North Carolina in October is a mighty fine thing. The days are still warm and the nighttime temperatures have dropped down into the 50s-60s so a light blanket works perfectly.
This past weekend we went up to the mountains for a family get-together. My husband had 4 older sisters. The middle two are gone now so we are always glad to gather and catch up and do a lot of remembering. We did just that and also taught everyone to play dominoes – so much laughter and fun. Late suppers and even later nights made us happily exhausted!
We had hoped that the trees would be showing off their colors but think they just needed another week to 10 days to really start looking like fall. There was plenty of traffic on the roads and bet others were thinking, “I told you we should have waited another week!” But it was cool enough for a fire and each night the mist fell down from the mountain so thick that you could only see the porch outside the living room windows. We slept with open windows under a quilt and that was a mighty fine thing.
On the way home, we took some back roads instead of the interstate and because of that, got to see some beautiful fields of golds and browns. Throughout the summer we’ve been seeing large green patches of soybeans but now their leaves have fallen and just the pods are left. So interesting that we stopped to take pictures.
Fall in the Carolinas brings festivals and craft shows and the State Fair. I’m sure it’s like that in your home state too. I’ve never been to the NC State Fair – somehow, it’s just never been high on the list. But I did just hear on the radio that along with the fried snickers, and deep fried pumpkin pie , Empanadas, Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cheerwine Funnel Cake, Deep fried bacon and cheese collard bites, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on roasted corn, pumpkin pie milkshakes, Nutella hand pies, and firecracker shrimp – there’s something new on the menu – poutine! Mercy, we’re getting so cosmopolitan down here! I bet if I went out on the street and asked folks around here what poutine was made of – not sure anyone would know. I surely didn’t have a clue! I’m looking at a picture of it – French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy. Looks really different but I reckon that if you grew up with it – you probably love it. I love smoked mullet – my Dad used to take me with him over to a stand in Bartow that served it. Mixed with cream cheese and lemon and then spread on a Ritz – it’s hard to beat. Can you hear my husband saying, “Ewww?”
I went to a folk art show a couple of weekends ago. The little town of Newton had closed the street around the courthouse square, and also down the streets leading off the square. There were at least a hundred booths. So fun to see all the different crafts – from pottery face jugs to painted pigs on tin, colorful quilts and wooden hand burned signs, baskets of wisteria vines and hand-carved dotted dogs, metal bumblebees and painted rocks, guitars made of bottlecaps and hand dyed knit scarves, prehistoric looking birdhouses and jewelry make with stone and seeds. I am always amazed at the talent and the hours of hard work to produce enough product to sell at several fall shows. There was one booth that stopped me in my tracks – I was entranced with every single piece. She had witches that she’d felted and each had an different face. There were pigs painted on boards, and roof tin and canvas. I couldn’t resist one of her necklaces; a metal locket filled with “found” items. What sold me was the small tag that said “Gatherer.” Yep, that’s me alright.
I’ve made a page of some of my favorite places around the neighborhood. If you’re anywhere close by, hope you’ll try out some of them! First is Nellie’s – a year old restaurant that is owned by the father of the Jonas Brothers. I love the food and there is music almost every night. And you NEVER know who might be appearing on that stage! Another is a store that is also family run – Byrum’s has been around for years. Mrs. Byrum makes the very best tarts ever. Her coconut ones are my favorite but the buttermilk tarts are a close second. Amber Jacks is a seafood restaurant on the site where Lineberger’s Fish Camp used to be decades ago. No kin to us, well, maybe 5th cousins, 4th removed. The seafood at Amber Jack’s is always fresh and hot. We have a new candy store in town run by Holy Angels. Surely what is one of the world’s largest gumball machines sits in the window. And you can spin your own cotton candy! I haven’t tried it but will when the grandkids come for a visit. And then there’s the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden which is such a special jewel in our county. Right now they’re featuring the Chinese Lantern Festival and it’s fabulous!
So Fall has come to the Carolinas and its a mighty fine thing.
Happy memory making,
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