We’re Ba-a-a-ck!

Did ya’ miss us?  We’ve been in the mountains having some crazy adventures!  We rented a cabin so our whole family could go.  Furbabies, too!  We got lots of pictures and I even took notes so that I could remember all the moments.  Because the boys are practically adults now, and Patches is eleven, it’s possible that this may be the last family vacation that we get to take (though I’m open to being wrong here…just a thought for the universe).  If this was the last one then I have to say, we picked a great one to go out on.  We had so many laughs and challenged ourselves to overcome fears.  I couldn’t ask for it to have been better.  Color me blessed and joyful!

Before we set out Shayne and Vance were already up to their antics.  They were discussing our digs.  Vance said, “I can’t believe there are TWO bathrooms at the cabin!  Either two or three!”  (There are often lines around here for the bathroom.  If I can offer one piece of advice to new homebuyers, it would be to spring for the second bathroom.  It will more than pay for itself!)  I told Vance that we would have two bathrooms while we were on vacation to which Shayne replied, “Ooo!  That’s a REAL vacation!”  He was right.  We’re back, and back to standing in line.  I sure do miss the freedom of the mountains.  Of course, Dean was very proud to make it a three bathroom get-away.  As he would take the dogs out in the morning, he would mark territory with them.  The neighbors get agitated when he does that here in town.  Go figure.

The night before we left, Shayne and Vance took Jerry the Piggie to stay with my mom while we were gone.  We packed all of Jerry’s food and supplies in a shoe box.  Shayne told Mom that she was all set.  Supplies for the piggie if he lived and a ready made casket for him if he didn’t.  Ah, the optimism of youth!  There’s a bright side to everything, right?

So off we were…(and we actually left on time!  That’s gotta be a record!!!)

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When we left out, we were all running on about two hours of sleep.  You know that Disney commercial where the little boy says, “I’m too excited to sleep!”?  Yeah, that was us.  So by the time we got there, after a tour of every bathroom off of I-75 South (getting old sucks!), we were definitively slap happy, verging on delirious.  The first thing we noticed is that there are a LOT of churches in the mountains.  Like, a LOT!  Like, seven on every mile long stretch of road.  We think there must be mucho sin going on in Sevierville.  It’s probably not being committed by the good country people that live and work there, though.  I’d say it’s more likely that it’s brought in by the heathen outsiders, like us.  And due to our infecting their countryside, they seem to need a LOT of Jesus down there.  As we were discussing this, Vance asked if it is okay to make Jesus jokes while we were there.  I told him that I was sure it was fine.  I’m of the belief that Jesus has a sense of humor.  But then Vance took the joking a bit too far.  He asked if it was okay to make Dolly jokes while we were there.  Aw, hell naw!  Don’t nobody talk crap about Dolly!  We don’t go there!  That’s blasphemy in that neck of the woods!  I guess I made the point clear, because he didn’t make that mistake twice!  Gee wiz, man!  Dolly built those mountains by the sweat of her bosom and with her own two finely manicured hands!  I don’t know what he was thinking.  Good grief!

I have so many stories to share that I can’t get them all in one post.  Here’s a sneak peek, though.

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This was our morning view.  I paid a lot more attention to these mountains this trip than I have any other trip before.  I think the fear of losing them to the wild fires this past winter really opened my eyes.  I had the realization that life is fragile and the last time can come and go before you ever realize it’s the last time.  This kind of awakening has the power to make us appreciate things we may have taken for granted before, doesn’t it?  I can promise you this.  If for any reason this was the last time I ever see these mountains, I will not forget them or the smiles and togetherness that they gave to my family.  I’m grateful.  For what we’ve have had, for what is to come, and for all of the love in my life.

We’re home now.  So stay tuned!  I’ve got lots more laughter and adventures to share with you!  In the mean time, I hope that your next week is as spectacular as our last week!  I love all you turkies!

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