It's a nasty, cold, windy, rainy day here; something we haven't had in quite some time. But it has been so unbelievably gorgeous and warm here that when days like these blow in, it's good to embrace them. Time to get some indoor chores done, ones I just couldn't bring myself to do, not while the Indian Summer was still glowing outside my door.
We are just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and a plethora of hiking choices. Outside of the parkway, there are many other hiking, biking, rafting, camping, festival, museum, craft, music, restaurant (insert your passion here) choices within an hour's drive, if not closer.
Honestly, although I haven't had the opportunity to travel much in my life, I can't believe there is a better place to live. One could make a compelling argument that my opinion is skewed by where I come from. I grew up in a small military town of around 100,000 people, the commerce driven by 19 and 20 year old males. It is anchored by chain restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and a big mall. Nothing wrong with it, if that's what you like. Certainly, there are many, many towns and cities like it across the U.S. But once I tasted the originality of this eclectic town, I knew I was "home".
It's the first place I have lived where being a vegetarian not only is common (and not a side freak show at the circus), but accepted. Many of the (original) restaurants have vegy choices beyond a salad and soup with chicken stock (yes, I have had many people ask of my vegetarian lifestyle "Do you eat chicken?" "No, you bone head, chicken IS meat" - at least that what I said on the inside).
My sons go to the most amazing (to me) public elementary school. There are plenty in town with (those damn) test scores as good (or better) as this school. The draw is way beyond that. There is an palpable energy there that just can't be contrived. The student population is economically and culturally diverse. The school community is deeply involved in the welfare of each child. Most impressive is that students learn by "hands on" experience. Certainly, I would have benefited greatly from learning this way, instead of having my butt in a seat for 6 hours.
Well, it's stopped raining, no chores have been tackled and the puppy is whining (another blog) to get outside. I can file tomorrow (it's been on the list for six months anyway, what's another day?). C'mon Patch, let's go find the sun.