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Saying goodbye with my final Tryon Diary entry

I have some bittersweet news.

Remember last June when I started writing this column, and my first topic was a birds’ nest in my back yard? My husband Paul had slung the grill cover over our fence and some birds built a nest in the folds of the stiff fabric. It was such a precarious spot for a nest, and at least one baby was lost.

I actually said in my first column, “Now we’ll be more careful where we leave our grill cover.”

Unfortunately, we didn’t learn a thing, and guess where our grill cover is at this moment. The good news is no babies were lost this time.

That was a year ago. I might not have learned how to prevent precarious birds’ nests from being built in my yard, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about living in Tryon.

When Betty Ramsey at the Bulletin asked me to write about people and events here, I wondered what (and who!) I might discover. Every week I’ve shared my diary with you, and I’m sure it has been evident just how much I love my life here.

But just like the little birds in my yard, I’ll be leaving my home soon for my next adventure. Paul has started a new job—a dream job, really, and an amazing opportunity, and we’re moving to Arizona.

Arriving here in Tryon almost four years ago felt like coming home after 27 years in Los Angeles. I grew up in these mountains, and my childhood memories are of barefoot summers in the neighborhood woods near my house in Asheville. My mountain summer this year will be cut short, and I will miss this place and my beautiful Tryon home.

We’re keeping our house, and will visit as often as we can. Like many Tryon residents, our plan is to retire here. But we’re not ready for that just yet.

For now, I’m off to my next chapter—a life in the desert in the big city of Phoenix.

My thunderphobic dog, Bailey, will be happy to move to a place with only eight inches of rainfall a year, and my three Chihuahuas, Max, Bernie and Joey, will love the hot climate. Every winter here, they’ve looked at me with “You know we’re from Mexico, right?” on their cold little faces.

This is where we said goodbye to our sweet Siamese cat, Jade, and to Suki, our funny little Chihuahua (from whom I swiped my pen name for writing fiction) who lived to be 19. Thank you to the wonderful vets and staff at Bonnie Brae Veterinary Hospital for taking care of our fur family.

Thank you, Betty Ramsey and Claire Sachse, for the opportunity to write this column as well as articles for Life in Our Foothills magazine and the Visitors Bulletin.

And thank you, dear friends and readers, for coming along with me on this journey of discovery. You have made me smile every week as I put together a new diary entry. I’ve learned about the Mule Club, rented goats, local art, local food, local color, and more festivals, steering committees and non-profit organizations than you can shake a stick at (although I can’t imagine why you’d want to shake sticks at them).

Thank you to every person who has stopped me at the IGA, Town Hall, the post office, bank, movie theater, TFAC, and every restaurant, art gallery and shop in town to tell me they’ve enjoyed the column. I truly can’t express how much your support has meant to me.

One friend said he thought he spotted a tear rolling down Morris’s face after hearing of our pending departure. Of course, I laughed, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t shed a tear myself at the news.

I will miss living in this place, and I’ll miss the people I’ve come to know and love. And I’ll miss sitting at my desk every week telling you what I’ve learned in my Tryon diary. It’s been a pleasure and an honor. Keep my place warm for me. I’ll be back.