Nov 13, 2013 - Writer's Life    4 Comments


“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” So speaks the wisdom of Ecclesiastes and so it seems to me to be. I watch my own seasons turn, from  child to youth to woman to my croning (this would be a mixture of wisdom and some brand of hooliganism which must be just part of my personality). I realize I am entering the winter of my life and my writing. I no longer crave fame or fortune as I once did, foolish or not. Looking good is not as important as my sense of beauty. Writing well is important only because I have a sense of integrity that I don’t want to compromise. And writing often is even more important than writing well.

Believe me, I’m not necessarily pleased at the infrequency of my writing of late. I have made a major move from Northwest Arkansas back to Western North Carolina. At least the words north and west keep showing up, grounding me in similar parts of any given state. And the states are always in the South. As I told Leigh when we decided to move back in December, this will take a year of our lives. And so it proves to be.

We have been here but a short time, and already much as taken place. We lived in this crazy, kind of wonderful rental while we looked for home. The fact that it was only 700 sq. ft. made our new place, Five Apple Farm, seem huge. Leigh and I still text each other in order to figure out where the other might be in this upstairs-downstairs, nearly 5 acre wonderland of a mountainside.

The day after we moved in, boxes piled haphazardly about the place, my parents came to visit. Luckily, we had fixed up the little guest house, our Jewel Box, while the farm house was still under renovation. My folks loved it there. With all the comforts of home and a place they could call their own for the duration of the visit, we were able to entertain them even as we were living in chaos ourselves. When it got to be too much for them, they just headed for the bright lights and steady warmth of the Jewel Box next door. As Leigh said, when your parents are in their mid-eighties, you don’t wait for the perfect time for them to come. To every thing there is a season. There is no perfect time; just a time to every purpose under heaven.

I know this is a bit rambling and I apologize. I have been away too long and must start somewhere. Here seemed good enough for a beginning. Start here. Start there. Start somewhere. Hell, just get started. All I can do as I unpack boxes, clean years of grime from a house that sorely needed cleaning, and get ready to make a kitchen I can love for the rest of my life–is to write from where ever I may find myself. I invite you to join me as I turn, turn, turn into my new life; actually into my new old life here in the Black Mountains of NC, where Mount Mitchell is visible from almost any walk I take.

Follow me along the path I cut through the “laurel hells” up the side of our hill and back down again until we reach the beehives situated in the Indian field. Observe us planting the poor wayward peonies that have come all the way from Henry Chotkowski’s Ozark garden bought on seven consecutive Mother’s Day celebrations to be stuck in the ground at the rental, then replanted yet again around the clothesline poles at Five Apple Farm. Smell the apple pies, taste the tangy applesauce, and toast apple walnut bread for breakfast. Think of as many ways to use apples as you can. Help me find a cider press.

If this journey appeals to you, come along for the hike or hayride. Wade the waters of the South Toe and lay a fly so light and dainty that even the native Brookies will be fooled into striking. Or simply take a winter walk with me to see what we can see. The view–winter, spring, summer, fall–is always spectacular with a beauty that is constantly turning, as I am turning, as we all are turning on this incredible, unpredictable planet we call home.

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  • Lovely post Mendy. I needed the ‘start here, start anywhere, just start.’ Thank you for writing this.

  • I also love the ‘start here, start anywhere, just start’ part of your post. There are so many tasks and undertakings that I put off thinking that they will be huge and overwhelming and then, once I finally start, they are not nearly as impossible as I feared.

    Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I hope this fall and winter are a magical time for you in your new home.

  • Beautiful. Thanks for sharing in your journey back to WNC. I am so grateful that you are living is such a beautiful place and that we will all get to hear about it.

  • I am thrilled you’ve found time to ignite a fall fire in my travel soul. Sign me up and I’ll work the garden and walk the fields with you! Write on girl, write on. I love to read you, it makes me feel like we’re having coffee on the patio again. Friendship and love to you both at 5 Apple Farm.