I needed to get away before the fall semester begins. I convinced my husband to drive the three hours to North Carolina to the small town of Franklin, a place we’d never been. Not a lot to do in Franklin, but we weren’t looking for a lot to do. I was looking for a place to unplug from email for three days.

Because I successfully unplugged, I saw and experienced some pretty cute things that I wouldn’t normally get to see and do.

The first night in Franklin we went to historic downtown to eat at a local restaurant. While walking down the sidewalk, we saw a little girl, about seven, rummaging around in a dollhouse -looking thing with books in it. Beside her was her grandmother. The girl seemed very excited to be selecting a book. Before long she took a thin children’s book, and she and her grandma strolled on down the way. She looked as pleased as any library patron I have ever seen.

We stopped to look at this thing from whence her book had come. The Little Free Library, it said.   Take a book, leave a book.  How cute is that? We spoke later of how we were glad we had seen that simple exchange.

Later in the week, when I got home, I Googled the concept. Depending on what article you read, there are potentially 15,000 of these Little Free Libraries world-wide started by a guy to honor his book-loving mother, and to promote literacy and community.  Well, let me tell you that the one in Franklin, NC is working!

The next morning we drove to Highlands, NC via a very curvy road with beautiful views and sharp drop-offs. We saw some pretty water falls. There was a nice coffee shop downtown, so we started there. Then we did a bit of shopping. My husband bought me and my granddaughters smooth stone hearts….sweet and thoughtful.  I bought a Christmas ornament for our tree. Something to help us remember the trip. We headed back down the mountain road.

When we got back to Franklin, we ate at a local diner downtown and visited the shops that had been closed the evening before. We split up and headed to different sides of the street. When we finally met up, I said, “They really like their stuff in this town,” referencing the over pricing. “I bought you something,” my husband replied. “Did they really like it?” I asked about the price. “Not too bad,” he offered, “ten bucks.”

“I almost bought you something that also cost ten dollars,” I said. “It was a wooden thing that said PLEASE DO NOT PEE OFF OF THE PORCH.”   He handed me a brown bag with handles. When I got in the car I reached in the bag;  I pulled out the blue sign that said, PLEASE DO NOT PEE OFF OF THE PORCH.  I’m not saying why both of us would find the sign such a perfect gift.  Some things are just better left unsaid.

Later that afternoon we saw the movie Jason Bourne in a building that looked to have been built in the 80’s. There were three theatres, no stadium seating. The sign out front was the kind that was changed with a long stick, like the gas stations once used to update the gas prices.  The matinee price was $5. Sweet.

There were six to eight retired couples in the theatre. Oh, so that’s what retired people do at 4:30 on Tuesday afternoons. Nice! I look forward to it. They were a quiet bunch which was great. It’s the main reason I don’t go to the movies much any more.  Rude audience members. BTW, the movie is good, with a compelling ending that sets up perfectly for the next in the Bourne series.

I have to really concentrate on unplugging and be purposeful about it. I don’t do it often.  By unplugging I am referring to, of course, not reading and responding to my  email and texts. But, when I do unplug, I am rewarded with sweet gifts that I wouldn’t normally see or experience.

Have you unplugged lately?  What rewards did you reap?



Sharpsburg Little Free Library

Little Free Library, Wikipedia


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