Friday, November 04, 2011

carolina grace

View from my hotel room.  I opened the shades my first morning and involuntarily said out loud, "Oh wow."  I had a lot more "wow" moments the rest of my trip.
Get ready for a lot of pictures, y'all!  Coming from me, you know that's a ton.  I couldn't help myself, though.  Grace abounded the past several days.   We begin our tour of enchanting North Carolina with that charming village of Cameron.

(Starting with, of course, the most delightful place of all: Cameron Pres!)

They've just completed building renovations and restored all of their old pews.  It's open, welcoming and inspiring.  I was able to sneak into worship last Sunday (though folks are so friendly I'm not sure how covert the operation really was).  It was very difficult not to have a cheesy grin plastered to my face the whole service: the music brought tears to my eyes, the engagement of the congregation with the preacher was natural and warm and the depth of prayer was so powerful.  I am overjoyed to be called to that dynamic community.

 I had lunch at this delightful deli with hilarious Cathy, and of course had the "Cameron" sandwich.  This quaint restaurant is below a tempting antique shop (one of several in Cameron).

I loved this little picture in the antique shop (but not enough for $100 thankyouverymuch).

Another cute antique shop in Cameron.  I know it's probably not great for the roof, but I love the moss growing on it.  It reminds me of Ireland. 

I took this picture on really looked like a festive tree for the occasion.   This tree is in the park in Cameron named after a vibrant ninety-nine year old woman in the church (whom I had the pleasure of visiting my last night there).

I even discovered a Coke in a glass bottle to sip as I enjoyed my antiquing amble around town.
And this might just be the backyard of where I'll be living in NC.  And that precious house might just have a guest room (hint, hint).

 This ancient pine tree is one of many in that backyard, complete with an elf door!*
*As a child, I believed that elves lived in trees and came in and out through doors like these.

I had some delightful dinners with folks from the Pastor Nominating Committee and Alice gave me some homemade peanut butter fudge for a nightcap.

I had a wonderful afternoon with Ed and Lois visiting some gardens at the Sandhills College.  Ed enjoys taking pictures as much as I do (and Lois was very patient with our stopping every few steps to take some snaps).

 Love those longleaf pines.

You're loving North Carolina as much as I am already, aren't you?  We still have two more delights to see: the painted barns and the quirky elegance of downtown Southern Pines.

First, those brilliantly-hued barns.  A New York artist brought several of his friends back to Cameron, his hometown, and painted old barns in fantastical ways.

 This one is my favorite: it looks like a lollipop tree.

 (I love this little one!)

 A very, um, alien take on American Standard.

There's something relaxing about watching birds lazily swoop over fluffy cotton fields.

They also showed me gorgeous autumn trees.  I couldn't get enough of the towering trees everywhere.

 (This is Lois' favorite tree.  It just may be my favorite, too.)

I absolutely fell in love with downtown Southern Pines.  A train running through it, delicious coffee shops, colorful quirky shops, much to see!  I went back a few times.

 White tree of Gondor perhaps?

 I'm going to have a lot of fun frequenting this place.

There are several defining characteristics of Cameron Pres folk that I've picked up on so far: warm hospitality, a deep faith in God and one another, fantastic senses of humor and...a love for dogs!  Here's one of Cathy's (Jackie Chan, I believe) all dressed up as a bumblebee.  Hilarious.

And here is Bob and Alice's dog, Ruby, whom Bob quickly informed me was "The Best Dog in the World."  I modified that to the best female dog in the world (as I clearly have the best male dog).  She is adorable, very welcoming and has an uncanny ability to know when visitors are coming and waits expectantly fifteen minutes before they arrive.  And she's also quite the gymnast here.

What an amazing journey.  I can't wait for it to continue!


Lynn said...

What a gorgeous place - I'm thrilled for you.

E Hendrickson said...

You captured the start of many Glimpses to come. Welcome to the neighborhood!


Tom Tate said...

And they are showing "The Guard" an Irish film in the cinema! A good sign...

BeluBelloBelle said...

Those are great, you made me fall into that place (^_^)

Cathy said...

What wonderful photographs you have taken Whitney! OK - it is on now! We will have to have a "Best Dog in the World" Contest when you arrive! It will be ok if we have "Best Dogs in the World!"

Austins said...

You have captured Cameron and highlights of your visit so beautifully in photography and words, and Ruby is now pacified since you have posted her pictures. All dogs are the best, and we have the best coming our way in human form! The month will fly by for sure...[';']

Painted Peacock Photography said...

Take us with you! -Ash

Jane said...

So excited for your arrival here with us. There is still so much for you to discover in the people as well as the places.

Terry Kerr said...

Judy and I would like to welcome you to our small, but wonderful church. I hope you will be spending the Christmas season with us. By the way, You are quite the photographer. Terry Kerr

Whitney said...

Thanks everybody! :) (Can't wait to meet you & Judy, Terry! Cameron seems delightful.)