When I Was 69

When I Was 69
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Thursday, February 28, 2019

First spring, in February 2019

We all know this isn't real spring.  Even with crazy climate changes, there's more freezing weather to come.  It has always happened. (But there's a bit of hope that it won't...ha ha ha.)

I wish sometimes that I'd visited here at Blue Ridge Apartments before the new owners, and the renovations.  If they hadn't torn everything apart to put in new things, I wouldn't have had a chance to move here unless an older tenant was so frustrated she moved elsewhere. I really love having new carpet, new appliances, new kitchen and bathroom cabinets!

But outside is a bit different.  Put new siding on old buildings and you know what can happen.  There's a lot of siding now that has green growing on it where the sun doesn't shine.

In the past the grounds may have had more flowers (almost certainly) as a result of many gardener type grands living here.  The remains are a few bulbs which come up every spring.  Some no longer come up though, because the grounds crew has spread mulch on all the beds to deter anything from growing there (a.k.a. Roundup.)

There used to be a bed of beautiful lilies of the valley.  But they don't come up any more.

Out in lawn areas, which are swept with huge machines weekly during the growing season, a few bulbs still live.  Or next to a tree, where the new mowers can't cut them back.

A rocky area with tree roots everywhere is host to many little crocuses.

Rabbit rabbit...happy first of March everyone!

Monday, February 25, 2019

The choir!

 The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swanannoa Valley. 500 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain, NC

 We are a small congregation, our sanctuary holds about a hundred people.

 Guest violist, Marianne Vail.

 Somos El Barco...

 Several solos were performed for the first piece...

 The African hymn, Ishay Oluah...and everyone in their African gear!

Only 2 pieces were sung by our choir this Sunday.  But they were so excellent.

Thanks to leader Annelinde Metzner, pianist, Sue Stone, and violist! Linda and Maggie were percusion for the African piece.

Yes, there also was a sermon...and all the other things our services have.  But the choir was the main act for the day!  So I acted like a concert goer and held my phone over my head a few times to capture photos for remembering and sharing!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The joy of sunshine

When did the clouds and rain start last week?  When was the last time the sun woke me up in the morning?  I don't remember. But when I got home from church I opened windows on both sides of the apartment for 60+ degree winds to blow through...to let my own and my furnishings clear the cobwebs.  I know it's not time for spring cleaning quite yet.

Also before getting home, I followed the request of one of my readers to go look at some of the sights that I'd captured during the rainy times, and show you what they look like in sunshine. Remember that it takes a while for yesterday's rains to flow out of the ground though, so I stayed on dry land.

Many places feel the results of days of rain after the sun comes out and the flooding is still around.  Here's a facebook shared photo from Sevier County TN from yesterday.

I'm pretty sure that's the Little Pigeon on a rampage.

Historic New Salem Baptist Church in Sevierville, TN.

OK, I don't mean to lead you to believe this is happening in Black Mountain, NC.  It isn't.  And perhaps the flooding in Sevier County has dimished by today.

Here're my Montreat photos from around noon today!

Lake Susan is glimmering in sunshine. You can see the roof of Ten Thousand Villages, but just barely the house further up the slope. Compared to the cloudy day last Sunday HERE.

There goes the water downstream, having taken many of the leaves from the Rhododendrons.
And here's a view as it tumbles down the mountain today...
Here's last week's same view.

Oops, should have used this blog site

Yesterday I posted about Black Mountain, and showed photos of it...on the wrong blog site.
That's the trouble with keeping 4 blogs straight.

So here's the one about "Mountains above the clouds."

Friday, February 22, 2019

Around this time last year...

 In Februry/March 2018, the Swannanoa River glided it's way through Black Mountain. This was before flooding later in the year which dropped some of the trees along the bank, and gouged some different paths for the water.  I loved seeing the mist of green ground cover coming back in this picture.

A year ago I was in Florida visiting my oldest son.  And the rest of his family. And friends too.  It was a really nice week.   But that sky is only what Florida can offer in February!

OK, I know you now want to see (as do I) what the river looks like now.  Since it's still raining, we both will have to wait a day or two till I can walk around the ground near the river without sinking in.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The clouds take over

the mountains, and seep down into the valley.

Swannanoa Valley is the main eastern approach to Asheville, coming from Marion and Old Fort then through Black Mountain.  When you pass over the continental divide, then this is the beginning of the watershed going to the Gulf of Mexico.  This rain has a long way to go.

One little off-shoot of the Swannanoa Valley is maybe called the greybeard approach, or just Montreat.  There's a college campus squeezed in between the flanks of the mountains. Vacation homes perch up on the sides of the slopes, streets wind in switchbacks to reach them.  And when cold weather comes in, it comes down from the north where Mt. Mitchell sits, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

 Before much rain falls, I stopped and captured the pristine beauty of the stream before it tumbles into Montreat proper.

 It quickly goes under a culvert, then heads down the mountain to Lake Susan...quickly moving!
 Montreat College dorms reflect the grey light of today's sky. A lone crow was the only sign of life.

 When spring and summer come, and even autumn, these walks and benches will be filled with people enjoying the little lake.
 But today (Sunday) it's deserted.
 The building with Ten Thousand Villages, an import store, has lights on inside. I wonder if they are open.
Look high above the store and you can see one of the houses built up on the slopes.

I was mainly looking at how the clouds caught on the tops of the mountains and seemed to be snagged there, as if they were in a stream and caught in an eddy.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Just look what I found!

Goodie goodie...the promise of spring is out there!

Quote for today:
We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: for having good weather, to have slept well last night, to be able to get up, to be healthy, to have enough to eat...There's opportunity upon opportunity to be grateful; that's what life is.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day

Love to all. 
Love to those who think the same way I do.
Love to those who don't think the same way I do.
Love to those who are gentle and loving, who are open minded and caring, who are smiling through difficulties. 
And love (especially) to those who don't love, to those who hate, hurt, and are hurting deep in their hearts.
Love offers the possibility of forgiveness even as punishment is given based on justice.
Yes, Love To All.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sharing some art with you

I went to the reception for the Red House artists' latest show on Friday.
Here are some of the art pieces which I admired...but there's a lot more, not to mention open artist studios every day.

These are ceramic with plastic plants.  And they are priced like collectors art...but I bet they will sell! Lovely!
We had to move my treasure boxes to a lower display, because if they are up at eye level, you can't see the heart shapes of the lids!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Art is alive and well in Black Mountain

Very small print...Opening Reception Feb 8, 5-7 pm.  I like being a member of this group of artists...and having my work shown in their little gallery.  The Red House a.k.a Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.  They are located next to the Monte Vista Hotel (which owns the building.) The hotel has a new owner, so I don't know it the Red House will continue to rent the studio/gallery building from them.

The other morning this bank of clouds seemed stuck on the mountains, slowly pouring over the low spot into the valley.