Tag Archives: family

Road Trips

I love this article about the “Rock City barns” from Smoky Mountain News SMNXtra, written by Cliff Kevill, especially this line:

“To spot one of these sentinels is to catch a glimpse of a time gone by when families in sedans and station wagons took to two-lane highways in search of adventure.”

Makes me feel nostalgic, bringing back lots of good memories. I come from a family, apparently going back a couple of generations, who liked to pile in the car and go on a ride — day trips, weekend getaways, Sunday afternoons. Later, after 4-lane highways made their appearance, I always wanted to go what I would call “the people way” — which meant 2-lane roads through small towns and the countryside in between, away from the highway. I always felt the 4-lane was boring and not too interesting to view out my backseat window. I still feel that way. These trips embraced western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, and parts of South Carolina.

I can’t really think back about my life over the years without remembering road trips to special and beautiful places with family, both as a child and as an adult, and every one of them was an adventure, accompanied by a sense of anticipation and excitement. Who knew what the day might bring?

When my parents were in their 70s, I was the driver and they were the passengers, and we all still enjoyed taking off on an adventure of a day trip somewhere, usually involving at least in part a previously untraveled (by us) road as well as a fair amount of reminiscing. Now that my parents have passed on, these are precious memories I can hold on to.

Oh, and by the way, yes, I have actually been to Rock City.


From Housemates to Brothers

I share my house and my heart with these two little guys, Oscar, a tuxedo kitty, and Macchiato, an American bobtail, both rescues.  Unfortunately, two weeks ago, Oscar’s sweet, close, and lookalike sister, Emmy, passed away from kidney failure (the two of them were almost inseparable, spending most of their time in their own little world), and now these two boys are figuring out how to get along and become more than housemates, but brothers.  It’s  a work in progress, and I’m trying to keep my expectations reasonable, but sharing a couch is a good place to be.  They’re family and make up a big part of my cozy life.

I miss this precious little Emmy girl and her sweet kisses. While there’s an empty space here in the house, she’s always in my heart.


Old Saturday Memories

I went out a while ago to do my Saturday chores.  It’s a cold rainy day, fog and clouds down low on the mountains, and I was hit with a memory from my teenage years.

There were many cold Saturdays like this, colder and more often, it seems.  Sometimes I would take a real nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon, in the bed or on the carpeted living room floor, covered with a cozy blanket or comforter.   My mom would make spaghetti or meat loaf or chili for supper, and we always had dessert, homemade chocolate pie or maybe banana pudding.  Then my mom, dad, and I would go up to Western (that is, Western Carolina University) to Reid Gym to watch the Catamounts play basketball.  It would be crowded and so hot and loud, kind of crazy sometimes, but exhilarating.

Afterwards, we’d have to walk back to the car and I’d be freezing.  By the time the chill wore off the car, we’d be home, go inside where it was warm, put on the pj’s, and have another piece of that pie.  My mom would say my dad and I rehashed the game too much.

Such sweet and cozy memories….a lifetime ago.



We make memories every day, but for some reason, some of them latch onto our minds and especially our hearts more than others.


Last week I spent a few days with one of my daughters at her house in the Raleigh area to help babysit my other daughter’s two little girls while she and her husband were on a trip. I miss those little ones so much since they moved away from here. It was wonderful seeing them fall asleep at night, wake up in the morning, and everything in between…walks, meals, laughter, playing with dogs, eating ice cream (twice!), fingernail painting, playgrounds, deer at dusk, an unexpected double rainbow, doing yard work, silliness, sweetness, and the greatly missed hugs….really just being together.

But one memory I’ll keep with me is going to the nursery with my daughter (and the grands, of course) to look for plants for her yard. There was free ice cream and lemonade, face painting, lots of colorful bridges to cross as we wandered among beautiful trees and flowers and fountains. She decided on Rose of Sharon, hostas, and lantanas. While the older granddaughter had a bright butterfly painted on her cheek, the little one sat patiently eating every drop of her ice cream, then both girls got free flowers to take home. It was a lovely, sweet, and special day I’ll carry in my heart for a long time. Just the beauty of simple everyday life spent out in nature with family.

Granted, every day or week may not be crammed with so many “big” blessings, but I do believe there’s something to be thankful for every single day we’re alive on this beautiful planet.