Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Making my case for my hometown

I've lived in the same small town all my life.  It's a little bit like Mayberry, except now we have a McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Food Lion, and two Chinese restaurants.  Our town was built around a train depot, so we still have quite a few tracks running through, although trains don't come by as often anymore.  We've got a volunteer fire department, where my husband volunteers.  And it's not all that unusual to see someone driving through town on a tractor.
A lot of people I went to school with always moaned and groaned and complained about getting out of here at the first possible opportunity.  I guess that's fine for them, except I've noticed that a lot of the ones who left have started to trickle back.  I don't ever remember thinking that I wanted to leave, because this is home.  This is where I lived so close to my schools I could have walked (if I had gotten up early enough for that kind of thing) and where I've spent all but the first four years of my life as a member of the First Baptist Church.  This is where I cheered for the little league football team and rode in the Christmas parades shaking my pom poms and tossing out candy.  This is where my childhood best friend's mom owned a furniture store on main street, and where as children we went every day after school and ran up and down the sidewalks, getting ice cream from the snack counter at the drugstore that has not changed a bit since about 1950.
This is also where you can drive about a mile or two away from my house and you start seeing the hazy blue silhouette of the Blue Ridge mountains.  About another 30 minutes or so you can be in those mountains.  My husband and I drove up and spent the weekend in lovely Hendersonville, NC a few weeks ago, and I commented as we drove up the mountain under cool, shady branches and surrounded by ferns and the occasional trickling waterfall, "Some people have never even been to mountains like these, and they don't have any idea what they're missing."  These mountains aren't barren and rocky.  They are rolling, and lush, and green, and the few exposed rocks are often covered by moss.  My husband proposed to me at Pearson's Falls, a gorgeous waterfall not too far from where we live, and right down the road from my great-grandfather's mountain cottage, and it could not have been a more perfect place.
Here's the main fall... beautiful!

      And you walk up to the main fall along a trail beside these small, drippy, mossy waterfalls that are so incredibly peaceful.

I can't imagine living where I couldn't just jump in the car and go up to those mountains.

Besides those mountains, we're not all that far from the beach either.  About 3 and a half hours, and you can be on the sand.  I've always adored going to Myrtle Beach because it's nostalgic for me, but Charleston really has my heart.  Savannah, GA is lovely too, and it may be my second love, but Charleston is truly the crown jewel of the south.  The cobblestone streets, the majestic mansions on the battery, the breezy verandas, the haunting old trees, the rich history, the sweetgrass baskets, and the amazing seafood... you just can't beat it!  Unless you've seen Charleston, you can't believe how beautiful it is.  Pictures don't really do it justice, but I plan to do a whole post on Charleston in the future.  
To close, I just want you to imagine something.  Imagine sitting in a rocking chair sipping lemonade as the sun sets, with a slight balmy breeze and the sounds of thousands of bugs singing to each other as the lightning bugs begin their dance in the field.  That's how we spend our summer evenings here.  Now don't you want to come on down?? :-) 

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