In the thirty years that Abe and I have been in Indiana, we have made almost all our friends at the church where I’m now employed. Of those friends, four couples have become our inner circle. One of those couples moved away last year to Asheville, and we stayed overnight with them on our way down to Georgia, where we would spend a few days with my brother’s family.
Kevin and Cindy decided it was time to make a change before they got too old to enjoy it, and last summer sold pretty much everything and moved to Asheville. We have kept in touch, as have the rest in our circle of friends. They have a large older home with a garage under the house big enough to hold six cars. Kevin is in heaven; he has the gift of carpentry and is setting up his workshop down there.
Abe and Ben had driven down from Indiana (in my convertible), stopping briefly in Henryville to see firsthand the damage wrought by tornados a few months ago. Abe was conscious of being respectful and asked locals about viewing the area. Abe wanted Ben to see the devastation and the help that was needed in an area hit by tornados. They stayed somewhere in Kentucky that night and picked me up at the Asheville airport the next day. We headed for Kevin and Cindy’s home.
After we were ensconced in the guest rooms, we had dinner at home and then headed out to see downtown Asheville. It was packed, and the demographic skewed young. It looked like a college town, which Asheville is. We had ice cream in the middle of all the activity while the Friday drum circle boomed nearby. Its reputation as an arts community was also evident in the diversity of the crowd and businesses.
The next morning Cindy drove my convertible and took us all on a tour of the Biltmore Estate, where she works in the winery. I’m the only one in my family to have seen the Biltmore House, but we didn’t have time to do it justice. There are still Vanderbilt family members who live in modern homes on the estate, and Cindy said a few live in private areas of the mansion. On this day, seeing the grounds was all we could do, but it was pristine and filled with blooms.
After the tour we said our farewells and headed south. We would see Kevin and Cindy in a week in Chicago.