We take our autumn vacation each year in Blowing Rock, NC. It's a pretty town, beautifully set, with lots of colorful maples in the fall.
Mountain towns are different than Piedmont towns, the two having been settled and founded by diverse groups, with almost opposing views on issues like slavery, the purpose of the farm, and styles of local government. 150 years after the start of the War between the States, the architecture is different, the landscaping is different, and even how you are greeted on the street is different in Eastern NC vs. Western NC. I recall my first semester at UNC Chapel Hill, where the two cultures meet, how people from the two halves of the state seemed to stick together in their own groups. As a transplanted Northerner*, I had never noticed it before then.
This sketch is my first attempt to capture a view of Blowing Rock. I have always felt the camera can't capture enough in one shot, and photographs have always disappointed me. This is the Blowing Rock Museum (on the right) - a tiny white building which is only open a few hours each week. The larger building to the left is the Martin House, and has been home to some of our favorite shops over the years. In my mind's eye I can leave the boundaries of the sketch and head left down Main Street to Kojay's Coffee. Or I can move just a little to the right and see the playground where our children have played every autumn for almost twenty years, and where the line of benches is set to observe the street over the beds of Japanese anemones and bleeding hearts, a perfect place to eat our regular dose of Kilwin's ice cream.
* I feel like a person of dual citizenship. I moved to NC as a teenager, and I learned the manners of this slice of the South. I would not willingly move from North Carolina, and in my head I hear a line from an Indigo Girls song, "When God made me born a Yankee He was teasin'." Yet when I visit the Midatlantic States, particularly NY north of Westchester County, or the west half of Connecticut, I feel at home there, too.