Farewell Florida! Hello Gaffney

 

Our favorite alligator came to say goodbye.

This little frog did not want us to leave.

I thought she was a dead fish surfacing. No, a great Manatee pleaded with us to stay.

Heavy hearts waived to Florida!  We did not know if we wanted to stay or go!  Tom had booked us in at the National Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, South Carolina, so we headed north.  The local Freightliner center damaged our RV and treated Tom poorly.  We were not going back.  Several neighbors told us about the stellar service at the Freightliner National Center in Gaffney, so we headed north.  No time to stop on the way!

Attached to a seat belt, Hillary slept on the top of my seat for the trip.

 

Converse College (A few miles from Gaffney)

In the 80’s Tom found a job as VP of a Lube Company when I was teaching at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Converse was very expensive and attracted wealthy southern young ladies to its doors.  It was a treat teaching in a Women’s College.  But I soon found out that I missed seeing males in the classroom.

While at Converse we purchased a home in Cowpens, SC.  The setting was peaceful and gorgeous.  On three acres backing up to a farm (with cattle), the house had an expansive family room that housed floor to ceiling windows. Three one-hundred-foot extension cords were needed to use our leaf blower on the driveway.  Didn’t they make gas blowers back then?

It was still a beauty! Look at that driveway!

We decided to find the old house.  It was still beautiful.  But the whole area had lost some of its grandeur.

The Peach

There is nothing better than breaking into a fresh peach in South Carolina, so rich, so juicy!  Farmers sell their goods along the road and offer you a bite of their melon-sized fruit.  Located on Peachoid Road, Gaffney built a water tower and honored the farmers with a huge peach.  It glistens day and night.  You can see visitors stop and worship the beautiful structure!  Awestruck! We followed.

Strawberry Hill, the Stouffer’s Outlet, and Hamricks

Regularly we made it down the road to Stouffer’s Outlet in Gaffney when we lived in Cowpens.  The store was gigantic, and we usually bought enough food for a month.  Our favorite frozen treat was chili.  We knew we had to find the outlet and relive the experience.  But it was lost.  The coordinates were correct.  Then we noticed this tiny store that boasted Stouffer’s.  Could it be?  Yes, it was, but the experience was not the same.  We did purchase a few frozen items at about 50% off.

Normally we sample local ice cream wherever we travel.  Strawberry Hill Retail Store called out to us and did not let us down!  They sold desserts and local fresh food.  Sitting in rocking chairs out in front of the store, we knew that we would return.

The best!

Hamricks is one of the best discount brand-name stores in the country.  (We think!) Arriving about mid-day, there were hundreds of very vocal people shopping in the aisles.  We bought a lot of stuff.    Weary-eyed because the store was so huge, we left and wished that there was a Hamricks near us.

No Miracles in Asheville or Hendersonville

Part of the trip to Asheville was beautiful–until they started working on the Interstate.

Tom had this idea that we should move to the mountain towns of Asheville/Hendersonville and sell our home in Missouri.  We had always loved Hendersonville when we lived in South Carolina.   Cool breezes kept the sweltering summer heat away in both towns.  A real estate agent found us.  Tons of research later, we were investigating homes.

We dreamed of living on a mountain top.  So did millions of others.  The areas we remembered were gone.  They were replaced with torn up interstates, downed trees, houses built on top of each other, and two-lane roads where locals gunned their engines and waited hours to make a turn.

Shangri-la it was not.  Almost every home needed extensive renovation.  Since Covid hit, people have been flocking to the area and buying up everything.  Houses that were still on the market were at the bottom of the heap and the prices were hefty.  Demoralized we left the dirty and grungy mountain roads for Gaffney.  We felt more at home there.

Lands of the Cherokees

Gaffney is in Cherokee County.  While I do not know if my father’s family was part of the Eastern Band of Cherokees, our names are on a book of Cherokees in Oklahoma.  On the way to Asheville/Hendersonville, N.C. we stopped at a Welcome Center.  I was grateful to see that North Carolina acknowledged that the land we were standing on once belonged to Cherokees who had lived on it for (as they say) 10,000 years.  For a split second I was very thankful to have a heritage that was so historic.

Cowpens Iron Furnace 

Taken from the net.

Click here:  http://schpr.sc.gov/index.php/Detail/properties/12044

As usual, we investigated local tourist sites while waiting for Freightliner to service the coach.  Online blogs and tourist reports told us of an iron furnace site just down the road from the National Park-Cowpens Revolutionary Battlefield.  Creeping along a gravel road, we located a stream and parking lot.  Even with a cement marker, but there was no furnace.  It was a 19th century grist mill with a dam, trough, and wheel.  Where was the furnace?  I emailed a local historian for help but not a word has come back to me.

The site was restorative.

 

Freightliner Gravel Days in the Country

Freightliner Factory Service (and training center) was a jewel of an experience.  They serviced the chassis of our RV, by changing  the oil in the engine, generator, and checking tires, replacing filters, and lubing everything.  They even balance the coach.  Newmar, our RV manufacturer in Indiana, services the house built on top of the chassis.  The very odd thing about the Freightliner site was that all the motorhomes were parked on gravel with only an electric hook-up, no water or sewer (unlike Newmar).  Million dollar Class A motorhomes were sitting on a dusty, almost forgotten parking lot in the country waiting for Class A service. Huh?

Treasures You Overlook

We are no longer Missouri residents, but it is our home.  We had forgotten how beautiful and peaceful Loch Lloyd could be.  The minute we backed up into the driveway, the house welcomed us! (And a few neighbors!)

“There is no place like home. No place like home….”

Do everything possible to keep safe in this pandemic!  

The software problem still exists with WordPress.  I am still debating what to do.  Creating this blog was like pulling weeds!  Problems pop up every minute or two!

The beautiful fields of Gaffney.

As always this post is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge

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