By Lynn R. Mitchell
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl!
In 1987, October 3 was a Saturday just as it is this year which has opened a flood gate of memories that take me back to twenty-eight years ago today. It had been warm in Iredell County, NC, that fall — typical for our western Carolina location — but a cold front was expected to pass through on Friday night, October 2, that would significantly cool down our area located at the Brushy Mountains, the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Even though I was nine months pregnant, we were preparing to attend the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival just as we did every year, located thirty minutes up the road in North Wilkesboro.
The expected cold front came through that Friday night, and Saturday was overcast and cool but instead of attending the festival, we began the day with the newest member of our little family. Three-year-old Matt was at the hospital with us, sleeping on my bed and watching Saturday morning cartoons as he waited to find out if he had a little baby brother or sister. We had two names picked out: Katelyn for a girl, and Andrew for a boy. We got our Katelyn and her dad promptly wrote “Katy” on the name card located in her nursery bassinet.
Katy and Colin
Toes in the James River, RVA.
My sweet Mary Baldwin College girl.
From that day on, our family was complete. Katy and Matt formed a sibling friendship that continues to this day. Ever the big brother, he was helpful with her from the beginning, and she gravitated to him before she could walk. Homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th, she graduated from Mary Baldwin with honors, and then married in a beautiful ceremony overlooking the mountains of western Virginia, bringing a young man into our family who was loved not just by her but by us. Today she is a bubbly, organized, and adventuresome young woman who loves the beach and hiking and baking and flowers and autumn, and sheep and cats … and so much more.
She is definitely my traveling child, perhaps best captured by one of her favorite quotes from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Today we send our love as we celebrate the day we were blessed with a little girl named Katy.
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” -Winnie the Pooh
At Duffs’ maple barn during Highland County Maple Festival. The tourism magazine asked to use my pic of them listening to the sugaring process.