The countdown is on.
This is the first day of my last week as an Asheville resident, and I’m not really sure how to feel. I am SO excited to start this new adventure in our new city – but Asheville has my heart. This is where I went to high school, where I learned to drive a stick shift, where I fell in love for the first time, felt my first heartbreak, graduated high school. This is where I came to start my grown-up life with Josh.
This city is a treasure chest of memories. A time capsule full of moments that turned me from who I was into who I am.
Instead of feeling sad, I’ve decided to talk about some of my favorite things about this place. Starting with my chair.
From my chair at work, I can see my favorite building. I can keep an eye out for the ghosts that are rumored to haunt the top floors.
I can watch the kids (and the fun adults) with jealousy as they splash each other in the fountain behind the Vance Monument.
My window opens a little, and through the tiny door just above the sill, I can just feel the breeze as strains of music filter in through the screen. Right now, there is a saxophone player on the corner of Broadway and Patton. The Church St. bell towers mark the passing of each hour, and at noon, one of them plays a sweet, slow version of “God Bless America.”
On Thursdays, the Veterans for Peace gather in front of the monument and cars drive by all afternoon, honking their support for the cause. Every once in a while, a group will march through the square, chanting and cheering with signs and megaphones.
Thunderstorms from this chair are magnificent. Wind whips around the building, howling and pelting my window with rain. I can see people scurry for cover or just give up and give in to the storm. I can see lightning striking the mountains that encircle downtown. I can see the storm coming from miles away, clouding the distant peaks, rolling in closer until it suddenly swoops in and turns downtown into one big puddle for an hour or two.
I can see the streets I wandered up and down, holding hands with my date or arm in arm with my friends. I will forever consider this place to be my hometown, and proudly. Living in Asheville opened my world up – bringing me new ideas, new friends, new experiences, new favorites. My chair has given me the perfect vantage point to look down and see my city for the treasure that it is: a strange and beautiful melting pot nestled in the crook of our elderly mountains. A beautiful city that I consider myself lucky to have called home. I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to stop.