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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Image at Trip Advisor:
a corner of Oaks Gallery at the Riverwood Shops in Dillsboro,
owned by Bob Leveille and Susan Morgan Leveille. 
Mea culpa

I have barely returned from three weeks in North Carolina with my mother (yes, the timing seems, given hurricane Florence, just a little odd, though the mountains did not suffer the disastrous havoc of the coast and piedmont) So my blog and my blog readers, I have neglected you. And I am soon to go on another trip. But after that I will be home for a while and send out a Rollipoke and give some attention to my blog and pay a few social calls to other bloggers.

What I did in North Carolina, for the curious:

Ate prodigious quantities of hoppin' John and okra; stayed on the mountaintop and had good views of ranges, clouds, storms, pelting rain (thank you, cruel Lady Florence, for the mercy that we did not need an ark at our end of the state); enjoyed walks in the mountains; was rained on mightily at times but stared at three splendiferous rainbows; went to the Chihuly glass show in the Biltmore Estate gardens and pools and afterward toured the Vanderbilt house once again; hung out with the Cullowhee Baptists on Sunday with my mother; toured the Nature Center and then hiked at the Highlands Biological Station (saw the fabulous mountain bog in lovely fall bloom, all lilies and jewelweed and grass of Parnassus and more); scurried to the Farmers Market for more okra (repeat, repeat); searched for monarchs over about sixty scrumptious miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway with my mother and my eldest son who unexpectedly popped down for a visit (too early for monarchs, as we thought); visited with friends including the wonderful weaver Susan Morgan Leveilledrove the Cherohala Skyway; toured the arts fair at the Jackson County Green Energy Park; watched glass blowers making their glory-hole magic; went to inspect the elk and hike at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; rambled around the North Carolina Arboretum with my son while my mother did her volunteering (and there we did see one, two, three monarchs and loads of swallowtails and fritillaries and sulphurs at the Patchwork Garden.)

Enough? That's all I conjure at this instant but there was more...

Be sure and hit the link to Susan Morgan Leveille; her family has been crucial to the resurgence of crafts in the western region, and she is a North Carolina Heritage Award winner. That's a very big deal in the state, and if you have a yen for anything woven, I recommend her. She has been weaving since she was six. Or maybe it was five... Her work is very fine, and she does take commissions as well. Susan also teaches (my mother has taken a number of classes from her) at the Penland School of Crafts in Spruce Pine, the John C. Campbell Folk School at Brasstown, various other places, and in her own Dillsboro. If you are in the area, stop by her Oaks Gallery, also in Dillsboro. (The link in the article is no longer correct, but the one I included here will give you a picture of what is on offer.)

Read over a bowl of matcha this morning

"If we knew a little more of Shakespeare's self and circumstance how much more complete the Sonnets would be to us, how their strange, torn edges would be softened and merged into a whole body!" --D. H. Lawrence, preface to the Collected Poems of 1928