Friday, May 25, 2012

For Memorial Day - Historic Riverside Cemetery, Asheville

A few months ago I took my husband on a tour of our local Riverside Cemetery, a Victorian rural garden cemetery with 87 acres of rolling hills overlooking the French Broad River.  I had been given a tour previously by a good friend who has  lived in this area and knew the cemetery well.  Being Memorial Day Weekend, I thought it was a good time to showcase my photos.

Wolfe's grave

Our sunny day was quickly becoming overcast with rumbles of thunder threatening rain.  We took a fast walk around the outer roads trying to locate the two main graves we wanted to see - Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry or as he was known William Sidney Porter.  The skies darkened and large raindrops began to fall so we headed back to the car, cutting our visit too short.

Riverside is located near downtown Asheville and dates back to 1885.  The City adopted it in 1952 and it is still active with over 13,000 people buried here.  There are 9,000 monuments and 12 family mausoleums.  Many of the gravestones are truly works of art set among the ancient oak, poplar, dogwood and ginkgo trees.

Many locally famous people are interred here.   Among them: Isacc Dickson, the first African American to be appointed to an Asheville City School Board; Quenn Carson, Asheville's first female public school principal; George Masa, a Japanese photographer who documented much of the Blue Ridge Mountains and was integral in the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park; James H. Posey, a bodyguard to Abraham Lincoln; and the remains of 18 German sailors from WWI.  The cemetery is situated along Birch Street off Pearson in the Montford Historic District of Asheville.

One of 12 family mausoleums

O. Henry's coin covered grave

In grateful memory of all those in uniform who gave their lives for our freedom.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Troyer's Country Amish Blatz, Fairview

One wouldn't expect to find an Amish store outside Asheville but this one is wonderful  I drive past the sign for this off Route 74A but have never stopped until a few days ago. Situated in an old farmhouse, the gardens surround the front and back entrance.  The front porch has seating areas for eating lunch and the interior is attractively laid out.  Shop for fresh bread, deli meats and cheeses at the counter or browse the shelves for jams, crafts  and other homemade goodies.  Upstairs you will find beautifully made Amish quilts and furniture  - a few pieces are for sale but most is made to order.

The owners descended form local Mennonites and still belong tot he Mennonite church in the area.  They frequently visit the Amish areas in PA, KS, IN and OH and bring their good back  here. If you are wondering what "blatz" means - just PA German for  "place".

Out behind the store is parking, a few out buildings, a windmill and a donkey or two. The sheds and chicken cops can be built for you on your land.  The windmills are also for sale. Just a great setting for a bit of shopping and lunch!  For more info go to Troyer's Country Amish Blatz.

Waiting for Pop to come out with a lunch to share!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Hail Storm in the Mountains

Our view is white with hail
 I took a break for a few months and have decided to resume this blog with mostly pics of life here in the mountains, focusing on the things that make us unique.

Last week we got a surprise hail storm in early evening. I don't have much experience with hail - it didn't happen very often, if at all  in New England, where I grew up.  Here the warm spring days result in afternoon thunderstorms, some turning very violent.  Blustery winds, golf ball size hail and frightening lightening!  This one was one of those.

The rain came down hard but then we realized it was hail thundering on our roof.  My husband ran out to move the car under the huge maple for some protection.  I glanced across the street at our neighbor's pasture and his ponies were out.  They ran for the barn at the first raindrop but froze when the hail pelted them.  Confused and frightened, they bolted under the trees by the creek for cover.

Our lettuces took a beating as the hail swept through our narrow valley, coming down sideways, so heavy that we could not see the other side of the road.  The hail got larger and larger the longer if fell. It rained hail for a good ten to fifteen minutes unrelenting in the thunderous noise.

When it ended, mist rose from the warm ground into the cool air, settling in the pasture and between the trees on our hillside.  Our rhododendrons were shredded along with our irises. The leaves of the maple hung in tatters but my car underneath looked fine.  The ponies seemed no worse for the experience and made their way back to their barn over pond size puddles in the field.

Tattered iris


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