Saturday, May 5, 2007


Last month, we took a long weekend trip to Asheville, NC. This is a fabulous little city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to the Biltmore Estates, the breathtaking castle built by George Vanderbuilt in 1895.

What I love about the town of Asheville is all of the amazing art galleries and shopping. The best, in my opinion, is the refurbished Woolworth's building that is filled with mini-art studios and retains the old soda fountain. We stopped to have ice cream and coffee while taking in the local art creations. My daughter's favorite was the Mast General Store and the section filled with barrels of candy. I was surprised to see some old favorites, candy dots, root beer barrels, slo-pokes and mary janes.

What I love about the Blue Ridge Mountains are the spectacular views, especially while on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We entered at the Pisgah National Forest and stopped at Looking Glass Falls. How relaxing it was to sit by the cool waterfall, letting our feet soak in the passing stream.

What my husband and I loved about the whole trip was sitting in the rocker on the porch watching the sun drop behind the mountains with a glass of wine enjoying a salami and cheese tray. What my daughter loved about the whole trip was fishing and roasting marshmallows over the fire!

We stayed in a little place nestled in the mountains called Lady Bug Cabin. Our daughter found some friends and they played in the mud in the nearby stream. It just so happened that the puddles were filled with growing tadpoles... thousands of them. She became attached to the little guys so we brought 4 home with us. She told me she was sure they were going to die, so I made it my mission to keep those babies alive!

I researched tadpole care, used bottled water for their home, boiled the sand and organic lettuce, went to the pet store for high-protein fish food, replaced the water weekly. They nibbled on the lettuce and flipped around happily in their bowl... a minor miracle. Three of them grew steadily, one lagged behind and wouldn't eat, so we lost him, poor thing.

Eventually they grew their back legs and soon developed their front. We decided it was time to move them to a bigger space but our boiled water (bottled water was getting expensive!) was a little too hot and they started to go belly up during the transfer to the aquarium. We pulled them out quickly and dropped them back in the bowl. Two survived. We buried the other in the backyard with the cat.

They acclimated to their new surroundings in no time and soon enough, their tails began to shrink. They started sticking to the glass and climbing on the rocks. We realized that we successfully nurtured these little guys into real live frogs and headed to the pet store for tree frog supplies: coconut husk, moss, crickets, warming pads and vines.

How amazing the transformation has been over the past several weeks! We watched these squiggly little beings grow into happy, hoppy frogs - incredible!

I subscribe to a little inspirational magazine called The Daily Word. There was one day they were talking about transformation and referred to a tadpole. It said "I observe the simple shape of a tadpole in a pond. I am aware that the tadpole has within it the potential to grow and change to express life in new and greater ways."

Everything and everyone has the potential to grow and change and experience life in new ways. Everyday gives the opportunity to do so. I think if we just observe long enough, we'll find amazing transformation around us and in us at all times!

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