Black magic.

It’s funny how the most obvious thing can take forever to reveal itself to you.  I live in this magical little hamlet, yet for the longest time it just wasn’t *home*.  And then one day, just like that, it was.

I’ve been a resident for 3 years, 7 months, and 16 days; and on one of those days not too long ago my mind and heart quietly, unceremoniously made the switch.

After innumerable hours spent with my fingers in the dirt, countless miles run along back country roads and around my pond, and raising a happy menagerie of one daughter, six cats and five hens on our little 15 acre corner of the world . . . in the end all it took was a really good cup of coffee.  Oh, that magical black elixir. 

It helps that the brewed-to-perfection coffee is served in a space where I’m equally comfortable working away from the office, catching up on my reading, staring aimlessly out the window, or watching Nina make good use of the immense collection of games, building blocks and Lincoln Logs while sipping *her* brewed-to-perfection Sunday treat: a not-too-hot, vegan cocoa. 

Yes, there is a lovely general store that carries everything from petrol and biodiesel to local/organic produce, good quality GF pasta, Sunshine burgers and Dandies, as well as an owner/chef whose food has developed a cult following.

A cult following so strong that it led to his opening, within walking distance, a spectacular gastropub that sparked Nina’s love affair with Brussels sprouts.

A fantastic – and free! – summer long weekly music festival/farmer’s market.

A music venue that has people coming in droves.

But for this dyed-in-the-wool Chicagoan, who still feels a bittersweet pang whenever she thinks of the concrete jungle she left behind three years and seven point five months ago to try her hand at subsistence farming on a 15-acre slice of solitude, the coffee house is what made this quiet, harmonious community feel like home.

If you read the NYT travel section then you may have already heard about my little corner of the world.

It feels good to be home.


*image #s 5, 6a, 6c and 7-10 courtesy of barnstarfarm via Flickr


10 thoughts on “Black magic.

  1. That switch to “home” is always so strange and nice. I think I’m hitting that point here. I do miss the big city and I miss the life I had, but I love the slowness here & the mountains & the people. Your town sounds incredible! Plus you’re so close to Chapel Hill/Raleigh–can’t beat it!


    • I work in Chapel Hill, which is one of the most beautiful college towns I’ve ever been to. And being in CH five days a week (and just a stone’s throw from Raleigh and Durham!) definitely helped me transition from the heart of Chicago to a rural area where I can’t even have the NYT delivered.

      My husband grew up on the coast, so we’ve been there several times to camp and race. I’m hoping to explore the mountains a lot in 2012, and I take Nina on a day hike somewhere new at least once a month!


  2. Hi there, my sister lives in Saxapahaw (sorry….) and has grown to love it although she moved all the way from Surrey which is the equivalent of Connecticut in the UK (ie- well to do and very near London!) So it was quite a change for her and for me visiting, also from London. I’ve found it interesting – like visiting a very foreign country that just happens to speak the same language!! And I don’t mention how I really quite like Obama……

    I’m guessing if you’re crunchy and from Chicago it’s probably a bit of a shock for you too!!? Anyway, if you come across my sister (probably in the pub) then say hello – I’m sure you’ll hear her as she’s very English, in fact you probably know her already!!!
    Have fun!


    • Hello Sophie! I’m sure I’ve seen your sister around the pub – we go there often. I’ll be sure to say hello when we cross paths.

      It was very much a shock – not for Nina, she was only 17 months old, and not so much for my husband, who grew up on the coast and has family inland. But for me – wow. It was a good shock, though, and I’m so glad we moved here!



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