December 29-31: New Year's in Savannah
September 9-11: A Weekend in Dallas
Return to the Index for 1983


NOTE:
I have a personal entry that come here in time sequence. The page containing this entry requires a password; if you will email me at "website" at "rondougherty dot com" I will send one to you. The link to this personal entry is below:

A Personal Note
 

 

December 22-28, 1983
Christmas in North Carolina

 

After my difficulties around Thanksgiving, I was happy to get back in something of a routine, and my mood continued to improve. I still had the feeling that I needed to be around people, so I was pleased to head home to my sister's for Christmas. One thing I did notice was that even though I had my camera with me, I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do- only one at my sister's.

Rather than drive all the way from Chicago, I decided to fly to Greensboro and rent a car there; by the afternoon I had arrived at my sister's house. To get there, I left the airport and headed east on I-40 and I-85 to the usual exit for Elon, North Carolina. My sister lives about five miles northwest of the university town.

I want to show where, exactly, my sister is, but the difficulty I have is that between my visit this Christmas and the time at which I am writing this online narrative (early 2017), a lot has changed, physically, in Elon, Burlington and North Carolina, with the result that the way one gets to my sister's farm today is much different than it was at Christmas, 1983.


This week, to get to my sister's farm, I followed the same route that I have driven for fifteen years. The exit for Elon College (even that name has changed, as Elon College has become Elon University the town has changed its name officially to simply "Elon") put you on Huffman Mill Road- actually one of the streets which, if you follow it northeast, will take you to Burlington, NC, the larger city just east of Elon.

So just off the exit from the Interstate, you have to double back on Garden Road which actually goes northwest more towards Elon (blue route). It connects to South Williamson Avenue, which you take north, across US Highway 70, through the center of Elon and out to the north, eventually angling off to the northwest.

In the first decade of the 21st century, development south of Elon and Gibsonville led to a huge new shopping area along I-85, and so a new exit was constructed for access to the expressway. At the same time, a bypass was built around Elon, so that so much traffic wouldn't be going right through the center of town and right through the campus. So now, to get to the side of Elon on which my sister lives, you can get off I-85 at that new exit, and take the much-faster bypass around to her side of the college town (green route).

Anyway, once you get to the north side of Elon, my sister's farm is about three miles to the northwest, off Elon-Ossipee Road.


My sister has a really nice farm a quarter mile west of Elon-Ossipee Road. She's been in Burlington since college, and when she married Bob they bought a piece of land and built a house on it. That was twelve or thirteen years ago. Their two kids, live at home of course; Ted is 14 and Jennifer ("Jeffie") is 13.

Judy and Bob bought the land and then built a house on it; the only structure they kept when they bought the property was the old red country barn down by the road. That's where the other residents of Greyfield Farms, as Judy has begun to call it, reside; those would be my sister's horses.

There's an aerial view of my sister's property at left, but of course it doesn't show the farm as it looked this year. The biggest change between then and now (as I write this) was the construction of a new, modern, cement-floored barn up near the house, to take the place of the vintage dirt-floored old one.

I always like visiting my sister and Bob (and the kids, of course), not least because it is a chance for me to get out of my city environment and into a more pastoral one. It's good for the soul.

Of course I brought my camera, but because I was still feeling a bit "down", I ended up not taking any until a day or so before I left.


I kept busy while at my sister's. On the 23rd, I drove down to Charlotte to see my Mom. We played some bridge at the Charlotte Bridge Center, and on Christmas Eve I drove her up to my sister's house.

We had a very nice Christams; of course, Christmas is a lot more interesting when there are kids involved. Jeffie got lots of horse stuff and Ted, being "into" video games, liked the Atari games that I found for him in Minneapolis and earlier in the year. (These video games come and go so quickly that it is best to buy whatever is very popular as close to Christmas as you can manage.) That is Ted, at left, playing with one of the game cartridges that I got him.

Judy did a really great Christmas Day dinner, and on the 26th I ran Mom down to Charlotte again, staying with her another night and playing a bit more bridge. Then I returned to my sister's, and on the 29th drove back over to the Greensboro airport for a short trip down to Savannah.

I enjoyed being at my sister's house. Being around family was helping me with the vestiges of the episode of depression, but as I said I still had the need not to be alone. I was also not back to normal sexually; it still didn't seem of much interest.

 

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


December 29-31: New Year's in Savannah
September 9-11: A Weekend in Dallas
Return to the Index for 1983