A recent letter to the editor (quoted below) in our wonderful weekly county newspaper, The Yancey Times-Journal, written by a senior friend, reminded me how important is access to emergency health care for many people, especially retirees, considering buying a home in our mountain area, far (they feel) from a big city hospital.
“On the Saturday of Craft Fair 2012, my granddaughter spent too much time in the sun. When we got home, she became incoherent, unresponsive and had shaking chills. We called 911.
“Yancey EMS and Yancey Rescue Squad responded immediately. Ems took her to Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine where she recovered rapidly with IV fluids. The quality of care she received from everyone was second to none, EMS personnel were very friendly and very competent, and the hospital’s emergency department was likewise.
“We all try to avoid such problems, but it is really heartening to know that such people are in our community when we need them. They are a big part of what makes Burnsville and Yancey County a very special place to live. Thank you, EMS and Rescue Squad for your help when we needed you.” It was signed by Peter Stephens and family.
Last week’s blog was about a couple of Burnsville Bests.
I want anyone who might be entertaining the thought of having a home in the mountains to know that our Mission Hospital in Asheville is another important best. It has the awards and the legion of lives saved to prove it. Mission, by the way, owns Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine to which Peter Stephens’ granddaughter was taken.
“Mission Health’s” website (www.mission-health.org) lists, under Centers of Excellence: Children’s Hospital, Women’s Health, Cancer Services, Heart Services, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, and Trauma Center.
It’s important to know that Mission’s stroke program just recently received the Stroke Gold Plus quality achievement award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) for the third consecutive year. The hospital is consistently ranked by consumers as one of the best hospitals in the country.
So the world class health care is here. Let’s talk about distances to access it.
When I first started driving the 8.5 miles from Burnsville to my little country cottage nine years ago, I thought, “What have I done buying a place so far out in the country!” The 15 minute drive seemed interminable. But at some point during the next couple of months, I stopped noticing. I think I’ve figured out why.
For the same reason driving someplace new to us seems so much longer than driving back, we notice each element in the landscape that we’ve not seen before - each antique farmhouse and barn and scenic wonder. Once they become familiar to us, however, they no longer register on a conscious level. With our thoughts on other things then, we’re not aware of time. So before we know it, we’re there!
Visitors experience that when they first drive around the countryside. At home, they may drive 50 minutes to work each day, but are never aware of the time it takes. Yet when they visit here without the familiar environment of people, buildings, and traffic (and noise and dirty air) that are all tuned out of their awareness back home, a distance that’s a fraction of what they drive daily seems so far.
So when you come to visit, compare distances and travel times here with your daily routine at home. You might be delightfully surprised to find how close we really are to Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock, and medical care! And you can rest as easy as all the other people who made the decision to move to the mountains, knowing that some of the best medical care in the country is close at hand.
Super Flea – Another Best
The Yancey Humane Society Big Fall Flea, the main fundraiser for our wonderful animal shelter, is 20-something years old, and Laurie Bohn has been the major domo behind it for the last 10.
She has tried to retire from doing the flea, but nobody has stepped in to fill her shoes. After all, it takes an enormous amount of time planning, soliciting donations, collecting, sorting, transporting, setting up tables and shelving for 12 departments, pricing, displaying the goods, scheduling, organizing, and troubleshooting through the entire operation. It could easily be compared to starting a business – a small department store with 50-100 volunteers in this case - running it for four months, then closing it down and cleaning up the space.
While most retirees who come from Florida to summer in the mountains come to relax and play, Laurie and many of her army of volunteers spend their mountain “vacations” working tirelessly producing the flea.
So once again their work is about to culminate in the biggest and best indoor flea market in at least Western NC when super flea opens both sets of doors September 21st at 8am to the thousands of people who will come from near and far. Thanks to them and the generosity of Yancey County residents, there will be the usual bargains of furniture, clothing, household goods, holiday decorations and gifts, books, music, electronics, appliances, outdoor equipment, sports equipment, toys, and everything imaginable.
And in the waning days of September, after the storefronts are turned back into empty spaces, and the animal shelter has been funded for another year, Laurie Bohn & Company can finally begin what’s left of their well-deserved summer vacations.
“Between the Tackles,” an original play – a comedy - by Burnsville’s Britt Kaufmann and Stephanie Poling, has its world premiere at our historic community theater, Parkway Playhouse, Sep. 22 and runs Thursday-Saturdays through Oct. 5. There is a matinee Sunday Sep. 23 at 5pm. Reserve at 818 682-4285 or at www.parkwayplayhouse.com.
“Glass in the Mountains,” a weekend long 50th anniversary celebration of the Studio Glass Movement, will include studio tours and gallery exhibits of 50 of the world’s finest glass artists all residents of Yancey and Mitchell Counties. See www.glassinthemountains.com for details.
“8th Annual Bakersville Creek Walk Arts Festival” Sep. 22, www.creekwalkfestival.com
“Music in the Mountains Folk Festival” Sep. 29 at the Town Center, details at Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), 828 682-7215
“Old Timey Days and parade” Sep. 29 on Town Square
Come and enjoy the fun!