Summer in the South

The recent spate of shark attacks has kept many a swimmer out of the sea.  At Topsail, that means there is more room on the beach for turtles this time around.  This summer, there are three nests on this length of beach, which saw many false crawls last year.  The beach then was loaded with vacationers' debris:  chairs, umbrellas, shade tents, toys, you name it.  This year, the sharks have tipped the balance.  The rain has helped.

I was down for a few days when my nephew and I headed for the hills to visit Adella at Brevard Music Institute.  She has rehearsed and heard and performed with some amazing talent, including TheBoston Brass.  She and I heard Sarah Chang play.  She has been in concerts, been to concerts, and directed parking for concerts (as part of her work-study commitment).  She has been learning under some great and kind teachers and directors and one grouchy, mean conductor.  She has made some great friends and endured some lousy food and crude accommodations, and smiled the whole time.  The kid is growing up.
Despite her schedule, we found time to go looking for the white squirrels of Brevard--critters that ran away from, rather than to, the circus in the 1940s and thought the place was pretty enough to call home.  Here is a picture of the one spirit squirrel we set our eyes on:
Brevard College, founded by Methodists, is a liberal arts college with art on its lawns.  Adella and Alex found this piece quiet comfortable:
We took a brief drive in the mountains and watched the sun set on the French Broad River.
Back in town, we joined the townies at the K-Mart parking lot for the July 4 fireworks.  The supermarket and Starbucks were busy selling refreshments to us patriots gathered under that big, red glowing image of commercial success:  the K-mart sign.  There were noisy pick-ups with overlarge tires sporting both the US flag and the Confederate battle flag roaring up and down the lanes of the parking lot as if they were bearing news of some great battle.  

They were, of course.  We will look back on this year some day and wonder how conversations about why the dangerously mentally ill go about unsupervised and why guns are available on every street corner became a conversation about a battle flag.  Perhaps in a few years we will be able to ask why we let the people who desecrate life itself with hyper-inflated, nonsensical rhetoric about the right to bear arms and the right to free speech--rhetoric that betrays a simplistic, outmoded interpretation of our Bill of Rights--overrun any thoughts of the greater good. We might understand then how the splendid, revolutionary statement full of promise, "We, the People," gave way to, "Me first, and to hell with the rest."


  1. There is a park near where I live that has white squirrels. They even have a white squirrel festival. I guess anything for a party. It looks like you had a fun weekend. Life is good.

  2. Anonymous8:36 AM

    congratulations !

  3. Looks like a fun time indeed!! How Adella has grown!! And what a talented young lady she is!! Thanks for sharing the fun, Sandy! Hope you have a great new week!!

  4. Brevard is a beautiful place and the gathering of revelers for fireworks is always fun. And while I believe that conversations are hard to find these days, I also believe that most people live in a place of charity. Yes, there are a big crowd of entitled me, me, me'ers and the spend to fix and out of sight out of mind crowd have a heavy influence, but I stand away from both. The middle ground of charity is large and quiet. They are the ones that continue to work and do good onto others.

  5. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a white squirrel. Very interesting!

  6. You have raised a fine person!



  7. I agree, wrote a poem about it on my blog a few days back...

  8. Oh Sandy it is wonderful how you are able to express the (to me) inexpressible. I am saving the last part of your post to the file where I keep poetry that does the same thing. At the Holiday I actually for the first time had some trouble remembering that the good things about our country still outnumber the bad. And had trouble enjoying fireworks because... (fortunately, we have no children who depended on us to take them to the shows).

    I am glad that your talented daughter is having a good experience at Music Camp. (And of course the bad food and crabby conductor are going to be a big part of why it will be such fun for her to remember and talk about!)

  9. Anonymous4:57 PM

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  10. Anonymous11:33 PM

    The beach looks lovely. And well done to your daughter.


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