Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autumn in North Carolina

It was an absolutely glorious weekend in North Carolina, the color was almost peak & we so enjoyed all the beautiful fall leaves & scenery up in that area. My parents have a house in NC, about 2 hours from where they live in GA. They love to spend time up there & they have a huge garden that they still tend to year after year. It's a country house on the side of a mountain, with a stream running through the frontyard. I'll tell you about it later. This little shop is in the little area of Murphy, NC called Brasstown, which is where my parent's house is. There are some cute antique stores all lined up. I've been in there before, but didn't have time this trip to browse. The weather could not have been more perfect for a Fall getaway. Me & Peter really enjoyed ourselves, eating & looking at the pretty mountains. We took off on Saturday and spent about 6 hours making a tour of the mountains & just enjoying the scenery. Wow, was it pretty!

Here is my parent's house. They built this house 20 years ago after our family spent many years in NC, vacationing & sightseeing. We have such fond memories of NC & really had a lot of fun family time there during the years that my sister & I were growing up. This house is fun to visit. My mom cooks SO good, a typical country cook & we have eaten many a meal in this house. In the summer, the vegetables are plentiful & we eat & eat, until we can't eat anymore. This weekend was no exception. I took so many pics this weekend that I had to put most of them in a collage, so that you wouldn't be here all day looking at the pretty pics. I tried to capture as best I could all the gorgeous Fall leaf color that we experienced. The sky was extra blue & the leaves were extra colorful. God is the best painter there is, don't you agree?
This is a fern outside my parents house.
And this is a pretty kitty that I made friends with. She lives next door & comes over to eat the scraps that my mom throws out in the woods. She never would let me pet her, but she did eat out of my hand finally & actually sat there for awhile with me. I think if I had a couple more days, she would be sitting in my lap.
My family's love for NC started many years ago, back in the mid-60's when my mom's extended family all bought lots on a mountainside in Franklin, NC & they all built cabins up there. My mom is from Florida, as is my dad. Our family settled in the Atlanta area back in 1963, when I was 6 years old & my dad became the Pastor of a church in Marietta, where he stayed for 27 years. Anyway, my mom's dad & all of his brothers & sisters decided to build cabins up in NC, to get away from the heat of Florida (I think there were 7 in all). They all took to the mountains immediately & loved it up there. We went for a nice long drive on Saturday & decided to stop in the old homeplace & take a peek at the cabins. Most of the cabins are still owned by family members, but we don't have any immediate family that still goes there, although some of the 2nd & 3rd cousins still do. I have many fond memories of going up to this mountain, with all the cabins being full of relatives. All of us cousins would roam around on the mountain, hiking, swinging on the big swing that was tied to the top of a big oak tree (until one day we all broke it!). Oh, what great memories there were. The mountain was abuzz with all the activity of each family in those cabins & we loved every minute of it. This went on for at least 20 years, with my family going up many weeks in the summer months & spending time up there. We would find out through the grapevine who was coming up when & make sure we hit it when lots of our kinfolk from FL would be up there. We would picnic, go & look at waterfalls, slide down the Sliding Rock....oh, the adventures we had. It was great! And just spending time together around a campfire, roasting weinies were some of the best times of all. Lots of stories told. The above collage is of several of the cabins. It was so much fun to go back & reminesce about those wonderful times. My granddaddy died in 1985, so it's been a long time since we were at his place. Now a distant cousin owns the house. But, it sure was fun to go back & see it all. You can tell that it was a wonderful place to be just by looking at the pictures.
Oh, the food we ate this weekend. My mom is a fabulous Southern cook. If I ate like this all the time, I would be in bad shape. This is meatloaf, potatoes, carrots, fried eggplant, field peas, creamed corn, sweet potatoes & fresh tomatoes. All of this but the carrots came from their garden. You can understand why I love it up there.
For breakfast on Sat., mom made homemade biscuits & gravy. This is what is called sawmill gravy (for you Yankee girls who know nothing about this stuff!), made from bacon or sausage grease, milk & flour. Boy, is it good! A side of eggs & bacon & it's heaven.
Here's mama & daddy in front of my granddaddy's old cabin in Franklin.
Me & Peter out in the sunshine.
I wanted you to see how pretty everything was, so here are some leaf shots. Wasn't that sky beautiful?
The mountain streams up there are just wonderful. And cold!
More color.
Mountains & color.
This is a little church that my parents attended for several years. The congregation has since moved down the road & built another larger church. I went with them to this church many times over the years & always thought it was so charming.
This is my parent's house. I just wanted to show you all around. They have several acres up there & the flat area you see is my dad's garden. He grows all sorts of vegetables & has blueberry bushes too that are just loaded every year. This year the frost got them though. See that pretty creek in the frontyard. And the porch is such a nice place to take a nap. I have so many fond memories here in this house too. My dad built that bridge that you see in the middle & did a lot of the work on the house himself. That lounge chair is a great place for a nap! My parents were remembering back when they decided they wanted to build a house up in NC. They had passed through this valley many times going back & forth from GA to NC to my granddaddy's place in Franklin & decided to stop & talk to a realtor 20 years ago & the rest is history. I think the Lord was looking out for them, as they got the land at a really good price, cause they couldn't have afforded it otherwise.
And these are all Fall pics I wanted to share with you all. Enjoy the color!


Some of these pics are from the Nantahala River. I've rafted down this river at least a 1/2 dozen times, as well as the Ocoee River (only once!). Boy, is that fun to do!
There's hardly a prettier place anywhere than North Carolina. I'm sure many of you will agree who have visited this fine state or those of you who are fortunate enough to live there. Mountains, streams....they have it all. We sure enjoyed our weekend there this year! Hope you are all getting some Fall color too.
I'm so happy y'all enjoyed seeing the junk store too while I was gone. Wasn't that fun? I really will have to go back & dig through there sometime.

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Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Oh my Gosh Rhonda, those pictures brought back so many memories for ME. My family camped all through the Smokies when I was just 15. It was our last family vacation before my dad had a terrible accident in which he went through dozens and dozens of surgeries and did not return back to work until I was 21! My parents lost just about everything they had owned at that time, due to Dad's accident/health. So thanks for the memories of our last "family" vacation. I still treasure it. We went into NC to the Cherokee reservation and camped near there too. I thought NC was absolutely the prettiest state I have ever seen (and still think so - probably equal to our Hawaii visit for our 25th wedding anniversary.)

Erin~~The Classy Rabbit~~ said...

What beautiful pictures and such great memories. Thank you for sharing!

Erin

cityfarmer said...

I just love stories like this...if we moved all the players to Indiana I would have almost the exact same story...God bless Godly parents.

let's chat

justabeachkat said...

Rhoda

I am soooo jealous! Living in Florida, I miss seeing the leaves changing. We just don't get the fall look here....not much at all. All of your photos were wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

And the food....my mouth is watering. My Mom and Aunts cook like that too. Yum Oh!

Hugs!
Kat

OKGardners said...

Beautiful, just beautiful ... and some mighty good-looking food, too. You are blessed to still have both your parents still living.

Betty in Oklahoma

the feathered nest said...

It looks beautiful Rhoda! We've been thinking of getting a vacation home but can't decide between mountains or beach. I'm thinking mountains after seeing your gorgeous pictures.

Mmmm....that food....looks soo good! Sounds like you & Peter had a lovely weekend!

Manuela

Dana in KC said...

Oh, what a great getaway! The scenery is just splendid and it brought back memories for me, too, visiting my family in north Arkansas (especially the little streams/creeks--and the church reminded me of one we would attend while visiting. Many on my Dad's side are buried in the little cemetary that surrounds it.) Yes, you are so lucky to have both of your parents.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Great Scenery....Great Family time.....Great Comfort Food! What more could anyone want?

April said...

MANY MANY good memories. Except when the hair lip man chased me down that mountian with a knife! Remember peach Dubee (sp?) cake! YUM! That meadow now, was my grandaddy's HUGE garden!! miss that! Thanks for the pics, have'nt been to Franklin in years. OXOX cousin april

Tammy518 said...

Wow, what beautiful pics! I'm glad you had a great time. I really loved the tour of NC and your parents' house. Your mom's food looks yummy! My mom's a good old southern cook too (from KY).

Have a great week!

Wanda said...

Ah, what wonderful memories and a wonderful getaway.

I'm afraid our fall is going to be less than spectacular this year. We just haven't had enough rain.

He Knows My Name said...

stunning pictures! great memories! thanks for sharing! i always feel better having stopped by your blog.

love you rhoda, you inspire me.

~janel

Lallee said...

NC is one of my favorite states, especially since my son lives there now. We had hoped to have a fall trip this year but had to cancel. I enjoyed seeing it through your trip!

Joy said...

Hi Rohoda!

Lovely pics! Be sure and drop by my blog today :) ...

Joy

Terri and Bob said...

I love your photos. I have been to NC one time and your pictures brought back a lot of memories. Your mom's biscuits and gravy made my stomach roar in protest of my skimpy cheerios and milk breakfast!

Simply Me Art said...

Rhoda, How Beautiful these photos are. The colors of the Changing Trees are so pretty. The Southern Cooking made me so Hungry. Thank you for sharing.

Grace @ Rose Cottage Lane said...

Now you've made me so hungry! There's nothing like starting the day with a batch of homemade biscuits and sawmill gravy! Yum!

Carrie said...

Such beautiful pictures. Really enjoyable to see them. Thanks.

Susie Q said...

I am so glad you had such a sweet weekend.
It is always special to be with family and in such a beautiful place. I know this area pretty well...my folks were in TN for many years and I know the mountains of NC and TN very well. It is gorgeous in the Fall and you captured it well. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Hugs,
Sue

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhoda.....

Thank you for the beautiful post....I have never been to NC and have never had sawmill gravy (yes I am a Yankee lol) sounds like you guys had a wonderful time.

My sister in law just relocated to SC....so perhaps when we visit we'll have to cross on over into NC for a peek !!!

Go Red Sox,
Kathy :)

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Your parents are the kind of people we call 'home folk' and your scenery is what I'm so used to also! Not to mention the food...I love to drive over the mountain from Gatlinburg into Maggie Valley or Ashville...the best place and the best season! You are a lucky girl :)

Cre8Tiva said...

these are wonderful images of a place dear to my heart...brasstown, nc...i have visited there for many years also...and i teach every year at the john c campbell folk school there...do you parents go to the weekly dances...or jam sessions...i have to pull myself away when i go there...blessings, rebecca

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

The pictures are so pretty Rhoda & it sounds like you had the best kind of easy relaxed weekend with your family. You are so lucky to have your parents both well!

Thanks for keeping us yankees in mind when you talk about food! ;)
It looks so good...homecookin like that is the very best meal!

Thanks for sharing your precious memories, Hugs, DebraK

Alice said...

Thank you for those gorgeous little tastes of North Carolina. My grandfather grew up there and had the most gentle and refined Southern "accent." Seeing the photo of your parents it is easy to tell where you get your good looks.

restyled home said...

Boy, you sure make me want to go there!! Of course I'd need to stay with your mum so I could try all that great southern cooking!! The pictures bring it all to life...oh, and what a nice picture of you and your hubby!

Linda

p.s. come over and check out my give-away...

joan said...

What a great weekend Rhoda! The leaves are so pretty. I think my favorite pic was the one of the stream and your Mom's cooking-wow! I bet holiidays at her house are great! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week! BTW, I beg my hubby to stop in NC on our way to SC every year but he doesn't. I keep trying though.

Sandi McBride said...

Since I am a South Carolina girl and live just a few miles from the North Carolina border, I can truthfully say, why it looks just like home. I much prefer the mountains to the beach, the mountains have more character as far as I'm concerned. I love the old churches and have never understood the willingness of people to leave an old church behind. I hope this old church is still used as a chapel at least...it could be a travelers chapel, such as the ones we used to find along country roads during our travels. Your pictures are lovely, no one knows how to decorate like God!

Nunnie's Attic said...

Rhoda that was a fabulous post! I love hearing about memories from someone's childhood. I have so many myself and love sharing them. The pictures were fabulous and the color was gorgeous. And the food! The food looked the best of everything.

And just so you know, this Yankee girl from PA makes some pretty damn good gravy and biscuits! Wink!

Love,
Julie

Whimsy Pink said...

I love the fall pictures..!This is such a pretty time of year!

Gina said...

It's so incredible! What an amazing time you all must have had. Beautiful.

Mary Isabella said...

Thank you so much for sharing the day with us. Everything was so beautiful and special. The food looked so southern and tasty. I too make sawmeal gravy and with country ham I make redeyed gravy. My family can really make this stuff disappear. LOL Mary

When We Were Young said...

I've always hoped top get there! The church is charming. It reminds me of Mitford, from the Jan Caron books.

Meredith

Robyn said...

Oh what a fab trip! Thanks for sharing with us!

Felicia said...

Wow! I can't wait to that beautiful fall color to make it down here to Georgia.

Jacki said...

Wonderful memories and beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Jacki

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What fabulous photos! And thank you for your trip down memory lane... I love these kinds of posts! Your parents look so sweet, and your MOM! What a cook! Even though my entire family is a bunch of Yankees (we're Pilgrim descendants on both sides), my hubby LOVES southern cooking! We eat grits all the time at home, and he eats biscuits & gravy whenever he can - but your Mom's look better than any I've ever seen! (I'll wager they taste better, too!) =)

The Decorated House said...

Beautiful pictures Rhoda!
It was so nice to see them with al the heat we are still having.
Donna

Nathansma said...

Hey Rhoda,
I am so jealous! There is no fall color here! And I am most jealous of missing Aunt Iris' cooking. Anytime we go up to visit them she always puts on a spread for us, no matter how many of us there may be. Mama and Daddy got here yesterday so I read your post to Daddy. Love you. Carla

Sonya said...

It's lovely. We live about an hour from Asheville, NC so it's an easy, quick trip to pack up and go over there. The drive is just beautiful! In fact, I'm packing up my crew this week and we're going to the lookout for a picnic and to take some photos! Glad you had a wonderful time!

shabby chic said...

Hi loved reading your blog and I am a southern girl but in the UK!, I now know what saw mill gravy is too. The pictures and scenery is stunning x

ValleyGirl said...

Those are absolutely beautiful pictures, Rhoda! Thanks so much for sharing them! I've always had a bit of trouble with wanderlust, but since I started blogging, it's getting so much worse because there are so many people posting wonderful pictures of vacations all over the planet! And best of all, you know who to contact for recommendations for the best places to eat, sleep, visit, etc.!!!!

Sandy said...

Hi Rhoda - probably not a prettier time for all of your photos! Looks like a fabulous time.

Jolene George said...

WOW! It's just beautiful there. I've been there once and stayed in a hotel close to fort bragg just before my son left for afghanistan. It was so pretty there. I loved it. That food looks mighty yummy too. :o)

DeeDah said...

Hey, Rhoda! I usually just read your blog and look forward to the next entry, but have never left a comment. I couldn't do that today! Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. I, too, have so many fond memories of Granddaddy's mountain and have told my girls so many stories about it. We actually visited there with Uncle Jerry and Aunt Wilda a few years ago. The girls enjoyed the red clay and mountain climbing, but not Deep Creek! Your Mom and Dad look great. Dad is celebrating his 64th birthday this weekend. I can hardly believe it! Love, Kendra

PAT said...

You got some great shots of NC, Rhoda. I love that state. I have some deep roots there. My great many times grandfather fought at the battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War!

Your meals look like meals at our house...gravy, biscuits, meatloaf and all! Yum! Real comfort food.

I'm celebrating my 100th post. Come on over to the back porch. I have a small giveaway going.

Pat

Christine from Bella Colle said...

Haaay! I'm over here! Hope you'll stop and visit too!
Looks like you had such a good time visiting!! OMG..I have to go home to GA. in November. I can't wait!
Oh, this is for you 'Junk Store' post...All the junk here in the WI goes to AL! LOL! I just might have to turn my trip into a mini business trip for the store! LOl!

Rosemary said...

Rhoda,
So glad you had such a lovely time.
The pictures are wonderful. I love that little church.
Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us.
I have missed you these last few days, but I'm back now with a new computer. My old one is no longer with us.
Rosemary

Nadine said...

What beautiful pictures. The colors remind me of the fall in WV when we lived there 6 1/2 years ago. Your parents home looks lovely and how nice is it to have such fond memories.

Betty Jo said...

Rhoda I adore your posts when you've visited your parents in NC, the photos, the food, just everything. I can taste and smell it all. Would love a bowl of those crowder peas, thank you. Carolyn (Mountain Meadows) went with hubby and me to NC last Monday and we hit the fall peak on the Blue Ridge Pkwy. We both have photos on our blog. It was breathtaking and we didn't want to leave. xoxo

daisy cottage said...

Rhoda, girl, these pictures are making me drool - over the gorgeous scenery, AND the yummy food! Your Mommy HAS to be the best cook EVER from these pictures... I so loved seeing your parents' home and the little church.. just the whole tour! A true feast for the eyes and the soul! Thank you!

xo,
Kim

Carolyn said...

What a delight to hear from you again tonight. Glad Betty Jo sent you my way. Thanks for your faithful and super comments for the past two months! How awesome to be sharing recent visits to the glorious NC mountains. I love your post! Sure brought back memories from my years of living very near there. Beautiful, beautiful country! Am so glad you had such a great week-end to spend with your folks, and captured such beautiful pictures. You and your hubby sure picked a winning time to come. Thanks for sharing such great photos. I can hear those streams now. :-)

Big, and long overdue hugs!!

Sandy said...

What beautiful photos. I love NC. Was born there actually. I so enjoy going to the Biltmore and if you ever have the opportunity (or maybe you have) stay at the Fremont Inn. GORGEOUS!
Have a great day.
Blessings,
Sandy :)

Nathan's Uncle said...

Looks like I'm the last cuz to leave a comment. Like you, Rhoda, I could write for hours about Grandaddy's cabin and all the summer fun we had.

The funny part about breaking the swing was that all the cousins were fighting over whose turn it was to swing, and Dennis won. He swung out over that hollow and the rope snapped. I was never so glad to have lost an argument in my life. It's a good thing we weren't hoboing or it could have been disastrous. We used to pile as many cousins as would fit on that old swing.

I remember the distinct smell of Grandaddy's cabin, all the garden fresh fruits and vegetables, tomato sandwiches, playing Yahtzee and Spoons at the dining table, getting stung on the hand by a poisonous caterpillar, the Grandaddy longlegs crawling everywhere, the rustic handrail that led down the mountain path to Aunt Myra & Uncle Buell's cabin, and so much more . . . .

By the way, there were five Blount siblings: Clarence, Eva, Myra, Lovic, and Lenora. Three of them married Porters. That's why our families were so eternally intertwined. I have a picture of the five hanging on the wall in my Blairsville cabin as a tribute of sorts. Grandaddy's love of the mountains was planted in me all those years ago, and that love has never left the heart of this Florida flatlander, and God finally gave me a mountain home of my own.

The harelipped man chasing April with a knife down the mountain was a new one for me. She can always dredge up some long-forgotten memory. I think she should have told about breaking the windshields on the junky cars that adorned the mountain and the ensuing ruckus!

Thanks again, Rhoda, for the beautiful memories . . . .

Cousin Howie

shaybert said...

Breathtaking Ro! Loved the visit with you to your family memories and parent's place. Blessings, Shay