Friday, July 25, 2014

Linville Love

Yesterday I returned home from my whirlwind trip to New York, which had followed hard on the heels of my long trip to Lexington and also knocking myself senseless, so to say I was pretty tired would be to minimize things to the extreme.

My beloved husband had today off (he has alternate Fridays off; it's beautiful) so as soon as he got home from work last night we threw the dogs into the car and drove an hour to our own personal version of paradise, Linville, North Carolina.

If you were to drive to Linville, you would see a crossroads marked by a for-real traffic light, and at that crossroads would be a tiny post office, a cheap motel, a guy selling kettle corn out of a truck, and a fairly bad diner. There's also a really big sign pointing up the mountain, which is called Grandfather Mountain. The top half was a privately-owned tourist attraction (hiking, lovely views, animal habitats, a mile-high suspension bridge and the world's kitschiest gift store); it's now owned and run by the state of North Carolina. The bottom half is a resort, and our house is at the top of the bottom, so to speak. It's usually 5 to 10 degrees cooler at the bottom of Grandfather Mountain than it is at our home in Bristol. Driving to our house, you drop another 5 degrees. We keep the doors and windows open during our summer days here--no air conditioning. Our house is tucked into woods and has the best back porch in the world.

I sleep so profoundly well here that it's become a family joke. True to form, this morning, while my husband got up and took a golf lesson, I stretched out in bed and stayed there until lunch. Then, while the boys played golf, I took a drawing class. Life drawing, at the art loft, from 1 until 4.

When we first got our house here I took a lot of art classes. I loved them. Then somehow the kids got bigger and busier, and it was harder to get here during the week, or I didn't make time, or something, but today, reveling in a big white sheet of paper, a piece of charcoal, I remembered that I need art a little more often. The trick to drawing is to draw what you actually see, not what you know to be there. It requires an honesty that's a lot like writing fiction.

So here I am with my body rested and my head cleared. I'm off to shower, dress up a bit, and go drink wine at the clubhouse with some friends. It is, in fact, a wonderful world, and I hope your Friday has been every bit as satisfying, especially including my sister-in-law whose children started out the day by both wetting their beds. Cheers, Julie! Wish you were here!