Monday, February 15, 2016

Beautiful Western North Carolina

An update on our move and new home-

My husband and I spent last week in Asheville, NC.  We moved into our temporary living quarters for the next year and got the essentials set up- internet, beds, cooking supplies, etc.  It is very strange moving into an apartment after owning a home for 40 years, but it sort of felt like college life again!   Exploring a new area and  meeting new people was exhilarating and made us feel younger again.

While it is certainly not the view we will enjoy when we are in our new home, it is very pretty from our private balcony.  Mountains in the horizon and the French Broad River at our feet, it will be a relaxing spot to sit and read for the next year. 
View from the deck of our apartment

After the initial move-in during last weekend, we had time to drive out the check on the progress of our new home.

The construction team has been able to erect the forms to pour the concrete.  However, it has been so
cold in the area that they cannot not complete the pour.

You can see the river below.  We can now see that the lower level floor and decks will be very close to the sound of the water.  The top of this foundation wall is the floor level on the main floor.
Due to the steepness of the lot, the concrete foundation is extremely tall.  So it requires several concrete pours to finish the wall.

The lower level concrete walls did get poured before the cold spell, 
so they are able to start framing the lower level. 


Our cute builder, Marc Tyner, talking with my husband about the roof lines.

The final concrete pour was scheduled for last Friday!   But Mother Nature had other plans.  This is the scene at the gate house entrance to our property.   No concrete trucks on these crooked roads today, plus it is 18 degrees- way too cold to pour concrete.  

We will try again next weekend, when temperatures are expected to be in the 60's!

As Jay and I left the property and drove back to Asheville, we followed the road along the French Broad River.   Natural springs drip from these rocky hills in the summer, but in the cold winter they freeze.  A magical crystal fairyland is created for your enjoyment as you follow this highway back to town.  It is breathtaking.

Crystals on one side of the road and the river on the other- sheer natural beauty.

On my last visit to Asheville, I found a beautiful spot on the river, and I wanted to take my husband
out to see it.  I though it might be great for trout fishing.

This section was flowing fast and had lots of rocks to stand on.

The skies were "Carolina Blue" and the river was clear.  Just natural beauty at it's finest.

And as I was waiting on the wooden bridge for my husband to check out the fishing scene,
 I spotted a box tucked under the railing.

As I studied it, I realized that it was a box of someone's remains!  I am guessing that he wanted
to have his ashes thrown over this bridge into the beautiful river. Maybe he had wonderful memories about this particular spot.   I am not sure why they left the box there on the bridge.
Maybe it was his wish.  Again- deep thoughts are going through  my mind-
I blurred out the name for privacy sake-

Moments like this make you think about living in the moment and enjoying today. 
Standing there, thinking about this gentleman and wondering about who he was and why he loved this spot so much-  I look up and see kayakers  coming down the rocky river.
I could not believe it!   That water was fast and cold and there were a lot of rocks. 

Could they really make it through this rough patch of water under the bridge and through the rocks?

 Yes they did!
These guys were living in the moment!

As I get to know the area more, the more I love it!   There is always something unexpected to see!
While it might not always be lovely, it is usually  interesting and provokes thought.
For example-
Our builder sent us down to Travelers Rest, SC to see a new construction home with a new roofing material.  He wanted to see if we liked it for our home. 
And as is  very common in the Carolinas, roads to some of the most beautiful homes take you down paths that are very unusual.   This particular home was at the end of a dirt road  about 1/2 mile from the nearest paved road. As we drove through pot holes and ruts- which takes  time to navigate- we found ourselves deep in the woods.  And just when we were ready to turn around and get back to civilization, a housing structure was seen through the trees. Could it finally be the house?

No- we had come across an abandoned home deep in the woods.


An abandoned home with a chair still sitting out in front?
It was eerily beautiful.   Why did they leave?  Why did they leave that chair in the front?
Who lived there?  That's what I mean about "unexpected to see" and provoking thought!
 This is Carolina art at it's best!

As we got to the end of the dirt road, we found the house that we were looking for!
A huge home with a party deck to handle 300 people!
No neighbors for miles- except if the folks return to the that abandoned cabin!!!
They are right next door!
Now back in Chicago and wishing I was still there!  It is truly beautiful country.



MarmePurl said...

Romancing Carolina. It will be a pleasure to follow along this journey of yours. Wonder and excitement in every moment..

Katha said...

WOW! Stunning photography!!! So glad you and Jay were able to get down there and set up your rental property. The view from that deck sure isn't too shabby! So nice to see your house taking shape. It is going to be beyond fabulous!!!

On The Lake said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and look for new posts all the time. Love how you make everything so lovely! Am looking forward to reading about your new adventure and can hardly wait to see a virtual tour of your new home! Keep that beautiful spirit - you see beauty and possibility in most everything! Your friends and family are blessed to have you!!

Laurell Banner said...

Looks like things are moving along. I think I remember that bridge when you and I were down there. That is so strange they left the box.
I am sure you will have fun in your new apt. So much to do there. Welcome home temporarily.

frenchbourne said...

Oh how beautiful! So exciting to see it start to take shape (a big one I might add). I am falling it love with it too! Thats great you were able to find your little shangra-la overlooking the river. That even looks inviting. You kids are on permanent vacation now. So happy you are able to enjoy this new season of life. What an exciting adventure.

frenchbourne said...

Oh how beautiful! So exciting to see it start to take shape (a big one I might add). I am falling it love with it too! Thats great you were able to find your little shangra-la overlooking the river. That even looks inviting. You kids are on permanent vacation now. So happy you are able to enjoy this new season of life. What an exciting adventure.

Anonymous said...

If you visit Travelers Rest again, be sure to stop into The Café at Williams Hardware for lunch. See... ... It is on The Swamp Rabbit Trail, which goes through Greenville. The trail is a favorite for those that enjoy a calm bike ride. It is a quaint restaurant that used to be a hardware store, with enjoyable food.

You may also enjoy visiting Furman University's beautiful campus. Have you seen Falls Park in Greenville, SC? It is lovely, especially in the spring. A great spot for enjoying a picnic. Don't miss the bridge when you visit.

We moved to South Carolina 39 years ago and have enjoyed living here.

I am enjoying your blog!

Sarah said...

It is such a pleasure to read about your Carolina adventures. This post is very poetic! It all sounds like a beautiful adventure for your next chapter. Can't wait to see your mountain home.

Kay said...

I am visiting from Phoenix in May for a wedding in the Catskills, I can't wait I've only been to the Biltmore.. please advise of the best places to eat and a reasonable safe place to stay, thank you. Also I love to shop for antiques and home decor.