The Half-Backs of Brevard

So, it seems, three posts a week is gong to be my schedule.

  • Monday–Blog Bible Study
  • Wednesday–Garden Talk
  • Friday–Weekly Wrap Up, i.e.whatever is in Cinthia’s head

Take note: this could change. Surprising, I know. But, since it is Friday’s post, which means weekly wrap up time, I’ll give you the news of Brevard, metropolis that it is.

My little town, whose population reaches around 7500 (I find that insanely large), is over-populated presently. It’s all the Florida-to-the-mountains folks. They live in Florida half year, here half year. It has something to do with taxes. Because they live in Florida half the year, then they pay less taxes. Don’t ask me why. When your tax bracket is fairly low, you get to live wherever you want any amount of the year, and you don’t wonder about Florida’s taxes. Nov-May they live in Florida. May-Nov they come to our mountains (Blue Ridge Mountains).

Transylvania County is home to the City of Brevard (yes, Halloween is a blast here) and it is called “Land of the Waterfalls.” It should be called “Land of Lakes,” (without the butter). We have a billion lakes–little lakes and big lakes. I am always visiting clients at their lake homes. Today was no exception, and when I was leaving I feared i’d taken a wrong turn. So, I stopped, rolled down the window and politely (because I was raised in the South) asked a couple how far it was to Highway 64. They went into great detail, explaining that it was at least 5 more miles of winding, curving, switchback roads. Since I’ve driven on those roads all my life, I wasn’t as impressed with that fact as they were. The woman, who I’m betting had waited for this moment since moving to the mountains, said, “You’re in the mountains, now,” taking a sip of water from her camelback while letting the enormity of that sink in. I refrained myself from killing her. I also refrained myself from stating the obvious. “No,” I really wanted to say, “you’re in the mountains now. In six months, it’s back to the humidity for you.” I can be so snarky. I actually said, “Indeed I am,” while rolling up my window.

In the winter, we get our town back.

I always wonder if the half-backs wonder about us. (Half-backs, as we fondly call them, refers to the fact that they are not from Florida, either, but from NJ or NY or somewhere really cold, and when they started to move back there, they only made it half-way back, which left them here.) I do wonder about people who live split lives. I realize that is a bit over-stated, but for the life of me, i can’t imagine what it is like to live 1/2 and 1/2, though I like my coffee with 1/2 and 1/2. I think I’d get homesick for one 1/2 or the other.

But, after awhile, even the half-backs find their place here. We all form friendships and miss each other come Nov-May. They long for their mountains, while they sit in their patio homes and watch the movement of pool water instead of lake water. They have carved out a niche for themselves in these mountains, and, odd as it is, summers wouldn’t be the same without them.

July is almost over and that fact astonishes me. Rudbeckia is in all out bloom, signaling the nearing of fall. Joe Pye Weed is blooming on roadsides and mornings have been cool. My evening walks with Aggie require a light jacket. It has rained for days and that brought a cooler front with it. I will soon have less and less work to do, and my fireplace will take the place of my air conditioner, making me feel older but somehow comforted by the seasons.

I thought quite a bit today about living an ordinary life, and wondered what it would be like to be extraordinary. I decided it would be a lot of work. So, I’ll leave you with this quote. I have no idea who said it. Somebody very extraordinary, I suppose.

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” 

Or, climb the mountain because you’re half-way there, and well, are you going to turn back now?



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