On Saturday morning (July 30), we decided to take it easy and to prepare to leave for North Carolina. We packed and then went to Fort Jackson Army Post with Jacqueline so that Tadhg and I could get hair cuts. The base was just about three miles from where we were staying. The barber shop was filled with people and there were about 10 barbers. But it was amazing to see how quickly these barbers can execute a hair cut. We were out of there in less than 30 minutes and I can assure you there were at least 20 people ahead of us excluding those who were sitting in the barber’s chairs at the time. It was unbelievable!

We had lunch at a Chinese Restaurant and returned home to take off for Asheville, North Carolina. We said our “Goodbyes to Auntie Jacqueline and away we went.

The journey from Columbia, South Carolina, to the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, was about 2 hours 30 minutes. It was a beautiful drive and as we got closer to Asheville we could see the mountains in the distance. It was a breath-taking sight. We arrived at our friends, Father John and Elisabeth at about 7:00 p.m. They moved in April to Asheville this year to retire after serving in the Diocese of Springfield for many years. Judith and I met them when we were in the same diocese and we became very close friends. We were looking forward to seeing each other for a long time.

The location of their new and beautiful home is incredibly idyllic. They literally live in the mountains and their home is surrounded by extremely tall trees. It’s like a forest and is very tranquil except for chirping creatures at night. There are very few houses in this particular area. It is incredibly beautiful. But although being out in the mountains has its positives, there are also a few negatives – namely I cannot get a signal on my cell phone. I can text but I have to be either outside or in the sun room. I have to go to the bottom of the mountains to get a signal to use my cell phone. When I texted my Senior Warden, Scott, to tell him of this, his comment was “I am glad to hear that you have no service…God wants you to relax.”

Father John and Elisabeth also surprised us with a wonderful bottle of a Barbadian brew (which shall remain nameless) that was in our room when we arrived. We had a tour of their new home and the beautiful and extensive grounds. They have an arboretum of different trees and plants on their property.  Dinner and conversation were the order of the evening.