Now that we have been home and caught our breath a bit a trip to the Tampa Theater seemed like a good idea. The Sunday matinee, we thought we bought. But somehow our tickets were for the alternate showing of Thursday evening. I had been to the Tampa Theater before, for a tour, and I took pictures and posted them. Being there in a crowd full of theater goers intent on buying their popcorn, and in some cases, alcoholic beverages, made taking photos this time a little more difficult. I could see the ceiling however, see the feature photo, and so I started shooting.
Eventually we did reach the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which put us in range of Asheville. We only spent a day there, which was way too short. We would like to spend more time in the area this fall, wouldn’t that be a perfect place to see fall color? But once in Asheville we spotted the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and headed in that direction to take photos. We didn’t expect to be allowed in, welcomed even, and told to take all the pictures we cared to. So I took a lot, but with the trusty iPhone. Our trip south was about to being in earnest, and even when you have had a nice trip the thought of home begins to sound very good.
As I write this I still don’t know what we missed seeing in Asheville, we left the next morning. But we enjoyed our visit and left wanting to return.
Continuing the theme of life along the Blue Ridge Parkway long ago we have the Puckett cabin. Home to ‘Aunt’ Orelena Hawks Puckett, who’s story left me astounded. Here is a photo of the sign that left me so amazed.
In case you are reading on your phone and can’t read the writing on the photo, she began her career in midwifery after age 50, and delivered her last baby in 1939 at age 102. She rode horseback or walked to care for her patients. The sign says that she never lost a mother or baby through her own fault. But, most upsetting to me, is the fact that she bore 24 children and none lived past infancy. I can’t help but wonder what the reasons for that were. And to realize that she was a hostage to her own body to have become pregnant all those times, which would have been enough to drive anyone over the edge, but she served her community all her days. To say that life was hard in those days is such an understatement.
To be honest I can’t remember if this photo was taken before or after we saw Puckett cabin. Not that it matters, but you can see that the scenery along the way had changed a lot from the scenery along Skyline Drive. We stopped for other displays along the way, more mountain homes, and a pond at which I spotted the white butterfly.
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than just the fabulous scenery at their stops along the way. Sometimes you find a preserved example of an Appalachian Farm to explore. It was nice to get out of the car for more than a minute or two, to walk a little, and to think of what challenges people faced not too long ago, to make a living in this quiet place.
Do you see it in the mist? The Gurnett Light. One of the few places I knew of that my friend hadn’t been to when he was a kid growing up in my same hometown. So we drove the long, rough, dirt road out to the point where it sat, and had to get 90% there to see it at all in the mist. I dodged raindrops all day to get these pictures, but somehow it didn’t spoil what turned out to be a fun day for us.
I think that if I had had anyone else with me yesterday, and wanted to show them scenery that was close to my heart, they’d have thought I was nuts. But we both loved pointing out all the beautiful old houses along the roads we both traveled as kids…
I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.
But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…