Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting the Day

One of my favorite times of the day is early in the morning when it is still dark outside, drinking a cup of delicious coffee and reading one of my (loved) books. Then a short time given to meditation and I feel like my day is off to a wonderful start.

But really, my morning starts before all that. When I awake in the morning, still lying in bed, I begin to think of all the things I am grateful for, I think of all the people in my life whom I love so much, I think of the beautiful day ahead - and I know it's going to be a beautiful day long before I get out of bed.

Actually, my morning is planned the night before. Sometimes as I fall asleep I am so excited for the day that is coming. Excited for the wonderful rest and sleep I know I will have and how good I am going to feel in the morning when I realize I am awake. I know I will wake up smiling because I am smiling as I fall asleep.

How can you start a day better than that? Waking up with a smile followed by gratitude, coffee, reading and meditation! This is the good life! And it all begins with a smile the night before.

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Staying Grounded

Today I have been thinking of all the places Jim and I have lived. The houses we built and the ones we remodeled. The cities we lived in, the friends we made, the restaurants and shops that became our favorite. Sometimes I think I want to settle down for a long time, and then I remember the fun we've had and the places we've seen and I know that it is better to go with the flow. I don't know how long these mountains will hold our attention (I am still hoping for a long time) but for now, I want to remember to savor fully this beautiful place where we have landed - and when the time comes we will soar again.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Conscious Appreciation

This morning as I stepped outside with John Wayne, a shooting star zipped through the dark sky startling me again at the beauty of a starlit sky. I have looked at the sky often today, and the horizon of mountains in the distance and I can only feel great appreciation for this beauty that surrounds me.

So I have spent most of my day consciously appreciating all that is!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life Is Good!

I am driving to Memphis today. I know this is going to be a beautiful day! I love Life!!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Humbled by the Mountains

Today we hiked Rich Mountain Trail and at the top met a young(er) couple who said they were being quite humbled by the hike. This was a two mile hike with a final elevation of over 1600 feet. I am not sure of the elevation where we started, but it was uphill all the way. We stopped occasionally to enjoy the beauty, the views, to listen for sounds, to rest and to drink water. However, the words of this man stuck with me and I began to think how a mountain will humble us.

I was humbled by the sheer size of this beautiful formation. Humbled by the beauty and sounds of nature. Humbled by the magnificent Source who created this beauty. Humbled by our amazing bodies who carried us up the mountains and down. Humbled by the senses which take in the smells, the sights, the sounds. Humbled by a path that many have walked. And in the end, humbled by a love that led Jim and I to the top of the mountain and back.

For all of this, I am grateful!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living This Day

It has been rainy most of the day and tonight the temps are dropping into the 50's. I have opened a few windows and am looking forward to snuggling down under warm covers. I like to look for Joy in these little things because it is the little things that compose my day. I don't want to take for granted the beauty presented this day, or the friendships cultivated. I want to remember, with Joy, living this day!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friends Without Names

Standing in line today at the fabric store a lady started asking me about the fabric I was holding to be cut. So we began to chat and found (again) that this really is a small world. We had so much in common as we began to discuss our lives with each other. In the end, my fabric was cut and her number had not been called, so we said goodbye and went our separate ways. I was smiling as I left the store, and I believe that my new, unnamed friend, was smiling too.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Today was an absolutely beautiful East Tennessee day! Life is good here!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looking East

After a day in the mountains we have spent this day looking for a view of them. We drove out Highway 321 for a few miles sighing as they came into view. We drove to Knoxville, looking east most of the time and watching the horizon.

I keep thinking of the contrast of this horizon with the flat ocean that we use to watch while living in Florida. Water for as far as you could see. The sun cresting and spreading a golden glow past even what we could imagine. Jim and I would stand by the ocean often, watching that early sunrise and feeling revivified somehow.

Now we get that same sensation gazing at, being in, or hiking up the mountains. Revivified somehow, inspired to see more, longing for more day light so that the view is not lost. Always, ALWAYS, planning for another trip eastward.

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sometimes you just don't need words.....

....but I am a writer - so I have plenty of words! And these words in my head are begging me to try to describe this beautiful day Jim and I spent in the mountains of North Carolina.

Jim had to drive to the French Broad River again today to complete an engineering job. I packed a picnic and we headed for the river this morning. It takes almost 2 hours to get there, so we arrived right about lunch time. We decided to drive towards Hot Springs North Carolina and on the way passed the Wolf Creek Trail Head. We followed a gravel road for a couple miles and ended up at the creek shown above. We unfolded our lawn chairs parked them by the creek, filled our glasses with ice tea and enjoyed our lunch.

We headed to Hot Springs which ended up to be a really small town on the French Broad. We talked to a guy who guides white water rafting (no thank you - I did that once and I'm still alive and I want to keep it that way) but we also found a good place to kayak the same river.

Jim (who loves to talk to everyone) got a tip from a Hot Springs local to go check out a different river - so we headed further into North Carolina. And, actually, we did not make it to the river until about 7 p.m. We got side tracked with a side road promising a hiking/bicycle trail . We just can't pass checking out something we haven't seen, and in the end, Jim and I hiked 4 miles to the top of Mill Ridge Trail, and of course 4 miles back down. All the rest of the pictures are from that wonderful hike. We had one little "startle". Jim almost tripped over a snake and I just reminded him that NO one has died of a snake bite in the Smokey Mountains. (I read this in our trail book) He reminded me that we were NOT in the Smokey Mountains - Ooooops! So we tossed him (the snake) back into the woods to find a new home.

But really, the words that are in my head can not really describe the beauty, the tranquility that we experience walking through the woods. The breath taking views as we crest a mountain, the breeze gently moving the trees - making us think a water fall must be close by. The butterflies, the flowers, the birds, the air, the clouds, the trees.....I could go on and on and yet it still leaves me feeling like I have not conveyed what we experienced today.

I think that what we really experienced today is God - Source - Love - Divine Beauty. And there are no words in any of my many dictionaries that can define or describe this. But Jim and I will know every time we look at the pictures of this day that what we experienced really was spiritual. Therefore no words are needed.

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Another Night, Another Lesson

This morning John Wayne decided that he needed a drink of water and a few minutes outside. I finally (begrudgingly) got out of bed at 2:00 am, filled his water bowl and opened the back door. As I stepped outside I was amazed at how bright it was, like a light was shinning on the back porch. I looked up and saw a full moon, glowing so brightly that I stood in amazement. Normally, for me to see the moon at 2 a.m. would not be such a big deal but we have had clouds and rain for the past 6 days - no sun, no moon, no stars. And here I was (another lesson from John) looking at the sky and enjoying the most beautiful sight that I could imagine at that time in the morning. I stood on the patio for several minutes taking it all in - and feeling gratitude that John wanted to go outside.

When I got up again at 6, the clouds covered the dark sky and there were no stars or moon to be found anywhere and we have endured another day of mostly clouds.

So I feel special gratitude tonight for that interlude at 2 this morning that allowed me a glimpse of beauty that I would have missed had it not been for the lesson that John wanted to impress on me again!

Though out the day my thoughts have gone again and again to those few minutes standing on the patio - and I can only feel love and appreciation for a Universe as lovely as ours! And for a dog who knows (somehow) how to get me to the place to see the loveliness. Even at 2 in the morning

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Looking for Home

We drove to the mountains tonight to look at a house. It is too far from town, but we loved the drive, of course. As for me, any excuse to drive towards the mountains is worth it.

For now we will continue our house hunting, looking for that perfect place to call home - hoping for a view of the mountains - but maybe not in the mountains.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We drove home on Monday and I am adjusting to the change. It feels so right to be here, yet there is a connection to our house in West Tennessee. It is always good to see our grandsons and our sweet Liz and her husband, Thad, but feels so good to come home. So I spent the day unpacking, re-organizing all the "stuff" we brought home, making plans for our future.

I flipped open my Life is Good Book for a daily quote and found "Go with the flow"

Life is Good when flowing.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Westward Bound

We are heading west for the weekend. Going to spend time with Liz and Thad and Tucker and Rollin and Fynneus!

Life is Good in West Tennessee!!!

Here's to the Ride!