A hard time of year to stay inside

Fall here is beautiful in its own way, not in a familiar North Carolina way, but in a way that catches my breath nonetheless.

The salmon are beginning their run, and happy fisher people (mostly fishermen) are daily swarming the river, giddy with the prospect of catching a big fish. A happy man popped up from the riverbank just this morning, a large, pink fish swinging from his side.


Why do you think they fish all together instead of spreading out?

Rain came back in a big way, too, over the weekend. More than two inches over four days. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Continue reading

A new (old) favorite

In last week’s post, I encouraged us (me included) to dwell on positive, lovely, beautiful, true things. The weekend brought new lows in political news and in terrible stories of a hurricane spreading devastation from Haiti to the Bahamas and up the southeast coast of the United States. It’s truer than ever, this need to turn toward what is good. And maybe fun, too.

While I was in North Carolina recently visiting family and friends, I managed to sneak in a few minutes with my mom to visit a new (old) favorite bookstore. It’s an old favorite because it’s the independent bookstore I’ve been going to for a couple of decades, and I was sad to learn last year that it would be changing locations. The new space is fantastic, though, and I wish I could have lingered even longer in this beautiful “new” favorite bookstore.


A view from the second floor

Walking in the front door, I was immediately transported into what feels both new and old, as if an old world bookstore or library had risen up with new polish and bold colors.

The ceilings soar, and a second floor—only a little larger than a balcony—takes up part of the space and draws your eyes upward.  Continue reading

Dwell on these things

We sat together at kitchen tables, on living room chairs, in restaurants and on park benches. I spent some much-needed and much-cherished time with North Carolina friends and family recently, dashing from place to place and trying to be present to hear each friend’s story.

We talked of books and significant others and children and new jobs, of travel hopes and dreams, of moves and looming changes. The conversations, while unique, shared a common thread: “Dear one, sit with me and hear my heart beat.” If you had passed by and seen us, heads bowed toward each other and spilling words quickly, long pent up from a too-far separateness, you would have known you were seeing friendship embodied.

These precious conversations didn’t have time to linger with toes dangling in the shallow end. Limited moments together meant a headfirst dive into the deep. Continue reading

Gone fishin’

I’m taking a break from blogging today to go fishin’. (Figuratively, of course.)


Under-bridge artwork from along the race course of the race I didn’t do last month. If only all bridges could look this fancy underneath.

I hope you’re enjoying your last week of September. I’ll see y’all back here next week!

Luther Burbank’s green thumb

As I mentioned in last week’s post, my husband knew my missing a race would require distraction and cheering up. After the race and breakfast, we headed to Luther Burbank’s home and gardens. They’re both usually open to the public, but when we arrived, the home was closed, leaving only the gardens to see. That was perfect for us, and we spent a blissful hour wandering among Burbank’s remarkable gardens.

Everywhere we turned, we saw something beautiful or interesting or colorful (or all three). Dahlias, princess/Peruvian lilies, sunflowers, marigolds and much more kept us happily strolling along the flower beds.



A riot of colors, textures and varieties of flowers

A Paradox walnut tree hovers over the edge of the house. The tree is 102 years old.

Continue reading