Kiss of the Sun

Endless Sanctuary, Highlands NC

Everything and More . . . .

SONY DSCI always hoped  that some day our creekside would host a wedding, preferably my daughter’s. It was the perfect place.

Last year it came true when we decided to have a family reunion and my daughter said, ‘why not throw in a wedding, too?’ It was everything we could have hoped for and More according to the bridal couple and their families!

The bride was stunning in a combination of both her Grandma’s 70+ yr old beautiful patina wedding gowns with a dash of her Mom’s. The Groom was handsome and the hat was perfect.  The weather called for 70% rain and the sun showed in all it’s mountain creek brilliance.  (Tho we were ready to use the ‘Forever Porch’).  Instead the bride and attendants processed down it’s aisle, while the guests looked on.


The bridal bouquet was gathered from wild flowers earlier in the day by cousins and bride.  It was gorgeous.

The banquet was set in the lodge living room with plenty of seating in and out.

The Forever Porch was cleared so Daddy and Daughter could have their special dance while all applauded.

The cake, a favorite of the bride’s from Buck’s Coffee Shop, was cut and everyone loved it.  The stairs were a bridal photo ‘Must Have of all the family that attended.  With guests, there were 32 in all.

The neice flower girl–bunny extra!




May 31, 2015 Posted by | Mountain Magic Outdoors, Norton Creek Lodge, Wedding | Leave a comment

How could I have forgotten my own advice?

ImageWhen the days get rushed, the time flies by and there seems no time to think, I just have to think Mountain Time and I’m transported to Highlands NC.  A breath of fresh air glides by my face; I can hear the water singing over the rocks in the creek and the birds chirping.  I’m reminded of the sign at our mountain rental home, above our front porch swing, Sit Long, Talk Much.  I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since my last blog.  Life happens.

We have a new grandchild -Emma Louise. She’ll celebrate her 1st bday shortly. An incredibly joy! We heard having grandchildren is The Best, but I think it’s something you have to experience to really understand the deep heartbeat flushed with joy.  Or I’m a slow learner on some things!  I’m still working after thinking it’d just be a year of helping out.  It’s such a great job with a great boss, co-workers, it’s too hard to leave.  My husband is still mowing lawns but says it’s time to reflect on his 74th bday–in a few days! And we’re so very proud of our children and all they are and all they are accomplishing in this hurry up changing world. That little boy in the picture below went to pre-school for the first time this week, age 2 group.   Stop the world, I want to get off as my husband and I celebrate 45 years of love, growing up together and our incredible life. We are on our knees thankful to God.

In late May I brought up some of the gals from an exercise class I lead at Tims Church in Lutz. It was a different kind of time than I usually have and I just want to hold it close to my heart as one of the BEST memories I’ve ever had with girlfriends of the heart.  If they weren’t already before, they certainly are now.  Each place we visited and we did a lot in 5 days, is all the more special because of their visit at Norton Creek Lodge.  I almost don’t want to share-it was That special. I encourage all reader’s to do the same.  I’m interested to find out how our next one goes in 2014. I Can Only Imagine.

It’s count down time–2 more days of waking up to 85 degrees and that’s FL humid mornings. Our family is expanding for our upcoming family reunion.  Our niece-in-law and her sweet baby, our great nephew from Atl, wil be joining us as will our son-by-love.


Since Highlands is in the middle of everything, my husband and son will take a day out of festivities and drive to Columbus OH to that side of the family and pick up some heirlooms from my Dad’s side, including a grandfather clock for my niece to take back to ATL.   I am so ready for Highlands.  I can leave behind computers that need to be rebuilt..for the 2nd or 3rd time, new programs.  Grass that needs cutting.  Bills that need to be paid. Groceries that need to be purchased, and a zillion other mundane and stressful issues….  B R E A T H E. . . . I’m making a reservation for that rockin chair in the picture above,  where I can also glance at the Secret Garden below.  ahhhhhh.

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Family Time, Mountain Magic Outdoors, Norton Creek Lodge | Leave a comment

Weather Relapse

This morning I jumped out of bed with acceleration… ok maybe it was a little slower than that. After all it was chilly. I felt like a kid waiting for Santa. Before I could really get my eyes opened, I threw out the sash. And what before my wondering eyes did appear–the water glistening was not from my beloved creek in Highlands. It was the FL swimming pool… brrrr. No wonder I didn’t hear the jingle jangle of water hopping over the rocks. While it’s heavenly to have cooler weather in FL, it is not where my heart is at the moment.

I just finished putting together photos of our Florida Family Reunion in Highlands during October. What an incredible place to have the whole family together at one time. Gorgeous falling leaves, peace, harmony and a baby teething. Can’t get any better than that! Taking our beloved walks around the ‘circle’ with teething grandchild loving every minute of it. Giggling (Brett and us) all the way as our maltipoo was scampering off here and there, joyously chasing those smells that only dogs can.

We even celebrated Thanksgiving a month early. We were so thankful to God to be all together. It’s our sanctuary that we gladly share with those who would love to come and soak up the peace and love that’s a natural part of the area and house. Though we’ll keep the teething grandchild all to ourselves thank you very much! We are blessed that all generations love gathering in the strong arms of the lodge and it’s natural 6-10′ tall rhododendrons and hardwood forest and bouncing creek. That big rock fireplace is just the place to sit back and soak in the warmth. Wouldn’t you like the family to gather here and have Thanksgiving on the Real Day? We rent by the long weekend, week, month and seasonal. Now that we have a gorgeous, wonderful (even when teething) grandson, we now stock Pack n Play, playpen, highchair etc for babies at no extra charge!

November 4, 2011 Posted by | Activities-Hikes, Fun Stuff, Mountain Magic Outdoors, Norton Creek Lodge | 2 Comments

The Promise

I’m so homesick. If I’m going to have temps in the low 30’s in Tampa, then I want to be in Highlands, NC at Norton Creek Lodge hugging the huge stone fireplace roaring its warmth! There is something sad about the ‘burnt’ formerly green bushes here in Florida. We are used to seeing GREEN during the winter months. I won’t even try to describe the huge bouganvillea covering our porch’s front entrance… going toothless with its leaves dropping.

Jeannie and Tucker from Chambers Agency ( sent us some incredible pictures of our house after one of their latest snows. It’s just stunning. You can see our Beauregard lighting the entrance way…into a snow-white wonderland. What lies ahead is: Promise. Not a single footstep, nor animal track mars the Possibilities. Life is what you make it and here’s another chance to start again! Beam me up Scotty! Where are my skiis? Wait a minute I don’t ski! I do have a sled–and the back road hill (in front of Beau by the garage) is perfect! I’m 12 again!

Under that lovely snow lies the moss that will bloom with bluette flowers this Spring..a promise of majesty I can watch by sitting on the bench and drinking in the creek and its surroundings.

If you’ve never seen snow or someone close to you has not played in it: Try Norton Creek Lodge in the winter–This year is definitely ski weather!

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Mountain Magic Outdoors, Norton Creek Lodge, Weather | Leave a comment

Changing numbers

First it said, “85”-as in degrees, in the FL garage at 6am no less. Humidity you could cut with a knife, sprinkle on cinnamon sugar and serve for breakfast. A bit later in Gainesville FL it said 77 and we knew were were on our way.

We really start looking in Atlanta.. figuring HOT ‘Lanta but yesterday it was 85 at 2pm and breezy. It actually felt a lot better than 85 at 6am in Tampa. But as they say in the tv commercials… But Wait—Dillard GA said 77 and balmy.. I love going backwards.

After a stop in Franklin NC, Lowe’s, to pick up new tile and grout, we eagerly watched the car thermometer…. drop.. Yehaw. We took Rt 64 up the mountain to say ‘heh’ to the Cullasaja Falls, Bust-Your-Butt Falls a bit farther up, people still at the Dry Falls lookout in early evening, and wow-the sunlight was hitting Bridal Veil Falls in Highlands just right. It was a glistening veil that photographers just love….not to mention people looking at their car thermometer!

As we rounded the turn in our driveway and checked one last time… 68! incredible. I was actually looking for my flannel jamies before we went to bed.
But Wait…. I turned on the electric blanket instead. Ahhh technology. cozy. Ya gotta love it.

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Mountain Magic Outdoors, Norton Creek Lodge | 2 Comments

Smiles of Daffodils

I‘m counting down the days. I know that just under that latest dusting of beautiful snow is a daffi just waiting to burst through, raising it’s bright yellow head against the winter past, giving me a trilling heart for the Spring to come. Hurry up Spring! It begins with the beautiful white blooms of Bradford pear tree all along highway 64 in Franklin NC. I watch as Spring begins there and slowly blooms up the mountain side into Highlands. That brown, quiet, reclusive time of winter changes into the incredible shades of light green coming up the mountain side into Spring. Are my bags packed yet?

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Mountain Magic Outdoors | 3 Comments

Mountain Magic

I’m dreaming of an early morning twitter of song birds, walking in soft darkness running swiftly into sunrise and lovely singing within an outdoor amphitheater.  This is my mountain introduction to the sunrise service offered by First Presbyterian Church for all who care to begin Easter Sunday under the stars tweeting into sunrise. come meet the lucky ones in Highlands, NC Nature Center Amphitheater.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Activities-Hikes, Fun Stuff, Mountain Magic Outdoors | 5 Comments