Monday, September 10, 2007


As is often the case, Chuck b started it and quite some time ago mind you. I guess everyone was too busy eating brownies while touring along with Chuck to think of getting out there in their own neighborhoods. Then Kim at a Study in Contrasts decided to hit the pavement. A matter of ethics was raised and well responded to and then Pam wandered into the heat of Austin.

No matter what one thinks of the ethics of posting pictures of other people's houses or the ease or lack there of to take pictures in your neighborhood and post them, this is a truly incredible look at America in 2007 and maybe soon other parts of the world. That is pretty dern cool.

It is reminiscent of Andrew Sullivan's The View from My Window. Be sure to check out Hawaii.

Not wanting to be left out I had to do a mini-tour. You can't walk my neighborhood. It is a long country road and the houses are a fer piece apart from each other. It would feel odd to me to stop in the middle of the road, there isn't much in the way of a shoulder around here, to take pictures. And frankly these people have guns and dogs and are wary of strangers.

So we'll start with the beginnings of the house next door to the resident gardeners were I am temporarily staying. Hooray! I poured the concrete around the last column today. Now I will continue to add a Heavy Duty Masonry Coating, a lot like stucco, to further water proof and protect the columns from any potential freeze/thaw damage.

Unless you are really into concrete though you are probably ready to head out.

That straw fabric on either side of my drive at the top was $23 worth. It would have cost a bundle to cover the whole hill to help stabilize it. When it stopped raining and the long term forecast was all dry, I elected to hand water the hill into germination and growth and hope I got a good start before the next hard rain. After three months with minimal erosion on a completely bare hill I think I will be fine.

Perhaps you would like to see the resident gardeners modest little mountain top home. I had to steal this picture from Tropical Embellishments.

There are a lot of these abandoned older farm houses in these mountains. My best guess is that the wiring, plumbing and insulation in these houses is so old that to renovate them would be cost prohibitive. It is much easier to plop down a new mobile or prefab home.

It is a real shame because so many of them have so much architectural and historical interest. Not all them though. And some of the abandoned homes, even in their decrepit state are more attractive than some that are inhabited. Chuck b can appreciate that.

This is Waynesville, the nearest town of any substance. It and Clyde are pretty much joined into one now, but Clyde is a bit further away. How my address in Clyde was determined is a mystery of mountain mapping.

Now this is truly my nearest neighbor and nightly visitor, a varmint. It is way bigger than the rats on Maui.

Hope you all enjoyed the mini North Carolina walkabout.


Anonymous said...

You've already picked up the vernacular, I see: "dern," "a fer piece," and "varmint." ;-)

I enjoyed your walkabout---scenic as always. I've been to Waynesville a time or two, passing through. Looks about the same.

Phillip Oliver said...

I enjoyed it. It looks like paradise to me. Are you near Asheville? I'm considering retiring in your state. It is so beautiful there.

Christopher C. NC said...

Pam that vernacular has merely lain dormant for a while, even though it managed to slip out on occassion to the amusement of some.

Phillip I am 45 minutes west of Asheville along I-40. This whole area is booming from retiring boomers.

Carol Michel said...

I enjoyed the walk-about. Certainly quite different from my subdivision. In fact, all the posts so far have been very different from one another!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

chuck b. said...

I love it when people recognize how way, way ahead of the times I am. But now people are catching up to me and I have to come up with something new... I know, kittens! No, that's not new. Well, I'll have to think of something.

I always love a walk down country roads... Living in the city, of course I crave the country.

Glad to hear your columns are set. You'll be sleeping better at night on these columns.

Unknown said...

What a fun walk--thanks for taking us around the place. It was kind of sad to see the abandoned old houses, though... and I bet you're right about the cost of refurbishing them. I live in an old house with old wiring and plumbing, but some of it has been updated along the way (particularly as it was built before plumbing was a house feature) and it seems as though the death knell for these places is when the house sits unoccupied for a while and aren't taken care of during that time.

lisa said...

Very enjoyable! Now I wanna play...

Annie in Austin said...

If I somehow found myself living in the country, Christopher, knowing that Waynesville was not so far away would be a comfort, no matter how beautiful the scenery! My female ancestors all ran from the farms to the cities.

I think you're right about fixing up the historic old houses - doesn't it take something like twice as much money to restore as to build from scratch? Maybe some of the retiring boomers will be wealthy and ready to take on the job... perhaps with a historical garden or two as the proper setting?


Christopher C. NC said...

It is very different than my old neighborhood where each lot had a house and cottage and people were so close by. It takes some getting used to.

All the new sounds are quite unsettling at this point. The resident gardeners house is very very talkative. It expands and contracts on a daily basis and there are things living in the walls. I am on a mission right now to cleanse the inside of the house of its unwelcome guests.

It is a whole new set of bird sounds and calls. An Owl made a horrendous screech above my head the other day and scared the crap out of me. They make some of the weirdest calls.

Currently a squirrel is going from oak to oak and dropping all the acorns to the ground.

And then there are all the things that are rustling out there in the dark.

I'm used to TV's, dogs, sirens, parrots and doves.

It would be nice to see some of those old farm houses redone, but that would mean the land had sold and this whole place will start changing even faster.

chuck b. said...

My grandmother's house was really noisy like that. It made big cracking sounds at one end. Very disturbing, but never really a problem. That same end of the house was always infested with spiders and I got bit all the time when I slept down there. I hate spiders.

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Ah, my favorite abandoned house.

And we've got our opposums here, too.