A Rhode Islander’s ‘Other Home’–Asheville, NC

 

This is what greets us following our 13 hour trip…the panoramic view of the Smokies in the background (click on photo to enlarge.)  They’re called the ‘Gentle Mountains’ because they almost seem to undulate in waves…no really high precipitous peaks (like the Rockies.) That said, I still won’t be climbing them any time soon.

We’re Reverse Halfbacks.  Why?  We’re unlike the hordes of others (‘Halfbacks’) who call Asheville their second home during its prime season (Spring through late Fall).  In other words, we come to Asheville when most in our townhome community have left (for Florida.)  Why?  They want warm climate and no snow.

But we still like snow; we just don’t want it sticking around for any length of time, and we don’t want to plow it–shovel it–or slip on it  (and we don’t:  When it snows, everything around here shuts down; people stay in, and everything’s ‘ on holiday.’) To us from the Northeast, that seems brilliant.

Know why else we like this town?  It’s just so damned artsy. It’s got the pace of the past (like America in the 50’s) but with artisans galore.   We love that.

For instance, on Lexington Ave., in downtown Asheville, one finds small shops like none other…anywhere.  In one shop,  a turquoise ‘dress’ comprised of rows of tissue paper, jazzed up with a belt, beckons onlookers.  In another shop down the street, an artist creates outfits, before one’s eyes, as he pounds…hammers, and attaches metal grommets to a delightful garment.

Gorgeous artistic products are everywhere and music fills the air. Locals strum up business and dollars via their talents, just as they do along charming promenades in Europe.

If you’re interested in transplanting to Asheville, contact Biddy…Husband and I have been here for 5 years now and we’ve created our niche.  Pictures are above and below of life in this beautiful region.

But remember–We can’t tell you what life’s like here during Asheville’s prime season…We’re never here for that.

See below the Lady Slippers made out of cornhusks painted pink (people here have different name for the cornhusks)?  They reminded me of those I’d see in the forests back home when I walked the woods, as a child. They’re endangered now and pretty much inaccessible..I found this artistic sculpture  at the Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway..My Lady Slippers now sit alongside a crow ceramic cup (lots of crow art here), an Alice-in-Wonderland teapot, and lovely wooden bowl, all delightful creations from talented people in Asheville.

But ‘people art’ can never compete with the natural art, all around…tho’ it comes pretty darned close.

And in the ‘crazy coincidence’ realm, yesterday I met a woman who’d moved to Asheville years ago.  When she heard I was from Rhode Island, she asked “From what town?” When I said “West Warwick,” she was stunned.  It seems she’s a West Warwick-ite, too. Pretty remarkable that we’re both here in this little enclave nestled in the mountains, 14 hours distance from little Rhody…

Be assured:  If you visit, you won’t want to leave–at least until Rhode Island beckons you back in its glorious season.

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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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