Plopping down on fresh snow to make a snow angel is a pleasure that I will always treasure. Such memories go back to my childhood in Wyoming where a foot or more of fresh fallen snow was just like it is here in my High Country home. I look forward to showing my three year-old granddaughter this winter the art of snow creations. While making a snow angel comes quite easily, making a snowman is another thing altogether. There is an art to making the proper three-tiered snowman. The snow needs to be just right (a bit wetter to stick), you must master the ball-rolling technique to make a balanced body, and then you must supply fine accoutrements like carrots, prunes and sticks to finish out the details. Do it right and you can almost hear the melody of “Frosty the Snowman” bouncing off the grey winter sky.
It’s a blessing to enjoy yet another winter and to look back on the 40 years since I arrived here as a freshman at Appalachian State University in 1977. This area has been a wonderful place to rear children. I would not trade living here or creating businesses here for anything in the world. The small-town nature of each mountain community is so genuine and self-reliant, I am humbled to gain the acceptance and trust of those who have helped build these communities over time.
As we finish our 20th anniversary year, I want to thank everyone who has helped us chronicle the history and traditions of these mountains. I am honored whenever we have another chance to tell the stories of the people and culture of this region.
The landscape has changed dramatically since 1977, evidenced by the recent boom in Boone. The secret is out—this area is a magnet for those seeking a peaceful and culturally rich area. The different seasons are treasures we receive year after year. I am reminded of our task to be good stewards and take care of the land, to cherish her many gifts; they are apparent every day, and they are endless. Just the other night, I walked our dogs in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain, the sky alight in flames of pink and gold, like angels’ fire. It is those special moments that reaffirm my reasons for making this home.
I hope that as you read this issue, you are touched by the magic and wonder of the mountains. Even as things change, the best things stay the same. As you hike, explore, shop, dine, and experience all that the High Country has to offer, you too will understand the special meaning of all that surrounds us.
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