Hustle and bustle and the gift of friends and neighbors

My current life is normally quiet, with the ebb and flow of walks and coffees with friends, volunteer programs and classes, and participating in outreach.

My work life was pretty conventional, too, now that I think about it; I prepared classes, taught them, led field trips,  organized winter symposiums and seasonal classes, did summer science camps, developed interpretive signs and newsletters, etc.  No hubbub, there, aside from the work drama that poked up from time to time.

It's been interesting now to have the pace pick up recently, as the "holidays" approach, with a holiday potluck for the YMCA's volunteers on Friday, a coffee-tasting program on Saturday, and then a lovely visit with friends at Biltmore Estate this afternoon, followed by a neighborhood holiday party.

All lovely.  But I'm realizing that I need more quiet time than I think;  yes, it's great to connect with new people (it's the only way to make new friends, after all). But I'm tired tonight!   So the hustle and bustle of the holidays -- well, I'm not going to embrace that, thanks very much.

An early morning walk-through of the Grove Park Inn to see the Gingerbread House competition - nice.

The daytime visit to the house at the Biltmore Estate today -- well, that's now enough for the next couple of years, although I will say the tour is a lot more expansive than it used to be, and the holiday decorations -- outstanding.

We love being Biltmore passholders, but that's really for the estate grounds, not the house.  It's such a pleasure to be able to visit the walled garden, the spring garden, walk to Bass Pond, and walk along the French Broad River paths from Antler Hill Village to the lagoons and back.  Not to mention how nice the landscape is now-- at Antler Hill Village -- really quite nice for a "commercial" landscape.

My favorite winter views are the oaks, envisioned for the landscape and planted via Olmstead's design.

March, 2016
Here's what I wrote about it then.


  1. Sounds like a great day, Lisa, but I understand your need for quiet. I have it, too. It was a beautiful day to be out and about.

    1. We were lucky to have such beautiful spring-like weather yesterday and today!


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