Part of my 6 month solo road trip is about reconnecting with friends and family, many that I have not seen for years. A solo road trip affords me this pleasure. I don’t have to deal with a co-pilot or a dictator, telling me that it’s time to go. Coming and going as I please is freedom. The only locked in dates that I have are December 6-15 when I will be in the Bahamas. Other than that as Pilot I am my own boss. I decide to chill at my friend’s house from November 23-December 1.
They live in a 1400 lot subdivision surrounded by golf courses. Sanford, NC is a sleepy town of Golf communities. Since they are avid golfers they love it here. The unobtrusive waterfront raised ranch style home sits quietly on the lot. Surrounded by pine trees it has a wonderful western view of the lake. A large deck over looks the water. The open floor plan takes the lake into account. As a designer I appreciate how the floor plan and the site work together in unison.
Watching the sunset is heaven. The crimson colors slowly dance on the water creating a magical array. I hear the loons as they call out. Their voices ripple over the lake. Peace.
Getting together for Thanksgiving brings back comforts of home, Since the early 1990’s it’s been a tradition to gather at their home in New England and enjoy the day of great food, drink and conversation. It’s been a few years since we broke bread and I’m looking forward to it with much anticipation. Their daughters will be there it will be wonderful to see them again.
We gather at 2 and enjoy a delicious meal and talk about old times. The only thing we don’t do is play Trivia Pursuit or Pictionary after the meal which were the games of choice years ago. At about 4:30 the party breaks up, Heidi has to go home to take care of the horses and the football games are on.
Carol and I drive to the touristy town of Pinehurst which is about 40 minutes south of Sanford. The sun is shining and it’s in the low 60’s which is a welcome change to the colder weather earlier in the week.
We walk around the town checking out the shops then we head to the The Carolina Hotel and walk the lovely grounds of this majestic old hotel. I love the Architecture with the large verandas and copper/metal roofs. It exudes the southern charm. We walk inside to the lobby to admire the large gingerbread/candy display of the town. Looking closely one can view the intricate details: Logs homes made of pretzels/Tootsie rolls, windows made from melted sugar/lifesavers, slate roofs from round flat candy wafers, snow – white frosting. Now that the Christmas holidays are upon us decorations are out in full force as holiday music plays in the background.
Lynne and I head to Southern Pines which is another tourist town for lunch. We park and I take a picture of the street corner to remember where the car is. Of course the sign reads E. Massachusetts Ave (where I’m from).
At least I won’t forget the street name. We walk around and find a little cafe and sit outside. I look up and see the street sign; New Hampshire. We start laughing. We are in the south and the street signs are of our home; New England. Too funny.
After lunch we go to see Lynne’s sister, Heidi and check out her horse farm in Five Points. She teaches riding lessons and boards horses. It’s an interesting story of how they acquired the property. They bought the place sight unseen. Since they lived a few states away, her parents looked at it and thought it was perfect for their family and their brood of horses. They were relocating to the area but couldn’t get away and were afraid of losing the property. Needless to say they bought it. It needed lots of work but over the years they remodeled the buildings to fit their needs.
One of the out buildings is a post and beam tack room filled with lots of ribbons won at horse shows over the years. The sun filters in fading the ribbons. The smell of old wood and horses linger in the air. I wish I could capture that wonderful heavenly smell.
Diagonally from the tack room is the shack in the back near the pool which sports an island theme. Bamboo on the ceiling, walls painted beach blues, a wooden bar with stools and lots of beach memorabilia.
The horses have lots of pastures to enjoy. There are a couple of small barns with stalls and storage for hay/grain. They are well fed and taken care of. We hang out for a few hours catching up, then we say our goodbyes with hugs.
Life is Good…