Sunday morning in Knoxville was overcast and blustery. We could have left early and been in Asheville by 10AM, but I needed to stay at the hotel so I could record a podcast for my other website. With that out of the way, we were off around noon. By then the storm clouds had rolled in and soon the light rain turned into a pounding rain. If one were to believe in omens, one might turn around and go back to sunny California.
The drive through the smoky mountains was gorgeous. Even in the rain. Or especially in the rain, since the overcast skies seemed to imbue the foliage with a rich, dark emerald color. A thick fog rolled through the mountains and the rain washed away the California sand, the New Mexico dust, the red Oklahoma dirt and all the rest of the evidence of our journey. Instead of a bad omen, maybe the rain just served as a metaphorical baptism into a new life. If one were to believe in those sorts of things.
Michael was nervous about showing me the house. I told him I would try to hide the crushing disappointment and horror on my face if I hated it. But we both know I'm a mediocre actor at best. My college newspaper described one of my performances as "convincingly banal." I still have the clipping! But I needn't have worried. As soon as we turned down the tree-lined driveway leading to the house, I was relieved. It really is a beautiful area. The house is a mid-century modern design, and if you know Michael, you know it's no accident that he managed to find the one mid-century house in North Carolina. The backyard slopes down to the lake and a small dock where we can feed the ducks and geese and breathe the fresh mountain air.
The house itself is a little old, a little quirky, but should be a warm and fun hideout for the next year. I should probably think of something philosophical to say as we begin the net phase of this adventure. All I can think of is that after months of planning, we're finally here, and I'm not horrified. Which is a good omen, I think. If one were to believe in those sorts of things.
Check out the latest photos here.