Friday, May 28, 2010

Maggie Valley

Friday evening and we are back in the mountains after a 6 hour drive from the flatlands. Just seeing familiar places has already made this day special. Brings back memories of a time back in 2004 when we were here for the first time and our wedding at Caroline's Wedding Chapel. We passed Joey's Pancake House who has awesome pancakes and the best coffee. Then there was Carolina Nights where you can get a great meal while watching a fantastic show. We plan to take it in tomorrow evening. Stopped by one of the many roadside stores and picked up some of the juiciest peaches I have ever tasted. Oddly enough it has been a rainy day but it has not dampened our spirits. That's how this wonderful part of our state affects me and I will try to make memories that will last me a long time. Rocky, our puppy, made the 6 hour journey very well and seems to be happy as long as we art all together which is simple unconditional love. Dogs can surely teach us things if we'll pay attention.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Short Rows

As the old saying goes in this part of the world, I am in the "short rows" now. Simply meaning one more day after today and my sweet wife, our precious puppy and I will be making our journey to a spot that is dear to our hearts. I could never tire of the mountains and have always wished I had been born in that part of the country instead of the flat lands. Maybe it's time for a little clarification regarding the title of this blog, The Simple Life. That is truly what I desire, but that does not mean I experience it on a daily basis. Quite the opposite most of the time. You see for 30 years I have been in the office machine service world and for most of that time I have been a service manager. I have 5 guys that I try to keep busy and on the right track which is quite a challenging endevour to say the least. Especially when these adults decide to act like children some days. More and more I tend to look forward to the end of the day when I can go home to the peaceful atmosphere that allows me to unwind. I am sure my wife can identify with that since she is also a manager in a job that can be very stressful at times. I am a long time fan of two TV shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I love in interact with the show and try to solve the questions or puzzles before the contestents do which is fun and I like to think keeps my mind sharper. One of the more relaxing activities I have found recently is spending time at the blog page of Ree Drummond, a cookbook writer, photographer, wife and mother. Her site can be found at She will make you laugh, make your mouth water with her recipes and amaze you with her photography. Time to get this Wednesday started.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thinking Back

In tune with the idea of the simple life I think back to my childhood and the days I spent totally enjoying my alone time. Those were the days before any of the modern conveniences children of today think they would die without. I grew up in a rural environment and at that time there were many more wooded areas than we have today. Wooded areas are disappearing rapidly in NC and it is sad to see the baren areas which is also decreasing the habitat for many of our local wildlife. I was the only son in a family with 2 younger sisters so needless to say I tried to keep myself occupied away from them as much as possible. I had a small terrier and we were constant companions and I loved nothing more than to explore the woods finding streams alive with crawfish, turtles and tadpoles. There was always wildlife to watch and be amazed by and vegetation like ferns that I have always loved. I didn't have to worry about drugs, if anyone said the word I would only think of aspirin or something like that. There were no gangs or other dominating bad environments to corrupt our minds. I can only think of how awesome it was to discover new sights feel the freedom from hurry and confusion. On one of my adventures I found an abandoned school bus. It was only the shell sitting on the ground without the front or cab section or floor. It had a lot of growth blocking the entrance that I managed to clear away with my trusty hickory stick I always had with me. I found that inside it was relatively clean and found a 5 gallon bucket that when turned upside down made a comfortable seat to just sit there and think about anything. Later I would return and found it especially handy to sit there on rainy days where I could be dry and listen to the soothing sound of rain drops on the roof. How I miss those days and wish todays youth could experience the same rewarding times I was lucky to have.

A new week

Monday, May 24th and a new week is here. It will be a short work week with a long weekend ahead to enjoy my beloved NC mountains. Seems like forever since we have been there. One of our friends, Addie, who ran a roadside store that sold interesting items to place in your home and enjoy has evidently decided it is time to retire and has sold her business. Fortunately we will still be able to she her before she moves all the way across this great state to live in Wilmington with her daughter. Will be a huge change moving from the majesty of the mountains to the flatlands and the coast. A week is what you make it so whoever may end up reading this blog please have a great week and stop to smell the roses or as I like to think, the Honey Suckles and take time to really see the beauty of God's creation all around us. I know I will.