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I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life, but never really appreciated it until the past couple of years. I honestly feel as though I live in one of the greatest places on Earth. I just absolutely love it here. It’s beautiful and full of so many unique, genuinely good people. Tourists come from all over the world to see some of the things I get to see every day and they always talk about how nice everyone is.

Buncombeā€‹ County is a whole other story. It is home to some of my favorite places, mainly Asheville and Black Mountain. They are both full of creative, outstanding people who are motivated to change the world. It’s rare that you find any chain restaurants or stores, mostly everyone shops locally. There’s so much talent in these mountains and they find such creative ways to share it. When I go on vacation, I usually have to really search for those good hole in the wall places. Asheville, that’s all there is.

Positive energy is in the air and everyone gets along. It’s pure happiness around here.

I’ve had a pretty rough month, just lots of different stuff happening, lots of crap to deal with. My fiance has also had a pretty rough month and he’s had to deal with my attitude. šŸ˜ So, we decided we we’re gonna relax and have a good time this weekend and of course there’s no better place to lift your spirits than Asheville, NC.

We relaxed Friday evening, eating a good home cooked meal, playing with my cat, Blue,  and watching the new movie “CHIPS”. We both went to bed early because we knew we had a good long day ahead of us. We woke up bright and early and headed up the mountain.

Our first destination was Smiley’s. Now isn’t that just the best name? Smiley’s is a huge flea market in Fletcher, NC. You could live there and never have to leave. They have anything you could possibly ever need. There’s even an automobile section where you can have just about anything done to your vehicle. There’s also these shops with authentic Mexican food and some of it just really can’t be beat. There’s one particular spot that makes the best chicken quesadilla in the world. I’m serious.

Anyways, we rummaged around awhile. Colby found him a couple of antique lighters to add to his collection and I found me some CDs to listen to in my new car. The Soul didn’t have a CD player so I’ve been pretty excited about having one now.

The second destination was at The Garage on 25. We didn’t actually go inside the garage, they were hosting a vintage/handmade market. We piddled around there a little while. I found some fantastic ideasā€‹ for my wedding, some super cute handmade things only found in Buncombe County. We were able to make it to all of the tents before it became a treacherous storm outside. We made it back to the car right as the rain began to come down.

We traveled through the storm back to Asheville and headed straight for Barnes & Noble where we spent the next three hours. Colby got a bunch of little gadgets and after three hours, I finally decided on one book. About two hours into our escapade, Colby’s brother arrived along with his girlfriend. They spent the last hour with us and then we all headed downtown Merrimon to watch an outdoor movie.

This was probably the funnest part of my day. The movie was an old classic, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. There was a food truck supplying the moviegoers some of the best fries in town. There was a very diverse group of people watching the film and we all shared a lot of laughs. I will definitely be going to do that again. Oh, and it’s free!

Our final destination was at a pizzeria where we met some really awesome people and played some pool. Afterwards, we were walking the streets back to the car and met even more people. We first came to a wall that was covered in things people wanted to do before they died. There was a bucket of chalk so that anyone who passed could write. We wrote a few things and kept walking. We then ran into about 10 guys who were out having a bachelor’s party. They were dressed very exotic and they were hilarious. We snapped some photos for them and I was even able to capture a video of them singing.

We walked all the way back to the car where we ran into a homeless man. We talked to him for about an hour, practically got his whole story. He’d been sleeping under a bridge with absolutely no kind of blanket or pillow. I had a very nice fluffy comforter in the back of my car and we sent him on his way with it. It was kind of a sad way to end a happy night, but it felt good.

Anyways, what a fun weekend. After everything going on in life right now, it was nice to laugh again.

By the way, I highly recommend visiting the mountains of North Carolina.

 

Goodbye, Soul

I have had a lot on my mind lately. My life has changed in quite a few ways, very quickly. Some good changes, some bad. I’m not stressed or worried about anything, just in heavy thought. The wedding, obviously, has taken up a lot of my thinking, trying to picture exactly how I want my big day. The other portion of my thoughts have been problem-solving on how to fix the bad changes. Both of these things have completely consumed my mind.

It cost me a vehicle.

I had a few used vehicles as a teenager, crashed and totaled the first one and the other two just had major issues. I bought my very own brand new Kia Soul in 2015. I was so very proud of it and I took great care of it. I never missed a payment, never missed an oil change. She was running good. My plan was to drive it until the wheels fell off. Well, I drove it up until about a week ago.

I arrived to work around 10:40 pm. I gathered my things from the car and proceeded to walk in. As I am walking, I see something out of the corner of my eye, so I turn and my Soul is rolling backwards. At first, I jumped and ran maybe two steps, but then quickly realized there was nothing I could do. I had to stand there and watch my Soul drive off into the great unknown. It was literally the most helpless feeling in the world.

It soon made its way into the main driveway where cars enter the facility. There are no lights in that area, so it was very dark and my car was black with no lights on. There were a couple of cars coming up the driveway and I don’t think they could see the runaway Soul, so I had to start flailing my arms around to try to get these people to stop. Thankfully, my shenanigans worked and my Soul was able to keep on rolling.

Next, it proceeded to run up onto a curb and then leisurely make its way down a field where it smacked into a tree. I was thinking, okay this shouldn’t be too bad, so I made my way to the wreckage to take a look at the damage.

It was bad.

The whole trunk was destroyed, window gone. The roof and part of the left side was damaged and there were pieces of my Soul laying all over the ground. It was still drive-able, so I took it back to my parking spot to further access what I had done to the poor Soul. At this point I really didn’t know what to do, so I called my father and he let me vent for a minute. I then called my fiance who told me “well, that’s what insurance is for”. I realized he was right and headed on in to work.

Everyone was asking why I was late and I began to tell them about what I had done. The car was a manual transmission and I forgot to pull the emergency brake when I parked the car. Everyone felt bad for me, but we got some good laughs out of it. Nobody was hurt and nothing was damaged besides the car, so it was okay to laugh at my stupidity. My boss said he ran into an old lady coming in, who was apparently frightened by the scene. She didn’t realize it was a wreck, though. She thought someone was in a hurry to get home from work, so they backed up really fast onto the curb and didn’t have their lights on yet. That also got a great laugh.

So, the next day, I took the car in to be looked at and the damages were more than the car was worth, so I had to say goodbye to the Soul. I was pretty heartbroken, but luckily, I had purchased gap insurance when I bought the car (which I recommend) so everything was covered and I was able to purchase me a brand spanking new Honda.

Everything is fine, but my clogged up mind cost me my Soul.

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YES

There’s a few good laughs and memories I could share about my trip to Clearwater, Florida with my boyfriend Colby. Some of these things include: the altercation with a crazy man at a sketchy convenient store, our trip to see Winter and Rufus fromĀ Dolphin Tale, the old folks at the antique store, the spectacular typewriter we found (and bought), Colby breaking the blinds to our condo door, figuring out how to win tons of tickets at Dave & Buster’s and going home with a drone, the kid who literally squeezed in between Colby and the game he was playing, and took over, becoming burn victims after a day at the beach, watching a man escape from a straight jacket and 50 pounds of chain, getting our portraits drawn by a French guy who never quit smiling, a very old lady trying to walk a dog that definitely did not want to be walked, witnessing a dude crash on roller blades, meeting Gill, our trip to Busch Gardens and realizing we’re not as young as we once were, our trip to St. Petersburg and talking to the animals at Sunken Gardens, getting screamed at for failing to completely stop at a stop sign, the air conditioner quitting and our room reaching 84 degrees, spending way too much money at a record show, and encountering some really good people along the way.Ā Although all of these things brought me some good laughs, something far better happened on this vacation.

On Tuesday, our first full day there, it was storming. It was obvious that the things we were wanting to do just were not going to happen, so we did a little antique and pawn shopping. It actually ended up being a very lovely day. We found some great spots, met some cool people, and found some awesome deals. Once we were shopped out, we headed to a little Italian restaurant to have dinner. They had the tiniest salt and pepper shakers I have ever seen which had me laughing for awhile. We couldn’t pronounce anything on the menu and neither could our waitress, so that was fun. It actually wasn’t raining while we were there, so we sat outside on their patio. It was a very romantic little dinner. When we were done and heading back to the car, it started to rain again, so we decided to call it a night and hang out at the condo.

We weren’t really doing a whole lot, but man we were having a good time. We were just happy to be with one another, away from home, away from work. We were just being the goofies that we are and enjoying every minute of it. This lasted awhile until somehow we ventured off into a deep conversation about life, each other as individuals and the relationship as a whole. Now, if anyone knows me, you know I live for this type of connection and you know that this relationship has been an absolute train wreck up until about 8 months ago. We have been dating for over 7 years now and the majority of that was a very, very dark time. It wasn’t until August of last year that things began to change. So, at this moment with him, my soul was completely overwhelmed with joy. I was almost in tears just realizing that the bad days were over, that we were finally happy and moving forward.

Just when I thought the evening couldn’t get any better, Colby stopped me in the middle of what I was saying and told me to hold on a second. He ran to the bedroom, ran back out and said he had two questions to ask me about what I had just been talking about. He asked the first question, I answered, and then he got down on one knee to ask the other. I immediately burst into tears, grabbed him and just kept repeating “I can’t take it”. That’s really how I felt, like I was just going to bust. I was so overwhelmed. Of course he starts to cry and we both fall to the floor holding each other so tight I don’t know how we were breathing.

After a few minutes of squirreling around in the floor, he began to tell about his adventure with the ring and the plans he originally had that were cancelled due to the rain. I eventually realized I needed to say something, so I stopped him and said “wait, I have something to say”. He answers with a “what” and I say “YES”. The crying and squirreling started all over again. We spent the rest of the night smiling, laughing and staring at one another. Every once in awhile I would flash the ring around and that was something I continued to do the remainder of the trip.

Colby was very excited that night, but the next day he was a little upset that he didn’t get to propose the way he wanted (in a hot air balloon), but honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was beautiful. We spent the rest of our vacation as fiancees and it was wonderful. We were on cloud 9 all week, still are.

Now I’ve got loads of planning to do and probably tons to write about. Here’s to a beautiful life with my best friend.

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My First Blog!

So, here I am, finally starting my own blog. Weird, but cool. I’m not real sure where I conjured up the nerves to do something like this but, apparently I’m going for it. I’ve always been known for my stories and been encouraged to share them. So, I guess this is me trying to do that.Ā 

My life has been pretty unpredictable so far, so I assume this blog will be that way also. I love to have fun and I love to laugh. While my life is not always exciting, I enjoy telling stories of the exciting things that do happen.Ā 

So, just as I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, I have no idea what I’ll be writing about next. Hopefully my life doesn’t become boring after I’ve decided to start this blog and I’ll have some great stories to share.Ā 

I guess this is mainly for myself and for all my friends who have always wanted me to do this, so to my friends: you better read my blog. šŸ™‚

Love,Ā 

HarlsĀ