This is the view from the front lawn of Lynda and Brian’s home in Weaverville, just outside Asheville. Here for four days of catching up, relaxing, shopping, going to the Biltmore House (have never been!!), more shopping, and eating. You might think that taking a vacation is redundant if one is retired, but it’s not. I am free of responsibility for firewood, fires, snowy stairs, an icy driveway, critters roaming around, not to mention shopping and preparing meals. After a harrowing 10-hour drive on Wednesday that took me through dense fog, sunshine, rain, storms, and high winds, I arrived in Weaverville at Lynda’s house welcomed with a glass of red wine. A beautiful dinner followed and we planned our day in Asheville. Sydney and Enzo (pictured here) are getting along well — basically ignoring one another, but happy for one another’s company.
This morning we planned our attack on Asheville’s shops, first stopping at Tops, which is my go-to shoe store where we tried on pair after pair of shoes, each walking out with a shopping bag and happy with our choices.
After doing some damage in Tops, we went on to Malaprops, one of the most charming bookstores around. I thought of Allison because of the proliferation of vegan cookbooks and we enjoyed talking with the staff about a couple of titles that we both bought before leaving for Blackbird for lunch. I believe we earned this lunch walking back and forth from the car to feed the meter and then up and down one of Asheville’s famed hills. I must admit I was tempted by the shrimp and grits having blogged about missing southern cooking but settled for a BLT unlike any I’ve had before — maple coated bacon and fried green tomatoes! We had so much fun catching up and we both realized that there is nothing like face to face conversation — while technology is wonderful for keeping in touch and maintaining social interaction, there’s nothing like the real thing. Lynda and I have been friends for 46 years. There is nothing we cannot tell each other and we have shared far more than most friends or, for that matter, most married couples! What a joy to spend unscheduled time with a friend.
Once we were well fed, we moved on to Mast General Store pictured here (with Lynda!). Decided that we didn’t need anything there and moved on to pottery shops in Weaverville. My favorite potter, Mangum Pottery, didn’t disappoint. I have many pieces of their pottery — a multigenerational family business. You can tell who made the item by the glaze.
We stopped to pick up food for dinner at Whole Foods and I absolutely had to share this photo. I think it is typical of the attitude in Asheville and Weaverville. It is a lovely thought in a world that seems to be lacking civility sometimes. I was pleasantly surprised by it and it was an end to a perfect day for me.
Living alone sometimes leaves me wanting for good conversation that is unfettered and uncensored — that you can only have with friends who know you well and have been with you through good and bad. Lynda and I were both single when we met and have remained best of friends through marriage, children, illness, death, moving, starting new lives, and have never wavered in our appreciation of one another. I am a lucky person.