My grandparents have owned Treetops (nickname for their house) since 1985. There is a wonderful picture of my grandfather holding my sister when she was a baby (1985) on the very same couch that still sits in the living room today. One of my favorite parts about visiting Linville is being in this house. It was a great space for childhood play and exploration, whether searching for the door that the giant decorative key unlocked, or dancing around the living room to classical music with my sister. Now it represents the epitome of family and comfort, especially the fireplace, smells coming from the kitchen, and beautiful view from the back porch.
Outside of Treetops is the timelessly beautiful town of Linville, which is located in Western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I have spent my entire life visiting this place. I learned how to ski on the local ski mountain, Sugar Mountain. I had my first experiences with hiking, climbing, camping, building forts and fairy houses, and making cherry pies for my grandfather.
My family lives in northeast Florida, but for as many years as I can remember, we have been driving up to Linville, mostly in the summer and winter. When my siblings and I were younger, our family would spend a week in the fall in Linville to see the vibrant yellow, orange, and red colors of the leaves. For many years now we have been spending the Christmas holiday in Linville. A white Christmas is always preferable to a humid one.
Sometimes I feel a stronger sense of home in Linville than in Jacksonville, FL, where I was born and raised. This is because I have always preferred the mountains to the river and beach. Although I have a substantial amount of family in Jacksonville, I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Linville as well. My parents met in Linville, fell in love and got engaged all in this place. Theirs is one of the most romantic stories I have ever heard, and hope to also experience someday.