Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Letter from our own correspondent - Mooresville

We're standing by the train tracks in Mooresville, North Carolina, having just run across the street heedless of red or green lights, causing some small consternation among the slow-driving pick-up trucks doing their noon-day errands.

The train tracks run parallel to Main Street; so when the train approaches, its all-consuming honk-honks are promulgated clearly. Somewhere, behind that tight network of Main Street shops and businesses, the train was slinking our way.

It was that insistent blaring that provoked us, so we crossed traffic and rushed down the side street to see her. It was a regular Southern Norfolk locomotive, barely eking out movement of the loaded freight behind her. We waved heartily to the engineer behind the wheel, but he did not wave back; he was too busy for that. For no sooner had the train come into view of by the train signals, then the train stopped, and paused a minute, and then backed up. And there was no stopping her. We waved and waved, and tried to point out that the only logical course for the train was to keep moving forwards; but they paid us no heed.

So we skipped back up the side street, and there on the corner with Main was a beautiful little shop filled with fabric in the shop windows. We went inside, and found ourselves amongst clean white walls, bolts and bolts of fabric, a display of pretty-patterned aprons, cubbyholes with thread in lime green, plum, and every color in between. They had sewing scissors, needles, glass jars, and everything related that suggests calm, industriousness, concentration, and spinning useful industry from the fancy and craftwork of our hands and minds.

And one more display with half yard cuts of fabric, lined up in the minutest gradations of tints and hues: glossy orange and subdued orange; sea blue, navy blue, sapphire, sky blue, and then tropical sea blue and tropical sky blue, to boot; and an entire row of purples: both lavender and lilac, amethyst and sunsets, twilights and cloud shadows, and those very wonderful deep rich colors which are all violet and rose and ruby mixed in together.

The ladies in the shop told us that no passenger trains stop in Mooresville (which is a shame!) and that the freight train is pulling material to and from a flour mill just outside of town. We later passed this factory as we were leaving town.

So we left the shopping feeling exquisitely refreshed, and pleased with Mooresville's Main Street and downtown in all ways: its prettiness, its neatness, its sweet little shops and cafes, the friendly bustle, the slow pace.

North Carolina at your service, friends!

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