It is full-on, high-season in Black Mountain, and the town is bustling with life. Youth retreats have resumed in Montreat and the young campers bring their youthful angst to town every Wednesday afternoon. I ache for the girls who flutter around the lone boy in their shopping groups, trying to get his attention. This year’s fashion musts are to have neon-colored hair and  to wear baggy, gender neutral clothes. When they come into Chifferobe, the kids crowd around my display of inexpensive rings, and the girls can’t resist adding rings to their already bedecked fingers. I have had to reorder rings three times already this month!

Seth on Gondola

Melissa and Cole at Martann’s
Aliza/Al enjoying lunch

I was in Arizona for five days visiting my son and his family in Flagstaff. I had so much fun in spite of a heat wave. Even though it was close to 100 degrees (it was 120 in Phoenix!), Seth and Melissa put miles on their mountain bikes and still had the energy to force me to hike on the dusty trails just below the ski area. Luckily Seth brought a bottle of water which I guzzled on my frequent stops to catch my breath. I also overcame my fear of heights to ride the gondola to the top of the peaks and was glad I did. The views were amazing and it was a tad cooler up there.

Hand-blown glasses from Flagstaff

If you have ever walked with me, you know that I walk like a duck with toes pointing out, and I can’t walk a straight line. Melissa is a Physical Therapist and noticed that I was weaving. She suggested I get some fancy insoles at the outdoor store. I did, and it has made a big difference. I’m still no where near normal, but I don’t look drunk.  

Lanterns by Leonora Willet. Ceramic, made locally.

I told my kids that I could never live in Flagstaff because everyone there is so fit. Even a handicapped elderly woman we met on the street told Seth she had just hiked up and down the Grand Canyon. (On a walker?)  They had a party while I was there, and their friends are so wonderful, except they all hike and ride up and down the steep mountain bike trails for fun. 

New group of mugs by Asheville artist Andrea Freeman

While I was away, Ruth filled in for me most days, and Kate took over on Sunday. They did record business making me think I should go away more often and leave it to them to mind the shop. 

Dahlia from Joyce’s garden