Reflections are not what they use to be. Mirrors are not utilized much now; the image looking back at me is sometimes unrecognizable and hauntingly older than my mind says I am. Have you ever had that moment? When you glance at yourself and then glance again – because at first, you didn’t recognize yourself.
Life can be a lot like that as well. Most people have an idea of what they want their lives to look like by certain ages: 30, 40, 50, 60. It’s true that we do not always meet the goals and lofty ideas that we set for ourselves. But it’s also true that some of the most random things that occur (completely unplanned) can be the most beautiful.
Personally, as I age, I appreciate many of the same things the younger version of myself did. To sit outside and just listen has never left my heart. No matter where I am, I can do it free of charge and it bothers no-one. Why? Because I love what I hear. I hear God’s creation, his peace, and when I’m lucky…his still small voice. Try it. Go sit outside. Sit in the grass of your yard. Sit on your porch or patio. Sit on a sidewalk. Just be. After a long pause ask yourself, what do you hear?
I’m in my back yard in the Tennessee Valley. I hear at least 15 different types of birds singing back and forth with each other. Each one a sweet song and in a different pitch. The wind is blowing and the blades of grass are rubbing against each other. Footsteps are behind me as a brave squirrel is going up and down the Elder tree. In the distance there is a faint sound of laughter and delightful squealing as the neighborhood children chase each other. Often a loud car may zoom by in the distance. (They really need a new muffler.) I can hear water flowing through the ditch gently and occasionally I can hear small frogs jumping in and out of the water. There are tree branches scraping in the wind and there’s a whistle in my ear as the chilly breeze picks up. It’s spring in East TN and it sounds peaceful. Longer I sit, I would hear more.
Age has taught my eyes to see things in a different way than the younger me ever could. I see so much beauty now all around me and it’s also easier to see through people. One thing I saw wrong was my life at 40. But, that’s a post for another day.
Be well. Know you are loved.
Winters in the East TN Valley are normally not that bad. We normally don’t get much snow. Well, snow that sticks that is. It will snow here from time to time, and sometimes it will even snow in April or May. It’s just the sticking part that is not normal. Sure we have black ice covered roads, but the County owns plenty of salt trucks that enables travel after just a few short hours. Although for the last two days I have had the distinct pleasure of looking out my window to see a lovely, sparkly, ice-snow mix clinging to everything.
Ice & Snow in East TN Valley
It truly is a lovely winter wonderland scene, until the need arises to get out on the road for travel. The main roads have been well treated I hear. But sadly, the twisty- curvy- drop off the side of a mountain back roads have not. So of course, everyone had the classic run on the grocery store to stock up on milk, bread, tuna, peanut butter, and soups in the days before the arctic blast hit. Posts on social media sites have all poked fun at the grocery store runs and many southerners have borrowed humorous northern memes referring to Bosses expecting employees to be at work regardless. I’ve read the funny stories of falls and accidental body part grabbing to steady oneself while slipping on the ice. I’ve even had fun watching our 50lb puppy holding her feet in the air when we take her outside to do her business in the ice/snow. I laughed at some of the silly posts from transplants (people that have moved here from other states) about how we can’t drive in snow. But, there are sad stories as well. Unfortunately, this year, the ice hit us harder than we could handle in Tennessee. As a matter of fact, the State of Tennessee declared a State of Emergency two days ago. The saddest part of the whole event develops from the people who did not take the weather serious or were simply not prepared. I’ve heard news stories of a local elderly lady dying out in the cold because her door locked behind her when we went to the mailbox and she couldn’t get back inside. An entire family lost their lives in a home fire. There were over 50,000 people in TN without power due to the ice and over 21,000 of those where here in Knoxville. At one point the entire city pretty much shut down. The Smoky Mountains have been shut down as temperatures reached -23 degrees atop Mt LeConte (which is the 5th coldest day ever recorded there) with the wind chill at -67 degrees. Thank God there are no stranded hikers up there to date. As for other people in Tennessee, there have been 11 deaths reported related to the harsh cold temperatures or ice. So, I ask nicely if you are not currently living here that you keep the jokes to a minimum and keep us in your prayers as the forecast calls for more snow, ice and rain to come within the next couple of days. The resulting possible flooding could steal more lives and result in further damage throughout the state. I love my home in East Tennessee and I ask, won’t you help me pray for everyone living here right now? Thanks, Chrissy
Over the weekend, my husband and I thought we would go out and look for a tilled up field to look through for arrow heads. Thinking we would try north, we drove around field spotting for a few hours. We found a lot of field, but none had been turned. We discovered that practically no one will is home on a Sunday afternoon anyway to give permission to walk their field.
Lesson learned. It was actually a good trip. We shared time together and checked out the landscape that we didn’t otherwise know.
After a couple of fields, Nick said “I just know we’ll find arrowheads or artifacts here! Just look at what I found!” ….
After a good laugh, we were on to the next field 🙂
The only thing we actually did find was a shaft straightener,
a few tiny pieces of flint, and several farm properties that are for sale.
I’ve always liked just leisurely driving around though, so I loved it!
It was a good day 🙂
Below are some we found on other days.
January has been a time of new beginnings, new acceptance, and has begun a new era in our lives. On January 9th, 2013 Nick and I were married in Gatlinburg, TN. We agreed to spend our lives together against everything life may throw at us & stand by each other solidly. We agreed before God and man to be best friends till the end (thus crossing #53 off my bucket list for good. #53 was listed as: This one is private, but has been accomplished. No other description offered. Now, I reveal this item to you 🙂 I was searching for new best friend for life and I have him now!
We had a fabulous few days away from the kids & discovered some cool new local places. We agreed on our honeymoon, we would only shop & eat at mom&pop type businesses. So we totally avoided all chains & known labels. This is the first post of many about our honeymoon experiences in Gatlinburg.
We stayed in a small cabin in Gatlinburg, TN owned & operated by Ski Mountain Chalets & Cabin Rentals. It was very cute, on the edge of the town of Gatlinburg going up the mountain, fully furnished, beautiful scenery, clean, private and pleasant atmosphere 🙂
The front porch of cabin was small and faced a paved driveway, so no worries of snow or mud.
The front entrance introduces you to the livingroom or common area equipped with a couch, coffee table, TV, and gas fireplace (no need to buy firewood).
The kitchen was completely furnished! All we bought was coffee & drinks for the fridge 🙂
The second room was furnished with a king size bed & whirlpool tub & full seperate bathroom.
The back porch was my favorite spot!
The hot tub was awesome 🙂
The creek behind the cabin.
Back in December I did not post after the sad circumstances with Nick’s father’s passing. Read more here
But, we did have a few adventures as a family. I feel like enough time had passed that I can reveal the happy time that we all had during the sadness of the month of December.
We took the boys with us to Indiana to attend the funeral. Indiana had a pleasant surprise for the boys – snow! Where we live in Tennessee (all the boys have ever known) it doesn’t snow much and if it should, there are such small amounts of it that it melts away by the next day. Travel may be stopped or slowed for a few hours, but really life simply goes on. When we crossed over the state line into Indiana, the boys looked up from their electronic devices and saw the main highway was covered in a lovely white/muddy substance. Our oldest even commented on the speed we had slowed to and had to receive an explanation about how snow affects driving habits and the dangers we could possibly be facing. Our youngest had one thing on his mind and kept asking if he could play in it when we got to the hotel 🙂
They were so overwhelmed by the white stuff everywhere (snow) that it consumed their every thought and desire. I heard them reminding each other that they should remember that we were heading to a funeral, but the excitement in their voices led me to think that this was going to be an adventure for them for sure!
After the funeral we went back to the hotel and gathered our thoughts. Nick told the boys (still wearing shorts from habit of Tennessee climate) to dress warmly because he was going to take them somewhere.
We found ourselves at the Circle Center Mall. We walked up and down dizzying heights from bottom floor to top as we marveled at all the stores. The boys tasted their first ever Orange Julius drinks and were mesmerized by the game room on the top level.
They walked downtown around Monument Circle and looked at the World’s largest Christmas tree.
On the way home, Nick stopped at a small store and purchased some small sleds for the boys. He took us to Brown County Indiana and selected a hill for the boys to learn how to sled on.
The youngest loved it!
Even Nick had some fun 🙂
The oldest set out to build himself a snowman 🙂
The snow is all they talked about on the long trip back home to Tennessee. They truly had a great experience in their still young teenage lives that many kids have by the time they are 6 or 7 yrs old!
Their adventure was unbelievable wonderful and I know they will never forget it.