Adventure: Asheville

Adventure: Asheville

A weekend at the LEAF festival
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I know what you're thinking: how lame am I that October is almost over and I've only just had my first weekend of adventure as a college student!! However, that adventure has come and gone and I am so excited to write about my weekend in Asheville, North Carolina at the LEAF festival!

For starters, lets talk about Asheville. Asheville is located in western North Carolina right in the middle of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains, and is known for its arts culture and historic architecture (hint: the Biltmore Estate!!). On top of it's beautiful scenery and location, Asheville is very well becoming one of the biggest and best cities for music and arts! There are too many amazing venues to count in the downtown area, including "The Orange Peel", rated in the top five music venues in America by Rolling Stones, where we went to see "Mandolin Orange", a North Carolina-native bluegrass duo on Friday night!

After a long night at the Orange Peel and a couple hours of sleep, we bundled up to head about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville to Black Mountain, North Carolina, where we spent the day at the LEAF Festival. Sitting just below Mt. Mitchell and surrounded by Lake Eden and the Blue Ridge Mountains, The LEAF Festival, Black Mountain, and Asheville may have been one of the most beautiful places I've been in my entire life. At the LEAF festival we watched and listened to some music acts, some local and some not, including Shel, and Too Many Zoos, both pictured below!!

Shel, LEAF 2016

Along with some great music, the LEAF festival had tons to offer including Local and hand crafted vendors selling jewelry, clothes, accessories, soap, candles, etc., poetry slam, yoga classes, martial arts, singing, fiddle, and banjo workshops, crafts, aromatherapy, and much much more! Our day included instrumental yoga, soap-stone carving, an attempt at beginning aromatherapy, a few concerts, and countless cups of hot-chocolate!!

Nap time during instrumental yoga!

The theme of this year's October LEAF festival was "Carnival Of Wonder" and it was nothing short of that! The Hippie population was through the roof, the activities and music were on point, and it was such a fun weekend to embrace the fall weather!! (55 degrees, to be exact!!) All in all, my first college adventure, first time shooting a music festival, and first time in North Carolina, made a weekend for the books. For more information on Asheville, click here, and for more information on this years and future upcoming LEAF Festivals, click here!! I highly recommend taking a visit to the amazing city of Asheville!

Cover Image Credit: Becca Colehower

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To The Girl Who Still Has Her Mom This Christmas

To the girl with who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas. 
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     To the girl who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas, please remember to soak every last bit of it in. 

      Please remember to hug her so tight, that the way she smells is locked into your nose. Listen to all the stories you've heard a million times, like you've never heard a single one. Help her, even if it seems completely silly to you, help her mix that cake. Laugh, oh please laugh. Laugh at all her corky ways, at the way she mispronounces words, try's to be hip and use new found lingo, or how she cusses when she forgot to get the rolls out of the oven but quickly asks the Lord for forgiveness. Remember her laugh, etch it into your brain. Make her happy, if she wants to go riding around looking at Christmas lights down the same streets you've went for years, do it. Don't fuss, take her advice, agree to just disagree on things. It's not worth it. Most importantly, remind her over and over how much you love her. 

     Because unlike you, I'm not able to see my mom on Christmas. I'm not able to see her on birthdays, Thanksgiving, or any other occasion. My time with her is up. Death is the most permanent heartbreak. 

     How I long to hear her voice, her laugh. To feel her tight embrace. Smell, oh god, what I would give to just be able to smell her. I would absolutely love to go riding around for hours while she ohhs and ahhs at every single house we pass. If I had the opportunity I'd tell her just how much I love her, how I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices she made for me. In fact, I'm not sure I could ever tell her enough. 

      Some days I wake up and it still doesn't feel real. Others, I panic trying to remember exactly how she sounded. Because, I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget a single characteristic about her. Not one. 

     Take time, not just on holidays, or special occasions to be with your mom. Even if it's just you two piled up watching reruns of "The Little House on the Prairie", soak it in. 

    You only get one momma. Nobody could ever take her place. She's your rock. 

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The Next Chapter: A Poem

Her old room reflects reality and glimpses of high-school-era glory.

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Writer and recent divorcee

writing about her life

returns to her childhood home

the very subject

to some extent her brand

observes the results.


A 40-year-old blocked experiment

exquisitely comedic

with mercurially melancholy moods

she comes, stifled.


Attempts to recapture fall flat

reliving her own past

moves back.


She persists in crying

more likely to bask in

awkwardness and embarrassment

than adulation, or leave behind

beats subtly borrowed from her love life, her world,

her troubled relationships.


Her old room reflects reality

and glimpses of high-school-era glory.


She hopes that passions

sprung from a lifetime of habits

will inform a potentially bright future

a narrative lightbulb

the switch just beyond her fingertips.

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