|Sweetie, ME and Suzi at Bald River Falls|
Here are a 30 things I learned on this trip:
- Talk to Sweetie before he makes reservations.
- There is a Dollar General or Family Dollar store in almost every small community along Hwy 411. In the bigger towns you'll find a Subway.
- If you are a Baptist, you don't have to look far for a church.
- In the middle of downtown Atlanta, with one of the busiest Interstate Hwy systems around, there are wonderful little neighborhoods that make you feel like you're in the country, where deer and and antelope roam. Okay, no antelope but there are deer. Deer in Atlanta? How can that be?
- The money we spent to fix the Lincoln's "ball joints" was money well spent - the car is a great traveling car - especially when Sweetie is driving. (Note to self: Consider having your ball joints fixed.)
- If you don't update the maps in your GPS the lady who lives in there gets all confused when you ask her to find streets or towns with Indian names.
- You never know where you'll meet someone you are pretty sure is an angel put in your life for a reason, even if you don't know the reason.
- We can put Super octane gas in the car and it won't blow up. (It was that or nothing and we were well past empty.)
- When asked for help on a crossword puzzle, Sweetie will always respond with "how many letters" like he has several answers right on the tip of his tongue and all he has to do is pick the one with the right number of letters.
- When asked for help on a crossword puzzle, Sweetie will often respond, after finding out how many letters are needed, "I don't know."
- The Smoky Mountains are in the neighborhood of 250 million years old.
- There is no "e" in Smoky, although I've spelled it both ways for days.
- My sister, Jean, is a veritable font of mountain trivia. She could easily be a tour guide.
- Motorcycle clubs flourish in the Smoky Mountains.
- Suzi can sleep just about anywhere, but she's quite particular where she pees and poos. I, on the other hand, can pee just about anywhere. (Sorry if that's TMI)
- Sending postcards to friends and family should be required of all travelers. Receiving postcards is just about as fun.
- Living in gratitude really does make you feel better.
- Sweetie likes speed, while I'm more of a slow poke.
- There aren't many radio stations you can tune into while driving in the mountains.
- There are Amish communities in Tennessee.
- Buck Bald is the 40140th highest peak in the United State. It's bald because all the trees were cut down during a crazy period of felling trees for the lumber industry.
- When I was a kid and our family was on vacation and we checked into a motel, going to the pool was the best part of the day. Now that I'm mature and sitting on the bed next to my Sweetie both of us with our noses in our laptops, I wonder what's wrong with the picture?
- Saying goodbye is never easy. It just isn't.
- Sunflowers make me smile. Queen Anne's Lace makes me sigh.
- When you haven't eaten potato chips for a month and then you have some. You can't stop eating them until the bag is empty.
- I should have bought those two hand-lathed Sassafras bowls. I can't stop thinking about them.
- Talking to strangers is okay if you kind of know them already from your blog.
- There is an odd kind of beauty in rusted out farm equipment and falling down barns.
- Arriving home is the best part of any trip.
- If you listen really close to - bumble bees, water falls, rustling leaves, an old woman's laugh, a horse's snort, abandoned homes, creek waters cascading over rocks, puffy white clouds, sudden rain showers, an old man's memories, your true love's prayers, your sister's wisdom, your heart when it says I am blessed - you will hear the voice of God.
Today I'm grateful for lessons learned.
Wishing for you a life filled new roads to travel and old places to return to,