Same Scene: Wiser Eyes

I felt compelled to return to that mysterious Langhorne House in Lynchburg during my visit last week.

I was hoping to see signs of improvement, but instead found evidence of further weathering and decay.

I could proceed to chastise the present owners for neglect, but I empathize with them instead.

I know what it is like to inherit property with more deficits than assets.

It takes real money, time and effort to bring an old place up to present standards.

This house on the hill calls for restoration. It has a public history that seems to demand it. But where is the money?

The private owner must not be motivated to paint and renovate.

Not enough love, loyalty and funds? Bad memories? Family disputes? No matter! There must be a lack of motivation and/or inspiration.

The lights were on. That is a sign that the wires still work and heat is a possibility.

Two empty trailers were parked out back. At least someone is using the place.

It still feels lonely. It still seems empty. It is a sad remnant of a grand past.

Sometimes the weight of the past is too heavy to heave into the present.

I get that now. The haunting emptiness, the unpleasant memories, the emotional avoidance. Those burdens are real.

I hope that someday the Cary DeVall Langhorne house will be given new life and a face lift.

The historic neighborhood is quite lovely and well-maintained. There were busy workmen and scaffolding on almost every street.

What we do with our history is up to those in the present.

Maybe four years from now I will see a fresh coat of paint and repaired steps on this lovely, historic site.


My Flickr Photostream

I have picked the best of my thousands of photos to put on Flickr. It’s like my blog on steroids. I have tried to name each flower in the description.

This is a work in progress. This old dog is trying a new trick.

I hope this link works. Somebody let me know. ENJOY!



The Queen and the Cactus

The surprises just keep coming here. This post was supposed to be entitled ‘Catching a Queen’ but something else happened out there in the dark last night. I would have missed it, but I assigned Mr. Flower night duty. I went out around 9:30PM to catch the late bloom of the “Queen of the Night.” I caught myself dozing while waiting. I knew if I fell asleep, I would have no blood by morning due to the mosquitoes.

I asked Mr. Flower to catch later photos when he finished watching television. This was a fortuitous move because when he went out late in the night, he noticed that his fifty-year-old Giant Cactus (given to him by his grandmother) which is beside the Night Blooming Cereus was ALSO blooming that very same night.

So here we go with the Queen and the Cactus blooming side by side. It was not a full moon, just a 50% quarter moon. The two plants must have been communicating. They are touching each other and tied to the same deck pole.

Here is the Queen alone at 9:30PM. Click to enlarge.

Notice the base of the large cactus to the left.

Here are side by side photos and Queen late in the night. Cactus left. Queen right.

Cactus bloom open
Queen bloom open

Cactus side view left. Queen side view right.

THIS is what makes my heart sing. Catching a Queen and a cactus blooming on the same night. My thanks to Mr. Flower for the assist. This Flower needs her sleep!


Missing a Miracle

I had been paying attention to my Night Blooming Cereus plant.

Its buds and elongated days ago. They turned up like pipes earlier than expected.

I knew that the eight buds of this ‘Queen of the Night’ would open soon.

I missed it last night. I went to bed early. I got up at 1:30AM to get water. It never occurred to me to go out and peek over the deck railing.

Spent blooms of Night Blooming Cereus/ Queen of the Night/Epiphyllum oxypetalum

When I saw the white skirts of petals this morning I knew I had missed it.

Seven blooms have opened. Tears were shed.

This plant bloomed for the first time ever, two days before my precious daddy died.

There is still one bud unopened. I saw something curious through my tears. Three NEW little buds.

This plant has never bloomed twice. Maybe that is the miracle. Maybe I did not miss it after all.


All Aboard

Our family rode in an open-air car on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad this Saturday. It was ideal for me because I could sit, stand, walk around and breathe fresh air. (I am still afraid of catching Covid.)

Our steam engine #1702 pulled us along the banks of the Nantahala River.

Steam and kudzu

There were folks riding the river on rafts and in kayaks.

Old farms and barns dotted the landscape.

Many structures were about to be swallowed by kudzu. (an invasive weed)

This is the oldest house in Swain County. It is the deHart house with a fascinating history. It’s hard to separate fact from fiction about it.

We had an hour stop at the Nantahala Outdoor Center as we waited for the passengers who rafted down the river to catch up to the train.

We had some entertainment in route. Mountain man Tim dropped by to tell stories about the Mountains and the Cherokee. His attire was worth inspection.

Brakeman Montana also visited our car to answer questions about the train and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Our family thoroughly enjoyed the ride up and down the river.

Diesel engines pulled us back.

Stay tuned for the floating houses on Fontana Lake.


The Tiny Train Universe

I am a miniatures enthusiast. You may have picked that up from my fairy posts. I totally lost myself in the Model Train Museum at the Smoky Mountains Railroad.

The walls were lined with every type and size of model train imaginable. The middle of the huge building had train towns set up and running. Whistles were blowing, lights were flashing and tiny people were in action.

Everywhere I looked there were little scenes set up of events. It was a dynamic diorama!

There was a tiny policeman pulling over a reckless driver.

A forest fire being put out by firemen. Oh, I hope those two are okay!

A drive-in movie was being enjoyed by its tiny audience.

A mechanic was fixing his itty bitty delivery truck…

See what you can find in the following photos.

I was so carried away looking at the tiny trains that I almost missed my ride on the real one.

Rose wanted to ride the train as part of her graduation celebration. We are here a few months early. No pressure Rose. You got this girl!

Stay tuned for our adventure aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

ALL Aboard!

Give Me a Cabin by the Side of the Road

We made a mountain run this weekend. We had to move Rose home for three weeks before she moves back to college.

The local hotel was full, so I found a cabin on vrbo. ( vacation rental by owner)

We found a diamond among stones on Pumpkintown Road.

It was a sweet little piece of heaven. It had porches, gliders and a swing for enjoying the babbling brook across the road. There was music from birds and the baying of hounds to add to the ambience.

The back of the cabin was tucked against a steep rocky slope covered with spider worts, mosses, ferns and lichens which could be viewed out the kitchen window.

The renovations were ingenious and fitting with the decor. Reclaimed wood was used everywhere.

Tree trunks served as stair railing.

No space was wasted.

The little details made mountain magic in every nook.

The new stove stood where the old wood stove had been. If these walls could only talk!

I took close-ups for a mosaic in case some of you are into clever re-purposing.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of a mountain cabin by the side of Pumpkintown Road.

Stay tuned for a train ride, a model train museum and some floating houses. Wow, we are tired!


The Voodoo Trio

Gardening is such an emotional past-time. It is like leaving your children outside to fend for themselves. I have had several scares with my new Voodoo lilies. The latest involved the baby.

I now have three Amorphophalus konjac plants, thanks to the Popes. The big one came first, then a medium and a small. The small baby dried up soon after arrival. I was worried that my plans for a Devil’s Tongue Triangle had been foiled. The baby finally sent up a new shoot.

New green-tipped shoot to right of stick.

I am happy to report that its leaf has emerged.

Baby Voodoo lily with my toes for scale

Now the three are visible and the triangle is complete. It reminds me of the story about the three bears which makes me Goldie Locks.

Three Amorphophalus konjacs

I am pleased to say that the “Voodoo Trio” is thriving under the fig tree from my godmother. Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?

Goldie Locks/Flow