Friday, April 1, 2011

Georgia to North Carolina

Lawrenceville 3/31/2011
Not much of a post yesterday as I was writing with one finger on the phone. Although we were on the interstate highway we still had sights to see as we migrate north. The trees are leafing out in all shades of green and yellow-green, some in shades of red and orange. We see red-buds blooming and lots of dogwood. Wisteria has gone wild and is blooming with lavender splendor in huge patches up in the trees. Flowers are blooming in the median strip, a low lupine and some red and yellow flowers unidentifiable at speed. In the rain yesterday we passed big tractor pulled mowing machines pulled to the side of the highway. No mowing in the rain. No Spanish moss. We have climbed in elevation. The dead looking heaps of vines hanging on the dead trees and bushes it has killed is kudzu. It will green out later. Right now it looks ghoulish and ghostly.
Georgia houses we see remind me of houses in Texas. Big and lots of brick.
It has been lots of years, since we saw Ray and Lori. The last time they were in California, they were in Gridley. Close enough to visit from Nevada City. But we were busy, busy. Busy with kids, jobs and school. Just busy lives. Then in the blink of an eye they were gone from Gridley to Georgia.
Ray retired at exactly the same time as Bill and he has done various part time and consulting jobs as he waited for Lori to retire today, 3/31.
One of his hobbies is backyard birding. In addition to the various special bird feeders has has a bird house with an infrared web camera in it hooked to the TV. No privacy for birds. I found it fascinating to watch the resident chickadee. She is setting on 5 eggs. Even at night she wakes up to turn the eggs.
Ray's backyard is lovely with lots of plantings and a year round creek.
The lawn is only in the front with flowers and flowering bush borders.
Lori has spent a lot of time carefully decorating this house. It really is lovely.
We are climbing north up into foothill mountain looking areas to the Great Smoky Mountains. We are here in Appalachia. William likes the hills and valleys better than the flat lands. The train says Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.
We are now in North Carolina. Just skipped South Carolina.
We are going to spend some time visiting the Eastern Cherokee Nation. Not all the Cherokees went to Oklahoma on the trail of tears. Some hid out and some came back. They now have a nation here. Fourteen thousand are here. There were thirty six thousand before they were driven out of the land they had lived on for eleven thousand years.
We are in Happy Holiday Campground. They have internet here, but my laptop is acting up again. I can still use my programs in safe mode, but I am limited. The gray screen of death comes up now after I tried to do another system restore hoping that would help. Their IT guy tried to help, with no luck. The ducks also wanted to help.
There was some incompatibility between the Toshiba and the internet connection at Happy Holidays. William had internet but not me. I thought I would have to use the flash drive to transfer data to his computer. Now we are here in Creekwood Farm RV Park on Jonathan Creek Road in Wayneville, NC. and the internet works fine for me. Poor Toshiba to have been so beat on it stressed out to gray screen. I thought I would have to wait to have Cyndi fix it.
We were going to stay longer at Cherokee, but they do not really open much of anything up until May 1. No Play, No Indian Village of 11,000 years ago, No Cultural Center. So we will move on towards Ashville as we do not do Casinos.
Silva is stop number one as William has a cold. I get him some heavy duty stuff from behind the counter. They have to enter all your personal information from your driver's license to get 24 generic cold pills. I approve of this as it has cut down on the meth labs. I also get him some chewable vitamin C. He started feeling better soon after he was medicated.
On to the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. William and I like museums and exhibits and this has elements of our heritage about it. We both have Scots-Irish heritage and this museum tells the story of the Scots-Irish and the further story of those who stayed here in these mountains.
In the 1600's the English were trying to tame the Irish, so they imported low country Scots to colonize the north of Ireland. Some stayed on and fought the Irish for 300 years. Others left for America.
It was a hardscrabble farming life for those who stayed in the Appalachian Mountain Country. Besides the exhibit about the migration there were temporary exhibits on woodworking, food preparation, music and moonshine. Moonshine was important here since their farm cultivation changed from oats to corn. They knew how to make whiskey so corn whiskey was a natural outcome. A high value product that transported well. It moved around well even during prohibition. Al, Bill's dad, told of driving moonshine trucks at age 17 up to Chicago.
The food preparation reminded me of some of the food preservation I did when we lived in Sawyer's Bar. Dried green beans, apple butter and canned crab apples.
Bill claims Scots-Irish on his father's side. The Baker's were farmers in Nebraska. I claim Scots-Irish on my mother's side. The Whitlock's (Barrie, McAdams) were farmers in Illinois.
We go back to Silva to walk the downtown and shop. Reminds me of a combo of Nevada City and Grass Valley. Very nice upscale shops and art shops, but still a beauty shop and barber shop. We buy some nice bread in the bakery, a very nice piece of fish in the fish market, and a knick knack or two. We stop in the Brewery. Very small. Smells nice. But he sells by the growler and we have no room for a growler of beer. I think Nevada City needs a brewery like this. The June company would run through a growler or two and it is quite inexpensive just for a fill up.

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