There’s nothing quite like taking a hike through a field of frasier firs to make you feel like the season is changing. Especially since the weather hasn’t done much in this realm. Hopefully this week it will begin to start to feel like it!
I spent a great few days out in mountain country, at the place that I truly call home. My grandparents built a cabin in the woods just down the road from Penland School of Crafts back in the early 70’s when they were spending a lot of time up there. My grandfather made a living from his hands as a surgeon. But after retiring, he needed to keep them busy and honed his skills at furniture making, photography, and pottery. My grandmother was an amazing painter, but also began weaving textiles and baskets at Penland. This mountain-top school has a great history, but holds a special place in my heart as some of my first memories are from walking around the old glass blowing studio with my grandfather. From the handmade plates and mugs, to the arrowheads, wood carvings, and paintings placed around the main room, everything in their cabin holds a meaning. After having moved so many times in my life, this place is what I consider home. On the back porch you look out to a view that has remained the same over time–the Black Mountains, North Toe River, and a christmas tree farm.
Since the weather felt like early autumn nearly every day I was up there, I decided to explore the farm that I had gazed at for so many years. I met the lovely owner of the land who showed me the trails she had cut through the farm and down by the river. Some trees had just been cut for the season, and many stayed on for the next year’s growth. It was an amazing walk in the sunshine, but the smell was heavenly. I couldn’t get enough of that rich sap! I took a few branches with me when I left, and upon arriving back in Asheville, I craved more of that christmas-home smell. So I sat down on my own front porch and made my first wreath. The extra sprigs I left for the center of my table that is now graced with the presence of a lovely orchid. It warms my apartment and makes me smile when I reach my front door. It’s beginning to feel like winter around here. All I need now is some snow!
"A life of pleasure makes even the strongest mind frivolous at last." -- Edward Bulwer-Lytton
painting with strokes of life.
Paris based chef baking and writing cookbooks