Tuesday, December 1, 2009


At this point in my life there is no place that feels so much like home to me as the South Toe Valley in Western, NC. The ridgeline of the Black Mountains gently curving like a warm embrace from a beloved relative. My whole spirit sings when I am there, as if I am a part of that place. I guess that could be becasue I developed so much of myself while living there, falling in love, getting married, conceiving a child, creating deep lasting friendships. As my life moves along on it's path I know I have influence, but yet I am also open to the natural flow as it comes to me. Celo will always be in my heart. I am thankful to have had the chance to know it deeply and share it with my son.

Here is a view of the ridgeline as seen from the home we stayed in over the Thanksgiving holiday. Again, thankful, it's folks like Ben and Cedar (along with others) who offered us their place so we could share Thanksgiving with our close friends. They have a magnificent view, a warm home, and lovely gardens.

Here is my comtemplative husband on the banks of the Toe River. A beautiful day, we went walking to Green Toe Ground Farm. I caught Jim as he looked out into the water, scanned the rocky mountainside across the water, and breathed in the crisp mountain air.

On a gnarled tree root Nicole and I share a refelctive moment. The truth as I've noticed it, is that the older I get the more difficult it is to create deep lasting friendships. I feel thankful to have that with her. She accepts me as I am and in turn I her. We've seen each other grow into strong women, get married, have children, and chase dreams.

Two pals walk together down the road laughing, singing, running after the puppy. I notice there is a freedom my boy shows when we're there in Celo, it's different than when we're elsewhere. Almost as if he too is infused with the magic I feel in that valley, I hope he always feels it.

We give thanks for the turkey who gave it's life so we could feast and feel full. Gaelan rubbed this one down with a butter and spice mixture and cooked it just right. It was the most delicious and moist turkey I have ever eaten. I made the stuffing fresh with mushrooms and pecans (recipe to be posted later), yum!

Oh the plentiful feast, before us on the table, our mouths water with anticipation on this one of the few days during the year eat with such ferocity. We savor the flavors of perfect turkey, fresh stuffing, squash gratin, mashed potatoes with parsnips, fresh cranberry sauce, stewed greens with a hint of apple, sweet potatoes topped with pecans, and mixed green salad. Having Thanksgiving with farmers is truly a reason to celebrate the harvest and give thanks to the land and the spirit for blessing us all with nature's bounty.
At the proverbial kids table, ours too enjoy this feast. The girls, whose hands contributed to the meal by working the land with their parents helped to bring forth this glorious meal. Ah, to be a grown up and finally appreciate how special the kid's table actually is.

And of course, to finish off the meal, we must have pie and pie we had a plenty. I made what I am considering now as a part of my Thanksgiving a chocolate pecan pie, Gaelan created for us two kinds of pumpkin pie: one traditional and one with a layer of chocolate spread over the crust which adds a devilishly decadent kick, and Pat made a wonderful apple pie with hints of cinnamon and spices coating every bit. We added fresh whipped cream and had a marvelous treat for our taste buds.

Ah, the joys of celebrating, feasting and fellowship.

1 comment:

  1. that's really beautiful alena! what a great feast with great company and food!