Thursday, May 15, 2014

Southern Season

Photo by Rachel Broom

I have deep southern roots - more than half of my ancestry - but have spent so little time in the South. Other than driving through a few times and living in New Orleans for six months over 30 years ago and visiting my sister Martha in Durham, North Carolina a few times, I have spent no time there. It really is a bit of a foreign country to me. I don't understand its settlement and am virtually ignorant of its history (other than the Civil War, of course, but that is mainly from a Northern view). Perhaps because I grew up in the Ohio Valley, I was taught and understand much better the history of what happened north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line.

I hope to change that in the future. What I have seen of the area in which my sister and her husband live, I have liked. On Saturday, after Martha's hooding ceremony and lunch, we set out to see the campus of Duke University and the adjoining Sarah P. Duke gardens.

As we were walking through the parking lot on our way back to our car, Mark pointed out this license plate to me. I laughed and said, "You sure are unlikely to see a plate like that in Utah." Then I saw the below pictured sticker in the rear window of the same vehicle. A few moments later, I noticed the license plate pictured below. Again, way different from Utah. ;)

On our way back to Martha's house for lunch, we stopped by a Chapel Hill institution, a huge speciality foodie store called "A Southern Season." (You can read an article about it here.) Mark and I had been there when we visited Martha in December 2011, and we wanted to return and show it to Rachel. It's just a really cool store, and we lucked out because that morning there were a half-dozen or so local chocolate makers offering free samples. 

One of the more interesting ones I sampled was key lime pie-flavored. Another one was a delicious dark with coconut. I asked for another sample, and the guy practically said, "Help yourself." They were so good I decided to buy some at the counter, but found out that they only had ones with nuts in them. I went back to the table and asked the guy about it. He laughingly admitted that he had forgot to bring nuts that morning, so they had to substitute coconut for the samples.

Rachel and me at Southern Season

Chocolatiers with their samples on display. I could have spent a lot more time in that part of the store.

On our way to the checkout, they had these in a cooler. Wow! I hadn't seen Nehi sodas since I was in high school. If memory serves, there was an RC Cola/Nehi bottling plant in Carmi. Hadn't seen Bubble Up for just as long.

Umm, this speaks for itself.

After brunch at Martha and Koen's house, we (Mark, Rachel and me) headed to the campus of Duke University. We planned to see the much vaunted Duke Gardens and Duke Chapel. The gardens, however, were not that impressive. We must have arrived between seasons or something. Still, it was a nice place to take a walk. It was busy because it was graduation weekend at Duke, and we would occasionally see graduates in their gowns, wanting to have their picture taken with their families. This is where the lead photo, above, was taken. It was worth it to go to the gardens just to have this picture, taken by my daughter Rachel.

Photo by Rachel Broom

Photo by Rachel Broom

We next headed toward the Duke Chapel, which is really like a mini-Gothic cathedral. Mark and I had seen the inside in December 2011, but it was unfortunately closed this past Saturday afternoon for a private service. We were able to walk around outside, however, as well as show Rachel the older parts of the campus, which were designed to give a medieval/Gothic look to the place, even though the buildings are less than 100 years old.

Duke Chapel

Rachel in front of azaleas blooming near the rear of the chapel

Photo by Rachel Broom


  1. Again, wonderful photos! You and Mark make a very handsome pair. You are lucky to have each other. May I ask a question and I hope it is not too personal: in many of the photos, I see you and Mark wearing many wrist coverings/bracelets. Is there any special significance to your bands? If too personal of a question, I sincerely apologize.

    Did you happen to see Jabari Parker when you went to Duke? (I am just kidding a little bit- he is an amazing basketball player!)

    Happy night, Duck

  2. Thanks, Duck. Mark likes to collect bracelets and is a yoga practitioner. Some of the beads are mala beads. I like to wear bracelets, too, but not as many as Mark. ;)