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?

Higher Elevations

Many weather forecasts for mountain weather include the phrase “higher elevations.” Mountain weather is not only regional, it’s perpendicular, too. We’ve seen rain fall in the valley while watching the top of a mountain turn white with snow. Nathaniel noticed white covering the top of a mountain in Maggie Valley, and he wanted to see if it were rime ice. This weather phenomenon was new to us when we moved to North Carolina. That day, though, the white turned out to be snow. John stopped the car so that Nathaniel and I could get a few photos. I wanted to show how the snow stopped abruptly, and I included the grandson who lives at a higher elevation from me when we are in the same house.

021716 N at higher elevation.JPG

We continued to my favorite waterfall. I’ve seen it in winter before, but it seemed rather bleak that day. We rushed on to church, enjoying the play of the setting sun on the mountain tops.

021716 Favorite waterfall in winter.JPG