A Fireworks Display for My 100th Story

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Statue in Mijas Pueblo, Spain

During the past five years I have blogged about my adventures and observations of places, people and their cultures. To my surprise, my stories have been read by people in 73 countries around the world!

The worker statue in Mijas Pueblo in Spain reminds me that most of my stories sprang from adventures and explorations. These adventures began on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Spain.

This story, my 100th, is like a fireworks display… lighting up the sky with brilliant flashes with loud blasts! It commemorates those stories that I find most enjoyable.

This story is dedicated to those who have encouraged and inspired me to write and to those who read what I have written.

Continue reading “A Fireworks Display for My 100th Story”

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Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part III

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Terry Buettner with “Donald Trumpkin” (photo by Loretta Buettner)

The past few weeks in the mountains of Western North Carolina have not been very conducive to growing giant pumpkins. This area is right on the southern edge of where these giants will grow best.

The vines in my brother Dave’s patch have withered under the intensity of the heat. His gourds stopped growing.

However, pumpkins at the Buettner’s (neighbors mentioned in Part II of this ongoing tale), have grown a bit. “Hope” is a beautiful orange globe-shaped pumpkin and is now about 107 pounds.

The Buettners also have a new kid on the block which is already 70 pounds. His name is “Donald Trumpkin.”

Continue reading “Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part III”

Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part II

4801020c1fb3bd7fb49bdf919f91b985If you asked me, there are interesting happenings going on in Loretta Buettner’s garden in Flat Rock, North Carolina. In Part I of this ongoing saga, I told you about my brother growing giant pumpkins in his front yard. He is not alone in his community.

It turns out that growing these behemoths  is a really big deal! Take a look at this video!

One of the characteristics I see in Loretta and Terry Buettner’s giant pumpkin “Hope” is the symmetry of the gourd. If this baby continues to grow at the rate it has been, I think that the next Cinderella’s carriage pumpkin could be in the works!

Continue reading “Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part II”

Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part I

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(c) Town and Country Magazine

My brother Dave is a bit eccentric like Doc Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. Like Doc Brown, Dave is an intelligent inventor. Dave has several ambitious, ongoing projects like bouncing radio signals off the moon, developing radio communications using lightbulbs as antennae, and communicating with the International Space Station.

When Dave is involved in a project he does the research and becomes very knowledgeable. Often he pushes boundaries of “the envelope.” Growing giant pumpkins is one of his intense projects. This story is Part I  about this 2019 adventure.

Continue reading “Nurturing Giant Pumpkins – Part I”

Exploring Streams and Waterfalls Near Hendersonville, NC

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“Hooker Falls” in the DuPont State Forest

Ancient Native American trails, train track routes, and highways often follow streams and riverbeds in the areas surrounding Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The Broad River and the nearby French Broad River are the principle waterways that flow to the east and west respectively from the Eastern Continental Divide in Western North Carolina.

Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this area’s geography is defined by its mountains and waterways. The cascading streams and their swift waterfalls are extremely picturesque. This beauty is the subject of this blog post.

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A Final Resting Place… Maybe

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Thomas Wolfe’s Inspiration for Look Homeward Angel

Years ago I was intrigued watching an historic church’s cemetery being removed. Although I knew nobody buried in this particular cemetery, it saddened me to think that a parcel of land deemed to be sacred as a “final resting place” for an earthly body had been identified as being more useful to those above ground.

It was even more striking to me when it became apparent later that the need to reuse the cemetery plot was for a parking lot for a Burger King.

I had long forgotten about this particular occurrence in my life until recently I learned of an even more dramatic (at least to me it is dramatic) similar event which occurred in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where I now reside.

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On the Rocks Near Hendersonville, North Carolina

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Chimney Rock from Above (Photo by Bruce Godzik)

Having moved to Laurel Park near Hendersonville in Western North Carolina’s “Blue Ridge Mountains,” I shouldn’t be surprised by the number of places given names for “rocks” such as “Flat Rock,” “Jump Off Rock” and “Chimney Rock.”

But I have been surprised; each has an interesting history connected with it. This blog story is about these rock formations and the stories about them… stories which have been passed between generations of Native Americans and others living in these beautiful mountains.

Continue reading “On the Rocks Near Hendersonville, North Carolina”