Ice cream isn't something I eat often, mainly because I love it too much. It's much better to deal with an ice cream craving by buying a small cone instead of a half gallon. I'd gone into Waynesville yesterday to greet the new season for the Waynesville Farmers Market but had been mistaken about the hours they're open this time of year. I got there at 1pm, but alas they are only open from 8am to noon. Bummer. So, I headed out to Maggie Valley because I'd heard there was a Farmers Market out there too but I couldn't find one. Another bummer. Heading back to Waynesville I spotted the "40 Flavors - Hand Dipped Ice Cream" sign at the Red Barn Greenhouse and Convenience Market. Nothing fixes a bummer situation like an ice cream cone.
The Red Barn is celebrating 40 years in Waynesville. It's been a fixture greeting visitors on their way from Waynesville to Maggie Valley for longer than just about anyone else. I can remember when it used to be the Greyhound Station also. There's a few tables, locally canned preserves and some essentials that travelers and campers might come in to get. I commisserated with the owner after I saw her signs on the jars of preserves..."Please don't open the jars". Leslie and I used to have to do that in our "Lighten Up" business in Dillsboro. Go figure.
Bad news...I have a new favorite flavor. Hershey's Caramel Sundae. Good news...I got over the bummerness of the day! After I finished the ice cream cone, I wandered over to the nursery to look at vegetable starts looking towards the day soon when our weather will stabilize enough to plant them. The women working at the Red Barn were very pleasant and asked if I needed assistance. When I said that I just wished the weather would stay warm enough to get the garden started, one of them smiled and invited me to step into the back room greenhouse where she said it was always springtime.
The greenhouse felt wonderful, probably 80 degrees and with a pleasing humidity level and that satisfying smell of things growing and thriving. When I turned the corner into the last row, the greenhouse kitty was getting ready to take a cat nap. I understood. The temperature was perfect for nodding off. I don't know what his name was but since he is the same color as my new favorite ice cream...I'll give him a nickname of "Caramel".