in the forecast! Now they were saying we might get one to three inches during the night. We enjoyed our pizza (my husband enjoyed his flight of six tiny glasses of beer) and then headed to a grocery store to make sure we would have enough food to get us through Sunday, just in case there was enough snow to keep us from wanting to chance the gravel road. Some folks were still saying there might be no snow, or it might not stick if it fell.

Back at the cottage, we played more Whist and went to bed pretty late, with no sign of snow coming down outside. My brother-in-law was the first one up in the morning and asked us if we had looked out the window.

“Is there snow?” we said.

He didn’t answer, so we got up and looked out the window. Yes, there really was snow! There was a light dusting on all the trees and on the ground and on the front porch of the cottage. We wouldn’t have come if we’d known it was going to snow, but it sure was a nice treat to see it from the warm coziness of the cottage. Of course, my husband had to go out on the porch and build a tiny snowman.

The sun came out in the afternoon and melted all the snow, but the snowman will live forever, because I painted this itty bitty portrait.

Tiny painting of tiny snowman

Tiny painting of tiny snowman