I Never Took my Shoes Off

Our friend Karen was here for almost a week, and what a delightful visit it was! The comment I expected to post here was that we never stopped talking. That’s what you’d expect to hear about a BFF. This visit was beyond non-stop chat. I wouldn’t pause for a nap! I often take my shoes off and get in bed for half an hour in the afternoon, mostly to freshen my smile. Karen-time was too precious to waste, so I kept my shoes touching the floor.

The day after she arrived, we tried to drive to Cataloochie to see the elk grazing in the meadow. The road in the park was closed, so we took a picture of a different animal.

011117 Bill Foot trail marker.JPG

When we lived in New York, we began a tradition of having a repeat of our Christmas dinner with Karen and Al. The 25th was always spent with our respective families, so we got together a week or so later. They made appreciative noises over the chicken casserole, as well as the steamed Christmas pudding. For our first dinner of this visit, we had both. The casserole was freshly made, but the pudding was the remnant from Christmas. I pushed the bits together, heated it, poured rum on it, and was amused that fire came from every crevice. It wouldn’t go out, even when I blew on it. John smothered it so that we wouldn’t be eating charcoal. At least we didn’t have to get the fire extinguisher.

011117 Karen with burning pudding.JPG

We walked to the creek where I took the obligatory picture.

011217 Karen and John at creek.JPG


The Vanderbilt mansion, Biltmore, was on the list of things to see. John and I had seen it with David all decorated for Christmas. We loved being there again, seeing staff dismantling the holiday glitter. The orangery was even more beautiful than before, with a simpler display. The picture for this should have been our tired feet. To traipse all about that mansion, upstairs and down, was a bit much after our 2.5-mile walk to the creek.


Knowing Karen likes to knit, I wondered if she would enjoy going to a knitting shop. That suggestion got an enthusiastic yes. She found two and gracefully agreed to pose before the first one after an initial groan. The little shop was crowded with colorful yarns, a group of chairs, customers, and knitting gadgets. We saw some very strange people in that area of downtown Asheville. It’s too bad the toy camera was not ready to record them. Thanks to Karen’s phone and my Garmin, we found a spacious, well-lit shop further out from the city center where there was free parking. I asked which place was better. I would have voted for the bigger, newer one, but what did I know? Not much, judging by her answer. The crowded little shop was her favorite. The selection of yarns was better. If there were fine points listed, I missed them.

011317 Karen and the yarn shop.JPG
Purl’s Knitting Shop

For future visitors – be careful with your comments, because I clobber people with kindness. Karen told us she loves barbecue, and I asked if she would want it every other day. She laughed and agreed. She and John had it at Due South in Virginia and at Bonfire not far from our church. Haywood Smokehouse was her favorite after Due South. When I printed a coupon for Dicky’s, we sensed she was not quite as enthusiastic as before. She didn’t roll her eyes, and she didn’t complain, but I think she was relieved when I said I’d cook after church. Karen ordered a brisket sandwich at the Smokehouse and pronounced it delicious.

011417 Karen at Haywood Smokehouse.JPG

I wanted a good photo of her the day she left. An added bonus was that it showed a sweater she had made herself. Isn’t it gorgeous? I am not envious, because I tried knitting about 47 years ago and knew better than to repeat the experiment.

011617 Karen and her beautiful sweater.JPG

After we took Karen to the airport, I came home and took my shoes off. That nap was just the restorative I needed. She landed when I was writing about the knitting shops.

17 thoughts on “I Never Took my Shoes Off

    1. So far, we’ve not had a bad visit with anyone. Actually, I never thought about a bad visit. There could be awful things happen like a car accident, losing a phone or credit cards, or having some great illness. That would certainly put a damper on things. We’ve been blessed with serene visits and visitors.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so happy that you and your BFF got to spend quality time together, nothing better than that! Yes, she is a very talented knitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne,
    When I read your post, I wanted to see the inside of the knitting shop in the downtown area and also of the “strange people” downtown, I am curious and imaginative by nature so I am thinking maybe she saw elves or pixies or people knitting standing on the roads or yarn trailing out of the shop— the mind runs over with ideas.
    I am glad you enjoyed Karen and the special after Christmas time you had together.
    I am still waiting for a post on how to make the Southern Biscuits. The only biscuits I know of are the English ones, which are probably called cookies or crackers in the US.


    1. I wish I had taken some shots of the knitting shop inside. It was cluttered, but it was a happy jumble. The people on the street wore peculiar clothes. There was an outlandish hat or so and wild colors. Maybe we’ll go back when Karen comes again. I should be more alert next time. I know you are still waiting for that recipe. I’m sorry. I’ll get it today. I throw biscuits together without a recipe, so I’m going to look for an official one.

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      1. Thanks Anne. When you described the people who wore peculiar clothes, an image of the Pied Piper flashed through my mind( don’t ask me why).
        I look forward to the biscuit recipe.
        Also why is the American scone different from the British scone ? From all accounts, the American scone is a sort of bread ?


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