April 18-20: A Weekend in Seattle
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April 11-12, 1987
A Weekend in North Carolina


This month, I had a trip to Winston-Salem to develop some courses for Wachovia and to teach a class. The class was from Tuesday to Friday of one week, and the course development session the Monday through Wednesday of the following week, so I just stayed in North Carolina for the weekend. Now that I am together with Grant, I donít like to be away from home on the weekend, but on this particular one Grant had to work both Saturday and Sunday, so it didnít mean that I would miss too much of him.

I left the bank building late on Friday afternoon and drove the familiar route 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 weekend, and the availability of maps and aerial views fifteen year hence, a lot has changed, and the way one gets to my sister's farm is much different than it was this weekend.

This weekend, 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 street 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 has been there for, I think, about twenty years now; she lives there with her husband Bob, and their two kids Ted and Jennifer. Actually, Ted and Jennifer are 19 and 18 about now, and Ted is preparing to attend college down in Charlotte. Jeffie is just behind him, but I'm not sure where she will be going.

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 in 1987. The biggest change between 1987 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.

I had a really nice weekend visit with my sister and Bob; these visits are normally very low-key, and we do a lot of talking and reading and eating and walking around the farm. I only took a couple of pictures, and I might not have taken even those except that Judy's farm has a new arrival.

One of Judyís mares has just had a foal, and here they are out in her back pasture.

Here is the new foal, this time down by the barn at the front of her property.

It was a good visit with my sister; I enjoy coming to see her.


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April 18-20: A Weekend in Seattle
Return to the Index for 1987