My brother called. “Take a few days off, come up from the coast and let’s get together, we’ll have some fun! There’s plenty to do in Asheville....”

I need a hobby. I don’t WANT a hobby but I need one. When I was a young whipper snapper I had a bunch. I made model airplanes, fished, played tennis and racquetball. Rode my bike all over the place. I played a lot of air guitar but I’d say that doesn’t qualify. I was good tho. Then I got married, got kids (5) and got a job. Well, 2 or 3 of ‘em and then the hobbies just sorta fell away. Sad really. I became a “do”-er not a “be”-er. With 5 kids and 1 income you kinda have to be.

I love Asheville in the fall. Not so much the “leaves are gold and yellow and red time” but the “leaves are gone and the trees are bare” time. I live in Florida and it’s always green. Winter. Fall. Spring and summer of course so the sight of a bare tree is a curious thing. Of course, there ARE some but not a whole hillside of ‘em all together, assuming Florida had a hill.  So, I love fall time in the forest, the cool of the air that makes me put on a jacket. The distant sound of a chainsaw and the smell of chimney smoke wafting through the air and just a hint of cooling apple pie in a window.

My brother operates a bunch of cabins in Asheville, NC called Asheville Cottages. They sit in a picturesque setting on a hill (in Florida we’d call it mountain). They've got this big field there filled with this lush green grass surrounded by trees that’s perfect for the family softball game. A sack race. Water balloon fights. Red light green light. Playing tag with the grand kids and chasing fireflies at night. It’s a place I should to fit in the “be” part of my life.

Raking leaves. It was the “plenty to do in Asheville” part of the invite I shoulda seen coming. But I’m a do-er and a sucker for that southern charm plea for help so in no time flat we had us a tall pile of leaves anyone would be proud of and it was calling my name. I’m not a fit as I once was but I manage a good head of steam and as I lifted off I was 8 again and Superman and soaring through the sky and that sound of crunching leaves reminded me of all the fun in the whole wide world. I’m also reminded why 54 year old over weight men don’t run and jump on the ground no matter HOW many leaves are in the pile!

The Doc says I’ll be healed up in no time but to stay firmly planted on the ground which is sage advice. That I will ignore. “See Doc, there’s this large field there at Asheville Cottages and come November I aim to take my rake and...”