Thursday, October 31, 2019

Boo (Hoo Hoo)

First, the BOO, a little spooky story for Halloween.

    It wasn’t a dark and stormy night; it was a foggy, gray, wet morning with trees dripping humid condensation outside the window.  As is my morning habit, I unfurled my yoga mat in the den and soon was happily lost in some New Age-y music, off into the inner yoga-sphere.  I was alone in the room and had done only a few stretches when out of the blue the glider rocker next to my head started to rock back and forth.  With gusto!
  For a second I credited the cat or the dog with setting it in motion but when I sat up to look for them, I could see them both ... 30 feet away at the far end of the living room, napping.  The Writer was taking a shower even farther away in the house; I could hear the water running.   
  Nevertheless, the chair seemed to go on and on, rocking energetically ... back and forth, back and forth, for half a minute.  What had set it in motion? 

  That’s my spooky Halloween story and no, we still don’t know what started the rocking chair rocking!  

  During the past 18 months I have had physical therapy two and three times a week for a total of eight months for pain in my knee.  Xrays showed severe arthritis and damage to my knee joint.  Each PT round helped but only for a few weeks and then— back to painful walking and limping. 
  On our recent trip to the mountains, I found myself unsteady and unconfident on rough trails and it was a little frightening.  I’d take a step and not quite know if my knee was going to hold me or not.  The lopsided gait began to cause pain in my back and opposite hip and I admitted it: the time has come for  (cue the drums πŸŽΆπŸŽ΅πŸŽΆ)  KNEE REPLACEMENT SUR-
  I of course am dreading it, not the surgery so much as the recovery.  The date is December 9th and by spring I hope I can hike and camp and travel and even do things I haven’t been able to for a couple years.  
  If you’ve had a knee replacement and want to offer encouragement, please do.  (No horror stories though, please!) 


(Neither of the photos are mine and I don’t know to whom credit should be given.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

‘Pretty Place’

  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  My last was weeks ago after our trip to the South Carolina Mountains and I have a few more photos to add. The first two are from a place that was so inspiring, so peaceful, so incredibly beautiful, the locals call it simply “Pretty Place”.  

  It’s an outdoor chapel built by a Greenville textile entrepreneur for a YMCA camp.  

See the bird soaring above the valley slightly to the right of center?  

  I have enjoyed staying in Airbnb accommodations abroad and finally convinced The 
Writer to give it a try.  We stayed in what was listed as “an artist’s studio and tea room”, a small apartment in the lower level of a modern home in a quiet neighborhood. 

The private entrance was surrounded by prize winning gardens and had a pretty view of the mountains.

  There were two rooms. This with the next photo is the bedroom/living room/dining room.

The host is Japanese and an artist.  The apartment was decorated with many pieces from her travels, including a dozen or more Japanese tea sets, and her own watercolors.  

This was my favorite of her paintings.

  The kitchen area was small but efficient, equipped with beautiful china dishes, some snacks, condiments, coffee.
  The Writer was pleased and impressed and I’m pretty sure we will be staying in more Airbnb’s from now on!  

Saturday, October 5, 2019

South Carolina Mountains - Table Rock State Park

  For my birthday trip this year, we decided to go to the South Carolina mountains instead of the North Carolina mountains where we usually go.  They are not quite as dramatic but they are still beautiful.

  We visited three state parks and a state wilderness area: Table Rock State Park, Caesar’s Head State Park, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, and Paris Mountain State Park.

  Table Rock in early morning.  

  The Cherokee Indians believed an enormous spirit presided over these mountains and that the rock in the center was his dining table, with the tree-covered mountain to the right the chair.  The haze covering the mountaintops gives the mountain range its name: the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  Later in the day we got a really good, almost clear view of Table Rock Mountain from the valley.  
  The park has beautiful waterfalls.  The state is in drought conditions so they weren’t as dramatic as they usually are.


To enter the park trails there is a kiosk where you register your group and the time you enter.  Unless you have an overnight permit you must be out before dusk.  People don’t understand the danger of mountain hiking and there have been many deaths over the years because of carelessness and being ill-prepared for conditions. 

This information is posted in the information center restrooms and other places as a sobering reminder to be careful!  

Cooling my feet in the waterfall pool ....

                     Bright purple beauty berries were in bloom. 

  October is a wonderful time to visit the state parks.  We had the trail, the waterfall, and much of the park completely to ourselves and spent a long time enjoying the sound and sight of the falling water and the glorious views.