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Happy New Year

from Laughing Waters and

Hickory Nut Forest!

 
It is always fun, and sometimes a bit humbling, to reflect on the past year while welcoming in the new one. 2016 was full of surprises! Here are some of the unexpected things that transpired for us on the mountain in 2016.
One of the most exciting things to happen was that the Hickory Nut Forest community doubled in size! We are so happy to welcome all the new lot owners and our future neighbors. And it is especially exciting to welcome the sweet family who now live in the house John recently built on Fern Cove Lane. 2017 promises to be another year of growth with more new homes going up.
Our annual "You Pick Day" in the orchard started out being very low-key, or so we thought.  We announced the event on our FaceBook page and expected perhaps a few dozen pickers to come. However, WLOS had picked up our post and broadcast it on the news the night before. Afterwards, we estimated that around 400 people came to get apples this year!
The community garden got a face lift with new raised beds in the big garden and more strawberries, blueberries and asparagus in the perennial bed.
The wedding field got a sprucing-up as well, with new sod, grading and drainage. Many of the 13 weddings we hosted at Laughing Waters took advantage of this improvement, while others chose to get married in the orchard or by the creek where the stone chimneys stand.
Even the Hickory Nut Forest sign got an upgrade!
CMLC continued to improve the trail system, adding more steps going through the orchard and continuing to work on the access up the mountain beyond Wildcat Rock.
During the summer John and Peter Barr from CMLC flew over Hickory Nut Gorge and captured the beauty of this place where we live on video.
The hydro system continued to crank out the juice, surpassing the 100,000 kW/hr mark in July.  
The gristmill became habitable and was enjoyed by our family throughout the year.
In August, we invited the greater Gerton community to Laughing Waters for a picnic at the old Eel Hole. The Eel Hole is a sweet little swimming hole that used to be inhabited by eels long ago, before the rivers between the mountains and the ocean were dammed up. The old timers still call the place the Eel Hole though.We had a great time on a perfectly beautiful summer afternoon and got to know some our neighbors better.  
In the Fall we experienced a real scare with the Party Rock Fire raging down the gorge from us in the Lake Lure area. We were lucky in that the fire did not make it's way to Gerton. We are so very grateful to the firefighters from all over the country who worked for weeks to assure that no people or structures were harmed.
Our wonderful manager Heidi continued to work hard and assumed more responsibilities, enabling us to become semi-retired! If you have questions about the property or about booking Laughing Waters, please reach out to her at (828) 774-9838.
We have learned that one can never be sure what the future holds. We approach 2017 with curiosity and enthusiasm, and we intend to keep believing in the importance of a life fully lived, with abundance to share.  
Come visit! Click here for directions.
With love,
Jane and John
P.S. Watch for the release of the children's book,
Once Upon a Time in Gerton in 2017!
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