This time last year I took two weeks to drive from Hyde Park, NY to Brasstown, NC. It was the start of my self-imposed sabbatical year. My destination was the John C. Campbell Folk School. There I would spend four months as a Student Host doing a work-exchange program that allowed me to take fifteen classes in everything from writing and cooking to woodworking and blacksmithing. The drive between my hometown and the Folk School would normally take twelve hours. But when you decide to visit nearly every friend you have on the East Coast on the way, it takes a little longer.
Today I find myself doing a very-much-abbreviated version of that trip. I left Wednesday from Hyde Park, NY to head to North Carolina. However, my destination this time is Asheville. And it’s not temporary.
Why Asheville? I like it there. That’s the simple answer, and enough of a reason if you know me. I like the people, the culture, the landscape, the community, the feeling I get when I’m there. Did you ever go to a place and just have a sense that it’s where you belong? That’s what I get when I’m in Asheville. Dining there in February a waitress said to me, “Asheville is the kind of place that tells you when to come and when to go.” It was telling me to come, so here I go answering the call.
I wanted to move to Asheville back in 1999. I had just completed an internship in nearby Hendersonville and fell in love with the area. What stopped me from going then? A friend who lived there. She said, “If you want to meet a man, you’re not going to do it here. So if you want to get married, don’t come here yet. Go meet your husband and then move down with him.”
At the time, meeting my future husband was something I was hoping would happen in short order. I didn’t want to foul up my chances by moving to a place with a shortage of eligible bachelors. The advice-giver was knowledgable on this subject. This was before on-line dating existed and she had tried everything else to meet someone. From personals to eight-minute-dates to joining hiking clubs and book clubs – she did everything every book advised and still had no luck.
So I moved instead to Boston. The aforementioned friend came up to visit shortly thereafter and was stunned by the plethora of young single men. Guess what she did? Sold her house, quit her job, and moved to Boston. While there, she met a guy, married him, and now they live happily ever after in Asheville.
I, on the other hand, did not find my husband in Boston. Nor in Bethesda. Nor in Hyde Park, Milton, Staatsburg, Italy or Spain. But just like I never let lack of company keep me from traveling solo, nor am I going to let lack of a husband keep me from moving to Asheville.
So today is the day. Arrival in Asheville. Not as a visitor, but as a person discovering the place she’s decided to call home.
11 Comments Add yours
Good luck Rebecca…keep us “posted”!…and I’ll keep you in my prayers…
So great to have you visit on your way to your new home! Good thoughts go with you as you begin another wonderful journey in life. Hugs…..
Best advise I ever heard is stop searching, enjoy life, and let him find you!
Happiness in your new home! xo Barb Mortimer
Thanks Barb. I stopped searching some time ago – makes life so much more enjoyable:)
Hi Becky! I enjoyed our chat before you left….You seem to be able to make home where ever you are! Enjoy Asheville, W
good luck Rebecca. Sorry I missed you while you were in the Hudson Valley. I love your writing and hope you will keep us all posted on your precious and lovable life. You are a gem!
Asheville is blessed to have you. You can count on a visit from me on my next trek to Brasstown. Do stay in touch.
Welcome to North Carolina! I can’t tell you how exciting it’s been reading your blog–and now you’re in NC–and funny enough, I’ll be teaching writing classes in Asheville this coming weekend. I’d love to get together for coffee and hear about your travels if you have free time this weekend!
That would be great! Will send you an e-mail shortly:)
Welcome to the hills of WNC! Asheville is great. The Cherokees had a saying about the area…it went something like this, ” Ah tijha nom chowfo san duls panchinka” which translated means KEEP SMILING!
Hey, Rebecca. Congrats on the big move. Sounds like it’s meant to be!