Saturday, November 24, 2012

From Spruce Pine to Paris

Last night I dreamed that I was on my way to Paris with a group of teachers.  The trip was very frustrating, though, because we kept getting sidetracked.  I just wanted to get to the City of Light- pronto.  The group was on a bus, however.  Not the recommended way to get to Paris from North Carolina, right?  And everyone else seemed to be enjoying the stopovers.  I was getting testy, shall we say, to say the least.  The final stopover was my hometown, Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

In Spruce Pine, on Upper Street, there is a footbridge that connects downtown to what used to be Harris Elementary School (I think it was also the high school my parents attended, but it is now a hotel, Pinebridge Inn).  It crosses the North Toe River.

(photo courtesy of

When I was in elementary school, our teachers would make us walk across the bridge.  It scared the living daylights out of me.  (That means I was terrified in Southern speak.)  I would dream about crossing that bridge for days before and after.  I was always afraid of falling through one of the cracks.  Maybe it was my fear of edges or my fear of water.   Probably a combination of the two.  I didn't learn to swim until I was 12 or 13 years old and I still have a very (un)healthy fear of deep water.  I used to have this recurring nightmare that I had a cute little white purse that my grandfather had given me and that I had dropped it into the river while on that bridge and it was gone forever.  I would watch it float away.
Last night, I dreamed I was on this bridge with the teacher group.  Some people were actually swimming in the river- ugh.  Most everyone was just sitting on the edge with their legs dangling over.  Some random teenager was pulling up boards and throwing them in the river.  I was very upset about this and asked him to stop.  I even threatened to call the police.  None of the other teachers were bothered about this.  They thought it was just typical teenage antics and were even laughing about it.  Pas moi.  I was probably worried about how on earth I was going to get back to the bus that was supposed to be taking us to Paris.  I finally sat down next to another teacher and expressed my dismay about the fact that we were not getting any closer to Paris by sitting on that bridge.  (I googled distances and found that it is 6794 kilometers, 4222 miles or 3668 nautical miles from Asheville- the closest airport to Spruce Pine- to Paris.)  This very nice man took my hand and in a very calm voice asked me to look past the mountains and tell him what I could see.  And you know what I saw?  I saw the Sacré Coeur, standing proudly on the highest point of Paris.

This nice man said "You see, it isn't very far from Spruce Pine to Paris.  You will be there soon."  And with that, I calmed down.  I knew he was right.  I wondered why I had never noticed that before.
The End.

Bon appétit to dreams and Happy Birthday to Son #1 who turns 25 (gasp!) at 1:08 pm today.  Je t'aime, mon fils.

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