Bynum, North Carolina used to be a cotton mill town, but the mill closed and most of the folks moved away. Then the artsy, but not wealthy, people from a few miles north at the University of North Carolina discovered the little town on the Haw River and moved in. Now the mill houses have tenants again.
A friend of mine lives in a little lavender mill house. It is clapboard inside and out, walls and floor and ceiling. The heating system is a wood stove in the living room. She has a couple of electric space heaters and a warm and friendly dog to get her through winter nights. She loves Bynum and her little lavender house. She says it's like camping out full time.
Around the corner and down the road a piece lives Bynum's most renowned resident, Clyde Jones, an old guy who stuck around after the mill closed. He started carving "Critters" with his chainsaw about 25 years ago. He never sells them, but if he likes you, he may give you one. Most every house in Bynum has a Clyde Critter or two on the lawn.