Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide Editor | May 08, 2013

Another rainy weekend drowned out my chance to experience some local traditions. My plan was to go to Thunder in the Smokies on Saturday with the goal of finding someone to give me my first bike ride, but that didn't pan out.

It rained on Art After Dark Friday night and rained on the EcoFest Saturday at Haywood Community College. The 80th annual Ramp Festival on Sunday didn’t have much more luck. The event had to be moved inside the American Legion, which probably put a damper on attendance. I’m more hopeful for this weekend, though the 10-day forecast isn't looking too promising.

 

Relay for Life

The Relay for Life of Haywood West will kick off Friday afternoon at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. I attempted to lead our Mountaineer Newsies Relay team for the first time this year with the hopes of raising money for the American Cancer Society, but we haven’t reached our meager goal of $2,000.

But my busy, yet dedicated teammates, will surely come out Friday evening to support the cause with me. I'll be there taking photos, meeting people and walking. Perhaps we will find a way to raise money during the overnight event. Even though we may not raise enough money, I feel like we have met an equally important goal of raising awareness about cancer. We’ve told many Relay and cancer stories in the newspaper to hopefully encourage others to become involved.

So come out to the festival grounds to witness the community coming together to raise money for cancer research. The purpose of Relay is also to support those who have survived cancer and to honor those who have lost their battle with the horrible disease.

Canton will hold its Relay for Life event May 17 at the Canton Recreation Park.

 

Mother’s Day

If you are fortunate enough to still have your mother around, you should be thinking of what you could do for her this weekend. I am one of the fortunate ones because I have my mother close by. She actually moved up here with me from Florida where she had lived for more than 10 years.

She loves being back in the mountains, but we haven’t had much time to explore our new home and spend much time together with new jobs and busy lives. Even though she has to work on Mother’s Day, I’m planning an outing for Saturday if she is up to it.

Our first stop will be the Whole Bloomin’ Thing Spring Festival in Historic Frog Level. The 11th annual festival will feature everything my mother loves — local produce and plants, nature-related artists and crafters and alternative energy and eco-friendly vendors.

No matter where my mom has lived, she has always tried to have a garden. In Florida, she grew tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, lettuce and even little watermelon. If she was in a tiny apartment, she would grow herbs in the kitchen and her patio would be full of hanging planters and tomato plants. So I’ll make sure she goes home with plenty of new plants since most of hers didn’t make it through the move and the long winter.

My mom is also a reader, one trait I was happy to pick up. We just love books — Blue Ridge Books is having an author event May 11 that I don't want to miss. Illustrator and author Gwen Clifford will be reading from her new poetry book. I had the pleasure of meeting Gwen last week and interviewing her for The Guide. This woman has an incredible story. Read more about her on page 11 and come meet her at 3 p.m. Saturday at Blue Ridge Books.

Even if you don't have your mother close by, give her a call or send her a card and thank her for all she has done for you. And if you have siblings like mine, you might want to call and remind them Sunday is Mother's Day.

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