Fall Update

First Trax

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I get a lot of emails this time of year from fellow Autumn lovers. There were at least 50 emails in my inbox this weekend from people either asking about the leaves turning or carrying on about how it must be wonderful living in this area that so many love to visit.

The leaves ARE beginning to turn, particularly around Banner Elk and the higher elevations…and particularly the Sugar Maples. We’re still some three to five weeks away from peak so we’ll save the commentaries about the Fall Color for another day.

As I was driving in this morning I was met with a spectacular view that made me think about some of the weekend emails. This time of year there are portions of Highway 105 that present you with a direct burst of sun in your eyes, depending on whether you are driving into or away from Boone. I had stopped into what used to be Taylor’s Country Store in Foscoe – it’s still a country store but I’m not sure what they call it! It’s one of those places where you can walk in and see the same 10 to 30 faces every morning. Most of them are oldtimers who probably couldn’t dream of starting their day without a visit to the store. The coffee doesn’t taste the same anywhere else, and I’ll guarantee you that nobody, anywhere can make a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit like the ladies in the grill. I’m sure their steak biscuits are equally delicious but I can’t MAKE myself order anything else!

It’s the kind of place where everybody in there will give you a nod or say "excuse me" as they squeeze past you. The cashiers will always tell you to have a great day – and mean it.

Anyway, after I grabbed my biscuit and headed back towards the office (the sun was now at my back) I was presented with a gorgeous, Carolina blue sky. The mountains were lit up from the direct sunshine and there was a FULL MOON hovering just above the ridgeline between Grandfather Mountain and Hawksnest.

As I got out of my truck, the air was still crisp and AGAIN I couldn’t help but think about how lucky (and blessed) we are to call this area home. It’s early morning and Thelma (from Thelma’s Antiques next door) walks over holding a bouquet of flowers and comments about "what a beautiful day it is."

Let me summarize:

I awoke this morning all snuggled in the blankets because the air outside was chillier than we expected; visited with a few friendly locals; ate a great breakfast biscuit; took in some beautiful surroundings — all on my way to work.

God, Life IS beautiful up here!

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