May 12, 2008

...Wish You Were Here

... Jim says he'll camp right here.
For those of you who didn't click the link on my posting, A Southern Gift For You, here are the words to that song by Loretta Lynn. (The banjos really make it perfect!)

High on a mountain top
We live, we love, and we laugh a lot
Folks up here know what they got

High on a mountain top
High on a mountain top

Where the rest of the world's like a little bitty spot
I ain't comin down, no never I'm not

Where I come from the mountain flowers grow wild
The blue grass sways like it's goin out of style
God fearin' people simple and real
'Cause up on the ridge folks that's the deal

Well my daddy worked down in the dark coal mine
Shovelin' that coal one shovel at a time
Never made a lot money didn't have much
But we're high on life and rich in love

Well down in the holler lived my uncle Joe
He'd pull out his fiddle and rosin his bow
We'd all sing and dance
And we ain't gonna stop
When the moon shine flows behind every rock

Well we lay on our backs and we count the stars
'Cause up here folks heaven's not that far

High on a mountain top
High on a mountain top

Wish You Were Here…

I thought I’d be very, very bored or at least, stir-crazy during one of the few actual vacations taken in my lifetime. But, I was the one who convinced Jim that our Westgate Timeshare would be a good investment even if he - as the numbers man – argued that this was not the wisest long-term investment. That was 6-months ago, and already we have taken advantage of the log cabin in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee twice and loved every minute!

This is our first official “free” week to find out how two old workaholics would react to the slow pace of cabin camping without shrill alarm clocks and vibrating cell phones.

About 30 years ago, I left my heart in the lovely rolling hills of Dayton, Tennessee as we started down a long winding road that ended at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Moving to the bitter winters and lake-effect snow storms that blew across Lake Michigan from the Windy City, I thought my heart would freeze to death and I would die of loneliness as I missed my friends, the nearness to nature and a secure home setting at Laurelbrook School.

So, coming back to our Westgate Timeshare cabin snuggled on the very tip top of one of the highest mountain peaks, feels like coming home – and Jim is beginning to feel its earthy pull and back to nature comfort too!

Today I dropped him off at the edge of the highway as he struck out on a mountain path he had spent the morning planning for with several maps spread out all over the cabin table. I felt sorry for myself as he disappeared in the thick brush because I couldn’t join him on the trail, but my weak lower back and painful left hip wouldn’t tolerated the stress of climbing up and sliding down several miles of rocky terrain.

I waited in the van with a (boring) library book and thick writing notebook that I couldn’t concentrate on! I turned the van around in the parking lot several times and walked back and forth along the highway as I worried that he might meet a big black bear, or get lost, or step on a rattlesnake! He had promised to return in two hours!

He stepped out of the woods 47 minutes early! He said he knew I’d be worried and he didn’t want me to be upset. Tomorrow he plans a longer trek, but I’m planning to stay closer to the cabin and perhaps sit in the hot tub or watch the little kids play in the water park. We got him a backpack so he can carry water (to squirt at the bears?) and a walking stick (to shove the snakes off the path?).

Actually, there are many things about our trip that have been rewarding and fun!

Philip drove halfway here and we spent a couple hours enjoying the company of youngest son at Olive Garden. He’s very excited about his first year teaching algebra and geometry at a large high-school near Columbia, SC. He talked non-stop about his experiences as a teacher and the challenges of being prepared for the different personalities of his students - and always staying one step ahead.

Yesterday morning I watched and listened to the brilliant, noisy sunrise as it touched the forest and wakened the birds nesting at the edges of the Smoky Mountain National Park.

As each bird started its wake-up call, I wrote down what it sounded like to me – a foreigner who doesn’t speak the native bird-language.

There was the familiar sound of a morning call with a southern accent, “tooo-oooold” “tooo-oooold

I heard a very excited bird calling out, “Can-Can-Can-Can-Can’t” (He never heard of the book, “The Little Engine that Could”.

A very persistent bird attracted a mate, who echoed his shrill, “Birdie-Birdie-Birdie” repeated nine times every time. Then a softer return from his mate (or hopeful mate), “Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie”.

Maybe a third possible mate waited in the wings as I heard, “too-too-too-too”.

I course I had to chuckle at the complicated conversation of the interesting bird deep in the forest that called out, “Pee-U, Pee-U, Pee-U – tickle, tickle, tickle!”

And immediately following….”me-me-me-me”.

Later I’ll write about the rich alto songs of the trees and the cleansing winds that created angel dance in the forest.

Take Care on the Journey,


Anonymous said...

Glad that you are enjoying your trip Miss Linda! We miss you, but are enjoying our time with Grandma as well! Enjoy the peace and quiet because you know there is NONE of that when you get back to our house!! LOL. -The Storms

Katy said...

I loved hearing about your trip, Linda! I could almost hear the birdcalls in my head from your descriptions. :)
Glad you got a rest and some relaxation- I'm getting one this weekend at the oregon coast. Phew! I need it.

Take care,

Linda Meikle said...

Hi Katy,
Hope you hear some good sounds at the coast. The seashore is always relaxing. Maybe the baby will kick some more! Have fun.