Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Rock

On our 25th anniversary hubby and I took a mini-vacation to the North Carolina mountains while grandparents watched the boys. We enjoyed time in a wonderfully elegant, but quaint, totally unique hotel, The Grove Park Inn. If you are ever in the Asheville, NC area I highly recommend a stop, even if it is just to walk through the immense lobby, have lunch on the porch and maybe even visit the antique car museum on the grounds. 

On our last morning the skies had grown cloudy and a light mist began to fall. We decided to head home, meandering on country roads through beautiful mountain valleys and along fun twisting roads. As we drove around a corner near Lake Lure, NC, there was a run-down cottage along the side of the road with a "Realtor" sign in front. To this day I don't know what possessed us, but we stopped. Perhaps we wanted to delay our return to the humdrum of everyday life. Perhaps we were still ensnared in the vision of a different way of life brought about by the Inn. But we stopped and looked at pictures of cottages available in the area. We entered and talked to the Realtor. This area would make a wonderful weekend retreat, we decided, being about 4 1/2 hours from home but offering mountains and drier, cooler air and a change from coastal Carolina living. 

Chuck took us around for a few hours and showed us some cottages and some land. We fell in love with a 12-acre parcel of land on the side of a mountain. The property was nestled between two ridges and backed up to a steep cliff near the top. It was heavily treed and had the tiniest of streams trickling down one side. You couldn't hear a thing but your breathing and the leaves crackling as you walked up the old drive. You couldn't see a house from any direction. Then the birds began to sing and we were mesmerized. This was surely enchanted land. 

As we walked up the old drive we came across a huge rock. The rock was our first picnic spot when we returned with the boys, and became a favorite playing and eating area after we decided to purchase the land.

We camped on the property on weekends. We had a driveway and parking space scraped out of the forest. We found an old travel trailer that we had hauled up onto the property and enjoyed our retreats without electricity; no TV, no video games. Just reading, playing board games, hiking and catching crawfish in the pool of a stream across the street. It was a simpler, slower and quieter time. It provided a time to breathe and relax during hectic times. Looking at this one picture evokes all of the those feelings now. I can almost smell the leaves, and feel the stillness, and my brain slows as the memories return.

Do you have a picture, or a place, that brings a sense of peace to you?


  1. Sounds wonderful!
    My peaceful place is Traverse City, Michigan. I would love to move there. It is so beautiful.

  2. Wow that is some rock! It sounds like a beautiful calm.
    Where we live now is calm and peaceful..personally I love the sound of the Ocean..especially the Pacific..I know it is loud..I love drowns out everything but the wind and the waves for a different kind of inner silence that is good for my soul:)

  3. My peaceful place is the barn :)

  4. I have peace right here surrounded by nature and my family.

  5. I would LOVE to go there...maybe someday!


  6. absolutly I do! And I pull them up on the computer when I need a moment. They are of the place we lived when we first moved to Montana. It's a part of the ranch that is sold now, but it was the most peaceful, private place and some of my favorite memories are of living there. I loved your story and your pictures. Ashville is a wonderful place! I've not been to the Grove Park, but heard of it lots of course, being from east Tennessee myself. One Christmas Mom took us girls (her and my sister and sister-in-law and me) on a trip. We stayed at the Balsam Mountain Inn and then went to Biltmore. If your ever back there try the Balsam Mountain Inn. No tv's, no noise. Just porch sitting and woodland sounds. I loved it, and wished we could have stayed longer!


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