On our way home from an afternoon in the mountains, John asked if we should stop to see if there were any patriotic items we wanted. We use flag-based items from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Our collection includes kitchen towels, tablecloths, spinners, candles, bunting, flags, and lots of mugs. He pounced on the bunting that he would hang from the front porch. When I asked why he got so many, I heard him say, “I might not be here next year.”

I grabbed his arm and shrieked quietly, “WHY ARE YOU NOT GOING TO BE HERE NEXT YEAR?”

You can imagine the wild things going through my mind. Had the doctor told him the cancer had come back? Was the stent near his heart failing? Did he suspect he had brain cancer or Alzheimer’s disease? Why was he going to bail on me?

He looked at me quizzically and said, “I’m not going anywhere. I said this store may not be here next year. It’s in financial trouble and may go out of business.”

052217 John at Pisgah Inn
Not bad for a blind shot.  Bright sun washed out the image on the camera.

He looks perfectly healthy, doesn’t he?  I’m glad he isn’t heading through the clouds to heaven yet.  I took his photo on the deck at Pisgah Inn where we had a lovely lunch. The food was as good as always, but the weather gave us a real show. The dining room is on top of the ridge. On an ideal day, you watch fluffy white clouds drift by below you. This day there were heavy clouds, one of which slithered up the mountain and engulfed us in thick fog. Rain pelted down, hard enough that we could hear it on the roof. Before we finished eating, we could again see the valleys below. Going to the car, I snapped a picture of a Flame Azalea, its orange blooms a hallmark of this area. The shrubs are found in the Appalachians from Virginia to Georgia.

052217 Flame Azalea at Pisgah Inn

We headed down the mountain, stopping at an overlook to listen to thunder in the distance. We didn’t see any lightning, but I took a quick video of mist crossing the road.

Continuing down, we stopped at my favorite waterfall. This is the mountain spot to which my heart is pinned. When our son showed it to us years ago, I knew I wanted to live near it. Our house is about 40 minutes away, but John drives me by it several times a year. He’s a keeper.

052217 Favorite waterfall

Not included here is a video clip of the falls. I turned the camera to get as much of the falling water as possible, forgetting that it couldn’t be rotated. You’d have to lie down on your side in front of your monitor to see it correctly. Would you have done that for me?

24 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Anne,
    My heart skipped a beat when I read that part and then I was relieved. I guess an adrenaline rush is good for the system- gives everything a good shake up. And makes us value the thing that gave us the shock all the more. He is a keeper, for sure.
    Imagine driving to the waterfall several times, just so you could enjoy it.:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He finds an excuse to detour by the waterfall, and I am grateful. I wondered if I would ever go there alone, but I think not. It’s on a deserted stretch of road with no one around for miles.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I came home intending to look for other Flame azaleas, and then I realized they had probably already finished blooming here. Our house is 2,600 feet above sea level, and we were almost twice as high as that where the azalea was blooming. There could easily be two or three week’s difference in blooming times, depending on altitude.


  2. So glad you heard him wrong and he is healthy and has his sense of humor intact. Wonderful pics, I want to go for a walk where you live!! I would not even know where to start on trying to upload a video, lol! You did a great job on the mist one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is something pretty to see almost everywhere you walk here. Uploading a video is no harder than a photograph. You click on something, media I think, and click to upload to the area that holds photos. Click to insert the video, and you’re done. Sorry, that wasn’t very precise. It’s after 6 p.m., and my brain isn’t working.


  3. Wow, I often mis-hear things too (even WITH my two bloody-expensive hearing aids!) so I can well imagine what you felt when “hearing” John say that!!
    Lovely pictures, from John on down! Stunning azaleas, and the mist and waterfall, just gorgeous! (The mist reminded me of scary Stephen King story! lol)


    1. Only minutes before I took the video of the mist in the mountains, I saw the first bit of it climb the hill. It looked like a line of hikers streaming up. By the time I walked around the car after the video, we were socked in and couldn’t see more than a few feet. One is never bored in the mountains!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would have reacted the exact same way as you did!!! I also don’t always hear all the words when my husband is talking. I am never sure if it is my hearing or if I am not paying close enough attention. I suspect it is my hearing as my sister and my brother as well as both parents have hearing aids. I guess I might be next.
    Your pictures are beautiful!


  5. What AMAZING photographs Anne. Simply breath-taking. If I gasped when I looked at the photos, you must have been lost for words..
    (Glad to hear that Mr.Merhling is in fine health and just mummbling. lol.
    Sending squidges ~ Cobs. x


    1. Thank you. Tourist season at our house starts this week. We’ll be sharing our mountain life with family and friends throughout the summer. Having others with us magnifies the fun.


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