Thursday, November 22, 2018

The fun of getting there

While on the road for 2 days, I was able to prop iPhone on the steering wheel, and sometimes actually get interesting photos.  I have done some cropping to remove the ever present dashboard at the bottom of the shots.

I began in North Carolina, then a bit of Tennessee, then Virginia, then West Virginia and finally Ohio.
 Most of my miles were in the mountains.

 A very big mountain ridge in front of me, I wondered how the road would get around it!

 Virginia had a tunnel through the mountain!  What a surprise!

There was another tunnel further on down the road as well.

I spent one night in West Virginia, because it's mostly mountains and was about to rain, and I'd been at it for 6 hours (stopping hourly to walk around or eat something.) The next morning the weather was still dropping rain, and there was talk of snow...but I never saw any.  And by the second hour on the road, the rain stopped.

 Most of the highways through mountains followed little rivers which had carved out these valleys over millennia.  It was like following the water either uphill or downhill, around many of the higher parts of the mountains where nobody lived except eagles.

 Coming close to Charleston, West Virginia there was suddenly a broad river!  It's the Kanawha!

 The WV capitol dome is visible from the interstate!

Did I make it to my family?  Let's talk tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Do you remember the autumn of 2018?

If you blinked, you missed it!

 I went in search of leaves that were not green or brown.

 Flat Creek was moving pretty fast, but the weather in mid-November had been warm and wet, all through October too.

 Warm and wet makes for good mushrooms however.

I don't ever pick wild ones, though a friend does know which ones are edible.  But she wasn't with me.

I'll gladly remember these few beautiful colored leaves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Mountain ridges

 Yesterday I watched ice form on the ridgetop in the afternoon.  And this morning I watched the sunrise hit the same ridge, but this time from my bedroom window.

 I'm aways in awe of people who get out and take sunrise photos.  This is as close as I can!

 There are just a few leaves still stuck on the branches of the trees.  I can't see the ridge at all when the trees have full foliage in the summer.

 Then at noon I drove out of the complex to go to lunch, and enjoyed the dusting of ice at the higher elevations.  I was grateful we didn't get snow or ice like many people had last Thursday who lived in higher elevations.

It doesn't take much to make me pull over and take a photo.

I hope you have a great day today!
Here's a quote to consider:
Grant me daily the grace of gratitude, to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from artificial needs, that I might lead a joyful, simple life.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Rime Ice on the ridges

Or maybe it was hoar frost.
I tried looking them up.  But since it was on ridges, and caused rapidly by a fog flowing over the ridge, I can't tell which one it really was.

As I drove up to Black Mountain from Asheville (15 miles) I saw an amazing whitening at the top of the ridge in front of me.  The rest of the mountains were grey, and the sky was kind of grey...but there were wispy clouds kind of coming over the top of these mountains, and as they came, the mountains turned white as well.

Thursday, Nov. 15, looking south on Hwy 9, right at the I-40 ramp.

The utiility trucks are in a parking lot waiting to see if there are lines down from the projected freeze and maybe ice tonight. (It didn't happen here, at least.)

 Another view looking south on Hwy 9 at the I-40 interchange.

 Same mountains, with Black Mountain Ave in the foreground.
And a bit more of the western view of this wonderful phenomenon.

I contacted my friend about 5 miles west of here, in Swanannoa, right at the base of the same ridge.  She didn't have any of this happening.

Today's Quote:
Your aversion to some people may actually be your response to fear that specific qualities you see in them also exist within you

Sometimes we purposefully, though unconsciously, cut ourselves off from the flow and the embrace of humanity so we can avoid dealing with painful issues.

We have created imaginary boundaries, sectioning ourselves into countries and states, forgetting that in reality we are all living together.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Those cats!

 Of course I was drawn to the ceramic cats!

 This hand crafted one got my attention.
And this one is slip trailed on a tile...slip-painted?

 Thanks Helen, for modeling your own cat earrings!  They are wonderful!
These were some raku fired cats, which I loved.  Gotta laugh!

Today's quote:
Gratefulness is a setting of the heart, one that I can choose like a wavelength on the radio.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Cat Museum

The infamous (by my own historic musings) American Cat Museum (aka The Great American Cat Museum.) in Sylva, NC.

Helen said, when are we going?

I thought, oh no, this time we'll have to really find it, won't we?  And I said, how's next week? It ended up being 2 weeks...but Helen was the one pushing it forward.

Anyway, she said, you're in charge of navigation and I'll drive.

I met her and left my car at our usual parking lot.  Get in the car and she hands me a card with the instructions how to get there written out.  I show her my phone, which with a couple of twiches gives the same information.  I asked her if she trusted me.  We both laughed.

We got there finally, it was a muddy rainy day (not supposed to be, but that's North Carolina weather these days.)

It was about our second (third?) time trying to find it.  I wonder if it had changed locations, though the address was on the same highway, well away from a town.  We parked and had to enter through an antique mall, rather than the actual cat museum which was on one wing of a very old school.  The road is called Old School Road.

Yes, a million or so cats in all forms, stuffed, mumified, ceramic, plush, with rabbit fur, metal, merry-go-round (carousel?) or how about one popping out of a garbage can over and over with moaning motor noises?  Fortunately most of the displays were inside glass display cases.  Otherwise the dust would have been insane.

Cat Memorabilia piled on top of each other, every where you looked!

I'd been warned to expect this.

It was good to see familiar faces.
And one that looked vaguely familiar...

Saber-Toothed Cat skull (I have seen one in Florida...and reading the description we learn this isn't exactly real.)

But it was still musty, with all those old things piled up every where.

And we had to pay to get in also.

But we forgave the owner, who actually has an amazing collection, because he uses the fees to run the only cat shelter in Jefferson County, setting up many cats in foster care, and it's no-kill as well as having the cats in rooms, rather than cages.

 The old school architecture is still everywhere.

Helen is not really very tall, which gives this cat some perspective.

Here she was learning about the cat shelter from Dr. Harold Sims.

I don't think my Disney loving grandchildren would understand or enjoy this musty museum.  It needs a bigger environment and control over the quality of the air.  Helen told me the man is building another pace for the museum across the street.  That's promising.

I am really glad that we visited the Cat Museum...aka The Great American Cat Museum.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Bookstore visit (again)

Is it just me, reaching a certain age? Or a certain income? Or a certain level of loving to read a real book almost an hour a day?

I LOVE used bookstores.  I also love libraries with real books.
And I even sometimes will visit the places where new books are sold, an oasis of thoughts piled on shelves with bright colorful spines.

I admit to reading digital library books for the ease and comfort.  But there is only so much available that way.  Fortunately the older books are still there, and they are so good.

But if I have a trip planned and I know there's at least one good used bookstore there, it's included in my wanderings.

This last week, it was Sylva, NC, and the City Lights Book Store (new and used)...which has a lovely cafe' downstairs where we had delicious salads and sandwiches.  And as we left Sylva, we once again saw other used bookstores that we haven't tried yet.  One of these days...

 I seldom use a paper calendar, but have a lovely copy of the WeMoon book style one (the one with the goddess and fire in a circle right in the middle)   I have several friends who contribute to it, so it's very special for me.  These are of course new!

Where to start in such a well organized store. I hadn't thought about it before I got there! I walked the aisles until I realized what I really felt like looking for.  And giving the area a sniff test is always what my allergic person does, and was so grateful not to have the usual dusty moldy scent of many used bookstores.

 The new books included a children's book about "She Persisted." Kuddos for teaching children what women's rights are all about!

The bathrooms are titled "Toilet" and have no gender designation...and lots of fun posters on all the walls.  This was my favorite.

Today's Quote:
In doing service for others, we often find answers to our own questions and solutions to our own problems.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Montreat, NC Internment Camp

Montreat Assembly Retreat as Internment Site during WW II
From Oct. 30, 1942- to April 30, 1943

-Japanese women in kimonos at Assembly Inn. A rare color picture.

As various immigrant refugees to the United States are having difficulties from the government, I was interested in what happened about 76 years ago. The following is quoted from NC Expatriates on Facebook.

ON October 30th in North Carolina history…Kevin E. Spencer, Author, North Carolina Expatriates

They had begun arriving the day before, a Thursday when the first train had pulled into Black Mountain. ON THIS DAY the influx of “tourists” continues, with the goal of having all the new arrivals in place at Montreat’s Assembly Inn by the weekend. But these aren’t ordinary “tourists.” With the sudden declarations of war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Axis diplomats and their families have been caught in their host countries.
These German, Italian, and Japanese non-combatants and their dependents are the responsibility of the State Department’s Special War Problems Division. International protocol calls for above average treatment for this select group of people but at the same time the practical matter of limiting spying and espionage opportunities complicated matters for the Special War Problems Division. The solution is to find resort hotels deep in the mountains in easily guarded locations. One of these is Montreat’s Assembly Inn, located deep up the cove from Black Mountain, and surrounded by the tallest mountains east of the Mississippi River.
Transportation to Assembly Inn is overseen by the FBI as a practical matter with their counterintelligence concerns and executed by the Border Patrol, which takes over the protection and security of these non-combatants.
The Japanese do not mix with other Axis detainees. Upon arriving at Assembly Inn, the Japanese are housed on the third floor, while the German and Italians occupy the lower floors. The Japanese present another problem as well. All of the Japanese detainees at Assembly Inn are female. This was because of the different value the Japanese place on females in their culture, with girls being at the bottom of the rung. As both the United States and Japan are exchanging diplomats on per value system, all of the Japanese men are exchanged first, as they are traded for the families of the US Ambassador, and the Tokyo Embassy employees. That leaves the Japanese women in the United States, some for the duration of the war, as higher-ranking men are exchanged continuously ahead of them.
As Christmas rolls around, the Montreat Retreat Association, which has already placed Japanese, Italian, and German language Bibles in the rooms of Assembly Inn, provides Christmas presents for the children at the Inn. And on Christmas Eve, 1942, young people from Black Mountain gather on the stone bridge across the lake in front of Assembly Inn and sing Christmas carols with the interned diplomatic families. The detainees are allowed to exercise in the Assembly Inn parking lot and around the lake, and across the stone bridge.
Some 25 Justice/INS guards handle security, 5 of whom were usually on duty at any one time.
By April of 1943, enough non-combatants have been exchanged nationwide to allow those remaining to be consolidated at one or two locations. By April 30th, Assembly Inn is returned to the Montreat Retreat Association.
Kevin E. Spencer, Author, North Carolina Expatriates
The preceding is from Facebook page, North Carolina Expatriats
Thanks for North Carolina Expatriates for posting this on FaceBook

-Aerial view of Montreat in autumn. Assembly Inn is to the left, with Lake Susan centered. At the top of Lake Susan is the concrete bridge where Black Mountain residents and the interned diplomats and their families gathered to sing Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve of 1942.

-German children and families having a party on Assembly Drive near Lake Susan.

-Children of Axis diplomats on the patio outside Assembly Inn.

-2 of the INS guards stationed at Montreat.

Some pictures, and contributing research, are courtesy of the Presbyterian Heritage Center at Montreat, PO Box 207, Montreat, NC 28757

Sharing with Sepia Saturday this week.  My line of women aren't dancing (the Japanese at the beginning of the post).  Perhaps the children were.  Thanks for stopping by.