Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Family In NC

I had never even heard of Asheville, NC until my Aunt Pat and Uncle Bill moved to nearby Flat Rock 22 years ago.  I'm not exactly sure when I first visited them, but it was within a few years after they had moved there once my uncle retired. I went once with Fermin, and we went another time with my mom and dad.

And things beyond my aunt and uncle continued to bring me back to the Asheville area.  While I was there for retreats and songwriting camps, I would drop in and see them a day or two while I was in their neck of the woods. They're great hosts, and they would always show me the most beautiful places and we'd have such a great time together.  It's really because of them that I know about Asheville, and that I love it so much.

So it's odd that when we went to Asheville this time around, I didn't give them any advance notice.  We were late in planning our exact dates we would be there, and I didn't want them to feel obligated to "entertain" us, because I know how they are!  It's sounds stupid and even a little shitty to me now that I went about it this way.

But when I did reach out to my uncle to tell them we were in town, he was so welcoming!  We immediately made plans to get together.  He told me that a few of my cousins would be in town during the month, and even some of their kids!  He also told me my cousin Becky and her husband Jim live there full time now.  (I knew they had a lake house nearby, but last I had heard it was just a vacation home for them.)  My Uncle Bill went out of his way to include us on their family fun.

We met them for dinner one night soon after my uncle and I first spoke. We all met up at this great place called BarTaco.  We sat out on the patio and had drinks and tacos.  How nice that they all came out for us, and they all offered to help us in any way they could, and answer any questions we had.
My family in NC!
We drove out to Flat Rock, where my aunt and uncle live, another afternoon soon after that.  I LOVE
where they live.  It's a golf course neighborhood called Kenmure, and it's probably the prettiest neighborhood I've even seen.  I love it so much.  My Aunt Pat has a green thumb and her yard has always been shockingly gorgeous, sort of like her own little Dallas Arboretum.  I wish I had taken a picture of it.  The only one I got of us that night was when we out for tapas in downtown Hendersonville.  It was so much fun.  My uncle always has great stories to share, and he's the best  storyteller.  So there's never a dull moment.
the downtown Hendersonville scene
We got to visit my cousin's farm, and a few weeks later, their lake house!  Yep, they have both!!  Somehow, I didn't get pictures of the farm- I think sometimes when I'm having so much fun, taking a picture slips my mind.  I did, however, get a picture when we went out to eat at a nearby restaurant called The Blind Squirrel.  As with pretty much every meal we ate, we ate outside.  That's something we could never endure in Dallas during the afternoon in June.  We got to take Lucy and Ricky since it was outdoor seating and everyone is so welcoming of dogs around there.
at The Blind Squirrel
Another day, we went to their lakehouse on Lake James. I didn't have a bathing suit for this trip, but I will most definitely have it with me next time. Here's a view from the dock. 
Lake James, NC
And here were are right before a storm came in.  I had my first hard cider- it was so delicious!
Look at all this family I got to be around! My aunt and uncle, my cousin, and another cousin's kids- that are all grown up now.  SO FUN.

We also got to see my cousin Jim one afternoon,who Fermin and I just adore!  We got to meet his girlfriend and hear all about the heart transplant he received last year.  It was incredible story they told us about all they went through before getting that strong heart he now has beating inside of him.  I'm so grateful that heart went to Jim- He's so deserving and appreciative of life.

North Carolina was full of gifts for us.  Having family there turned out to be an unexpected one that was at the top of the list. 

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