Monday, July 18, 2022

A Less Daredevilish Mortal

“What sets ... racers apart from less daredevilish mortals is their complete lack of fear and their joy of doing something on the edge. They love to speed because it is dangerous.” ~ Peter Golenbock 

My interest in racing---NASCAR style--began in the 1960's, languished for a while, and began again with intensity in the early 90's. I talked about it, gathered autographs and collectibles, and attended races (Rockingham, Charlotte, Darlington and local tracks). My obsession even spilled over to my mother who happened to be in a dentist's office in Charlotte and realized that Chad Little was also there. She waylaid him for an autograph for her daughter. Got to love that! [Ask my girls about an encounter with a racer at Taco Bell to see how crazy their Mom was.] 

And then I reached a certain milestone age--and mentioned I wanted to drive for myself. Enter Richard Petty Driving Experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway, June, 1998. I knew I was in trouble when we drove into the infield. The trepidation increased as I put on the driving suit and helmet.

And I really did have to crawl through the driver's side window. 

So, eight laps. I could do this! 

My son-in-law, Mike, (himself an affirmed daredevilish mortal) was in the next car. He was an experienced race car driver (Wake County Speedway). All I had to do was follow Mike around the track---keep him in my sights---I would be fine. Really. The only problem was...

By the time I drove off of the apron and onto the track proper, Mike was nowhere to be seen. As I said, he was an experienced driver already. Those eight laps around the 1.5 mile superspeedway were some of the longest and most terrifying moments of my life. With a death grip on the steering wheel and sheer terror in my gut, I drove.

“You win some, lose some, and wreck some.” ~ Dale Earnhardt---OK, so I never broke 100 mph, but then again, I didn't wreck (which is more than I can say for a former NC governor).

“I don’t know driving in another way which isn’t risky. Each one has to improve himself. Each driver has its limit. My limit is a little bit further than others'.” ~ Ayrton Senna---OK, so my limit is a little bit (lot) slower than others'.

“When I first started racing, my father said, “Win the race as slow as you can.” ~ Richard Petty--  OK, Yes! Lee Petty was right! My philosophy exactly.

“Once you’ve raced, you never forget it…and you never get over it.” ~ Richard Childress---Truth. Am I glad I did? You bet!  Would I do it again? Never! I am content to rest in the laurels of being a less daredevilish mortal.

I do, however, get to live vicariously through my grandson's racing experiences. He takes after his Daddy, Mike (see above).

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us  (Hebrews 12:1b)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Granny's Pantry # 72---Some Simple Things

A quick trip to the Holiday House resulted in some summer serendipity.
Litte things, but fun. If a bit off the the beaten path.

Blackberry Surprise---It was weird but sooo good!

Found some blackberries in a patch I didn't know existed. Washed them but didn't have any cake prepared for shortcake...or whip cream. So, broke up a blueberry snack bar, put berries on on top, sprinkeled with sugar and powderded vanilla creamer. 
Winner!  (Even if only by chance!)    We're sorry we didn't save you any.

The new trellis is up and holding tight to the grapevine. Looking forward to yummy fall fruits.

Mrs. Buzzard is in residence in her apartment upstairs in the old house. She comes back every year. 

She's not a very social creature, and if you want a glimpse, you'd better look fast!

Now you don't see her...

Now you do! And then she's gone.  

But there were some creepy noises coming from her apartment and a glimpse of something else up there...probably a teenage baby.    Stay away!

And finally, no picture gives this old man his due. He's huge and magnificent, even if he's seen better days. We'd love to hear the stories he has to tell.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Friday, June 3, 2022

Granny's Pantry #71--The Postcard

 When people die or have to move from home and aren't able to help sort their belongings, they leave behind an endless string of mysteries without the ability to explain their secrets. 

  • A collection of trinkets...what did they mean? Why did you keep them? 
  • Stacks of old photographs...who are these people? Who were they to you? Greeting cards from countless holidays...why did you keep them? 
  • Was it for the pictures or the people they represented? 

Clearing out Aunt Ruthie's things at High Rock went far beyond Aunt Ruthie. She was just the last of the ones who made the place so special. While she made her own mark in the old house, she also left traces of those who came before. Grandsir Jim, Grandsir Tom, their wives, Granny and Granddaddy Cole, their children and spouses, and others.

There was a treasure trove of papers and books. Too many books to keep. Some we took, some we left for others. But it was the letters, postcards and greeting cards that couldn't be left behind. Just as they kept them, we kept them. Each one is a tiny window into a world gone by. Will we ever get a glimpse of what it inside of each small window? Will there be enough time before they become someone else's mysteries to add to those we leave behind?

One such puzzle that remains, with no one to ask for the keys to the questions it raises, was found written on an old postcard.

The postcard read--

Loved One:-

Wait for me in the Penny Arcade. I will wear a red necktie and a black derby hat. I have the money so will see all the sights. What do you say to a little automobile ride and a swell dinner. I'm ready—you just say where—I'm waiting--

That was all. No signature, no date, no return address. The card was old. Very old. Maybe from the early 1900s old. The script was legible but impossible to tell whether from a man or a woman. Except that the greeting and the message, the invitation, sounded masculine. And almost sounded like a dare.  The card was never mailed. Did it make its way to the intended some other way? Was it just wishful thinking? Was it even real?

“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Write all the words which 
I have spoken to you in a book. '"  
(Jeremiah 30:2)

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Granny's Pantry #70--Spring Comes to High Rock

A lot has changed over the past five years at High Rock. 

Some of the changes have been painful and sad. (We miss you, Aunt Ruthie!)
Others have been exciting and full of new hope as the old house takes on new life.

Much has changed. But not spring

It just keeps coming...always lovely and right on time.

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
(Song of Solomon 2:11-13a)

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Granny's Pantry #69-- New Peacock Ways

The peacocks at High Rock lost their favorite roosting tree --a huge, old oak that simply got tired one day and split apart. It had to be removed. [See Granny's Pantry #53--Goodbye to an Old Friend].

But while I'm sure they mourned their old friend, the peacocks of High Rock are quite resilient fowl.
They have found two other trees nearby in which to roost. Looking at the trees at dusk, at least 18 of the huge birds sit in silhouette against the sky enjoying the quiet and safety high above the ground.

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes,
and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

(Luke 9:58)

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Granny's Pantry #68-Christmas Comes to Holiday House

Holiday House is ready for Christmas! 


Do you think Aunt Ruthie would approve?

She owned the house from the mid 80's until 2013, when she didn't need it anymore. While she set up a studio there, legend has it that she only spent one night.


She still visits, in our memories, every time we go. Thanking her for saving the life of this beautiful, peaceful place.

I think she would approve.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
(Isaiah 9:6)

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Granny's Pantry #67--The Tuckertown Dam

The land of the High Rock farm where Granny and Granddaddy Cole lived and farmed borders on the Yadkin River in Davidson County. 

The old house, the original one predating the one that faces Lick Creek Church Road, stood on a hill much closer to the river. 
Old Wheat House--made from original Cole house
[old wheat house--built from original house nearer Yadkin R.]

The view must have been lovely from there in the days when Grandsir Tom [Thomas] Cole and his wife, Mary [Nooe], could look out over the Yadkin flowing unhindered along its southward journey. The Yadkin runs its headwaters near Blowing Rock until it is joined by the Uhwarrie and the Rocky to eventually form the Pee Dee, which makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean near Georgetown, S.C.

The land along the river on the farm was verdant and beautiful. There was a jungle-like trail along the riverbank, and rocks in the river to be explored when the river was low. Granddaddy trapped fish in one of the tributaries, and Granny fried them to perfection. It was a fairyland that changed in the early 1960's.

In Granny Cole's papers, there is one that states, in her own hand, the change.  

In the early 1960's, the Tuckertown Dam was built, and the backwater covered or damaged 20 acres of the farm. 

Her paper went on to say, "The Winston-Salem Railroad crosses the farm between the residence [current] and the Yadkin River. The H.P.T.& D. [Highpoint, Thomasville & Denton] Railroad crosses the north corner of the farm."

In the old days, an afternoon safari walk down through the pastures to the railroad, even as far as the trestle bridge over Lick Creek below the farm, was a special outing. 

Today, the farm still borders the Yadkin, which is now tamed on the north above the farm by the High Rock Dam  

and on the south by the Tuckertown Dam. 
The area between the dams forms the Tuckertown Reservoir. 

There is still beauty, but not what it once was.  

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
Psalm 46:4