Christmas at the Big House

A Fairview Christmas

We went, last night, to the annual Christmas gathering at The Big House.  Our really good friends John and Annie live there now.  Some number of generations of Annie’s family has lived there forever and ever. Her dad was  our congressman during the Carter and Reagan years.

 Sherrell’s Inn: Fairview, NC                 

The first vestiges of the house were built as a stage coach stop in the 1830’s! The route from South Carolina up the mountain and into Asheville, western North Carolina. The “old” kitchen, a log structure, still has the rifle slots cut into the walls: a strong hold from which to fight off ‘highway men’ and savages of several descriptions. 

We get eggs directly from the hen house from time to time and just put the payment into the appropriately placed Mason jar. (Another story for another day ). Apples and apple cider in season. My grandchildren go to Annie and her sister Susie’s  horse camp  in the summer and we hike their mountain from time to time. Mississippi relatives all insist on making a stop at The Farm when they come up to visit.

There was a crowd! … maybe 150 folk.  There were bow ties with sport coats,  also jeans and work boots!  A 92 year old WWII hero was there. Six year olds worked their way through the throng of pressed together bodies at knee level. I saw people I see every day and visited with others I hadn’t seen in four or more years. Asheville’s elite and Fairview farmers, each equally at home.  

KFC still in the store bucket graced the table next to a platter of poached salmon and another of pit roasted pig. We had our choice of some really nice red (and white) wine or four dollar jug wine. Of course there was iced sweet tea and apple cider, of either persuasion.

Did you ever hear 150 people who are having a really good time in a North Carolina mountain setting sing Christmas carols? Backed up by musicians with varying degrees of skill? Add it to your bucket list.

Thanks John and Annie. Thanks Will and Susie.

A great holiday season to all !!


About Tom Honea

the south mississippi i grew up in did not yet have paved roads or telephones or televisions. it did have great story tellers, on front porches in the summer or around the fire place in the winter. we were poverty stricken, financially but not culturally. we didn't know it. everybody up and down the road was in the same boat. . after forty years of day jobs i am approaching my "fishing years." i plan to spend them writing. i have a finished and edited deep south novel in the "marketing" stages. currently i'm deep into a WW II home front piece set in the Hampton Roads, VA area. notes and character sketches are already underway for "From Hiroshima to Elvis" ( the ten years after the war ) on the coastal areas of South Carolina. . visit asheville ... come and see me.
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