Purdy Squirrel’s Nuts

I’m trying to gather myself to share our adventures with you.  This post seems not at all cohesive to me.  Possibly because as I write, both sons are talking to me, my phone is alerting me to notifications, the dog needs out, I have to pee and my Fitbit is telling me that I need to get my 250 steps per hour in.  Shew, I guess maybe I should pat myself on the back for getting anything written at all!

Anyway, I got your attention with the title, didn’t I?  That’s marketing!  And they use that to their full advantage in tourist towns.  I didn’t get pictures for proof, so you’ll have to take me at my word.  We were intrigued by the Purdy Squirrels store.  That one inspired lots of conversation about Jedidiah getting too up close and personal with a Purdy Squirrel. And at the “Try My Nuts” store, there was a picture of a Purdy Squirrel.  I’ll let you imagine all the different types of nuts that were for sale.  That inspired lots of conversation, also.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to stop in to find out for myself.

Of course, these stores were on the main drag, which we got to by passing Boogertown Road.  I don’t know if it’s named after a kid who couldn’t keep his finger out of his nose or the Boogerman and Haints.  Since neither of those options appealed to us, we didn’t go investigating.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Before we left, I told you to keep an eye out for Happy Turtle.  By now you know that I have the best of intentions but my plans often go awry. My plan was to carry Happy Turtle with me and to take pictures of him having fun adventuring about Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.  The thing is, I got so busy having fun myself that I kind of lost track of time and Happy Turtle’s greatest adventure was the drive down and back.  He did get to do a lot of lounging around in the bed though.  But look at that bed!  It was a beautiful one to lounge around in!  Just ask little Feeney.


We were slightly unnerved by our rental when we arrived, for a few reasons.  There were a couple of doors that were locked and we had no access to.  We began to wonder who might be hiding behind those doors and what they intended for us.  This was compounded by the strange bags that were filled with a clear liquid, hanging in the closets.  We suspected those might be IV bags…filled with what and for what purpose, we did not know.  There was also a lingering smell of the Avon perfume that little old ladies wear.  Strangely, although you usually adjust to your surroundings, that smell didn’t dissipate the entire time we were there.  But the final nail in the coffin, as it were, was the empty Omaha Steaks box sitting in the closet on the shelf with the board games. What in the heck??? I was pretty sure that before the end of this trip we were going to be packaged and sent to some poor family for dinner.  As you can see, we made it home safely, but heed my warning…take care when booking a place for vacation.  You could end up at the Hotel California!  Or at least with a good story to tell!

So after surviving our fist night, Vance and I decided to tempt fate again.  We went zip lining at Foxfire Mountain.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  We will definitely be doing more of that.  Though I wasn’t sure about it at first, as this video will attest:  (Sorry for the video quality, but the sound is really the attraction here.)


Vance decided during this adventure that his life’s calling is to be a zip line guide.  He may make his home in the Smokies some day.  Wherever my boys call home, I hope it’s in a place and doing a job that they love.  That makes for a life well lived, and that’s what I want for them.

After heading back to the cabin to check on the girls, we planned to ride the giant wheel and the Alpine Coaster, but we got a different sort of thrill ride instead.  A sensor of some type went shot in the car and it died in a curve on a two lane road on the side of the mountain.  We finally got it re-started and kept heading toward town but it died again. My truck driver Mario-Karted us down the side of that mountain with no power steering and barely any breaks.  I was so proud of him and so impressed by his abilities!  And more than a little relieved to hit the bottom of that mountain!  The universe was on our side as he got her started one more time and she sputtered to a stop in Auto Zone’s parking lot.  This is how we spent the rest of our evening:


The boys were shook up and sad.  I think they thought vacation was over.  But Dean and Vance and a really nice, exceptionally helpful tattooed woman at Auto Zone got us going again.  I used this as a teaching moment (as much for myself as anyone).  We are creative enough to find a solution to any problem.  We have abundant resources available to us to work the solution.  As long as we have each others’ backs, we can overcome anything.  I hope my boys learn that earlier in life than I did.  Life is so much easier when you aren’t fighting against the flow all the time.

So, most of us have a three day weekend coming up as we celebrate Memorial Day.  The only thing better than a two day weekend is a three day weekend!  We are visiting with my longest and dearest friend this weekend and then helping Daddy to decorate on Monday.  Helping him decorate is always one of my favorite days of the year.  It’s filled with togetherness, memories and love.  The very best and sweetest of what life has to offer.  I hope the rest of your week and your weekend is full of the abundance of life, my friends.  A heartfelt thank you to those men and women who put their everything on the line so that we can sleep, celebrate and work in peace.  I salute you.



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