A week ago, we'd have already been on the road; we had to get from Jacksonville, Florida to the high mountains of North Carolina by 2:00 because my spouse had a meeting at Lutherock, a Lutheran camp. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm always ready for new landscapes. I know that I'm lucky to live 3 miles from a beautiful beach, but my heart yearns for rural landscapes and mountain vistas.
Let me hasten to say that if I had a rural homestead, my heart would yearn for the beach.
Well, our trip covered many a landscape. Lutherock is near Grandfather Mountain, and it's not in a very populated spot. It reminds me of the way Lutheridge used to be. When I was young, we'd go to the church camp Lutheridge, which is near Asheville. These days, there's a SuperWalMart and a Target right outside the gates. When I was young, if I forgot to pack something for camp, I did without it for the week at camp. The nearest grocery store was miles and miles away, and it wasn't a national chain. Did we have national grocery store chains in the 1970's? Probably. But they didn't come to teeny, tiny Southern towns.
We'd never driven from Jacksonville, Florida to Newland, North Carolina before, so we weren't exactly sure how long it would take. And since my spouse had a meeting that started at 2, we really didn't have much time to stop. We drove back on Sunday morning. So, though we drove by many an interesting place, we didn't have time to stop.
I had hoped we might find a roadside stand with perfect peaches and beautiful tomatoes. I wanted to fill the trunk with vegetables grown in Southern soil preferably picked just that morning. But maybe it's for the best that we didn't. If I really wanted to bring back vegetables, I'd have put a cooler in the trunk. I didn't.
So we drove and drove, and I drank in the sights. I saw a sign at a church that said, "Wanted: Dedicated Piano Player for Church." We talked about the non-dedicated piano players that the church must have seen. We wondered if church dedication is different from musical dedication of other sorts.
From a distance, I saw a sign in front of a shop that said "Wicked Needle." We were high in the mountains. I expected a quilt shop, and I was curious about what kind of quilt shop would have that name. Imagine my surpise when it turned out to be a tattoo parlor.
That was my favorite sign, but a close second said, "Snowflake Farm." And then below it: "For Sale." I guess it's a tough market out there for snowflakes, and with global warming, it's not going to get any easier to raise them.
I saw pumpkins on a gazebo--fall is coming!
Sure, you might say that those pumpkins are left over from last year, but I have additional proof: a changing leaf here and there:
(for more photos, see this post on my theology blog)
The Summer of Reading
4 months ago