A Lifetime Ago

Can you see it? The old mill village?

About one hundred years ago a little girl and her family lived in the house.

Look on the front porch and see she and her brother playing while their father worked in the mill. Mother shews the cat on to the porch and begins to sweep the porch with a well-used broom.

I see the family walking a few blocks to the mill church and a closer listen rings the melody of neighbors singing “The Old Rugged Cross.”

I see it. Images from a lifetime ago.

abandoned mill house in Rocky Mount, NC

Watch Out For Snakes

This cabin was built in 1934 It was constructed by the WPA for the mayor of Rocky Mount, NC, J.Q. Robinson. It was used as a quiet retreat. Mr. Robinson had a pet black snake. Apparently this snake liked to shed her skin on the mantle of the fireplace. This routine of the snake continued until the cabin was relocated from the deep woods to a new location by a pond on the edge of the woods in the 1950’s. Unfortunately the little snake was killed by falling fireplace rocks while the cabin was being moved.
Last year a new tenant or maybe two have begun using the cabin. Yes, the snake skins have returned to the fireplace mantle.

Many thanks to our friends Chuck and Carol Taylor for the use of this cabin and this delightful story.


She grew up in a house like this. The last of seven children and the only girl in the family. He passed away when she was still young and all she had were her memories. Her parents were educated at Harvard and her father a professor of English. Both parents were committed to education, love of family, and providing a warm and loving family environment.

Thanks to David McGirt for this reflection from his past upon viewing this painting.


Growing up in Savannah, Georgia holds many memories of being in nature. Weekends afforded me the luxury of boating on the Wilmington River sailing with a friend; fishing for shark; and attempting to water ski ( I never mastered that). Last year we had a delightful ride with old friends on that river. While enjoying lunch on the boat we encountered this familiar site; seagulls having lunch.

Old Cars

I enjoy old cars.  It reminds me of my youth and the hours I spent helping my dad, in the driveway, on most Saturday mornings do routine maintenance on the family car.   Back then it was easier to do service and repair small things gone wrong than it is today.   Old cars also remind me of the model cars I used to put together from a trip to K-mart or hobby shops I would visit.   We called it “airplane glue” down where I am from.  I would usually smell up the back of the house and have a few days of dried glue on my fingers when putting together my model cars.  

Time marches on and I have come to that realization upon my last birthday.   Next year will be a big one for me and fond memories are just a part of getting older.  So, I take the time to sketch a few cars from the past; most of them are older than me. 

1947 Cadillac
1958 Ford Edsel
1940’s Chevrolet

Saturday Drive

We live in a beautiful part of eastern NC. Just a few counties over, toward the outer banks, is the small town of Hertford, NC. Last Saturday we drove to Hertford. Along the way we picked up my sister-in-law in Gates county and ended up at the Nicholson House, a country restaurant in the community of Belvidere, NC, located in Chowan County (near Hereford). I learned on our Saturday drive that Belvidere, noted for its rural life and wide open spaces for farm land, is also the home of Wolf Man Jack, a disc jockey that most “boomers” can remember. As we drove by his house and looked at his grave in the family cemetery we racked our brains as to whether it was Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles that broadcasted his radio show. I guess it matters not; what does matter is that he is from Belvidere.

This sketch from my sketch book, The Nicholson House, is an old 19th century Victorian home converted many years ago to a lovely restaurant. We enjoyed our Saturday lunch and for a little while reminisced on life in the 19th century, shopped for deals in the gift shop, and enjoyed the beautiful day and ride in the country.

Be Still and know that I am God

Lake Wilson, Wilson, NC

Sunsets this time of year are just amazing. Whether it is at Lake Wilson; or down in Savannah, Ga. (my home town); or even the view above the grocery store in our neighborhood. The sunset helps me to stop, slow down, and think about the creator. God says “Be still and know that I am God.” Check out your sunset tonight.

Food Desert

We have the privilege of assisting in a food desert not far from our home. You may ask “What is a food desert?” A food desert is a place where there is no access to grocery stores that have nutritional food available for purchase. If the community is over 10 miles from a grocery it is a food desert.

Several years ago a small garden was begun in Conetoe, NC. That garden was to grow produce to assist the community in obtaining good food. Now that garden is a farm specializing in growing produce on 27 acres. I am glad I can do what I can to help the folks in Conetoe.

Summer Friend

On a recent trip to our favorite island, St. Simons Island, we were relaxing at the pier following our evening dinner. Sunset is spectacular each evening. Enjoying the sunset over the Sidney Lanier Bridge in the distance, I heard a noise just behind me. I turned around and behold a crusty old pelican had landed near my feet. I am told by the locals that this new friend of mine is a regular. He doesn’t seem to be bothered by humans and as we got acquainted, his presence drew a crowd of onlookers. I haven’t given him a name but I am sure there are those who have. This is an embellished representation of my new friend. I will look for you Mr. Pelican on my next visit.

This painting is on display at the Belle Arts Gallery, Behaven, NC (www.belleartsgallery.com) and is currently for sale. You may purchase greeting cards from me personally at lacount3@icloud.com


Jamestown NC

Last weekend I had enough of staying home. Anna and jumped into our car and headed East on highway 64 East with no particular destination. We just drove. We came to Jamestown and noticed on the highway an old fire truck that was sitting in a field. In looking at the headlights I have determined it is a 1970s vintage truck. This is my interpretation of the old girl. (More later about our Saturday adventure)

Jamesville, NC