So much seems to have happened since my last post. First of all, we went to Gatlinburg, but cut our trip really short-not that it was all that long to begin with. We were due to leave on a Sunday morning, then return on Thursday. We really love it there. We love the variety of things to see, but mostly, we love the scenery. I guess the other times that we've been there have not been the busy season. As you can imagine, going in October certainly is the busy season. George and I neither one are much on crowds, so this was an automatic turn off for us.
The crowds that we've faced on previous trips paled in comparisson to this time. We couldn't even stroll side-by-side holding hands window shopping and smiling at the people passing. It was more like dodging here and there and bouncing back and forth from the right side of the sidewalk to the left and trying to keep an eye on whichever of us was in front. I know that I constantly reminded myself what color shirt George had on so I could pick him out if we got separated.
Our hotel was the goddiest thing I'd ever seen! It was clean as a pen, but the decorations were definitely lacking style and flow. Our favorite part of the room was the wrap around balcony. I would sit out there of a morning and do my devotion with a cup of coffee in tow.
The highlights were the trip up the mountain on the skylift. We enjoyed getting to look out over the town. We also enjoyed the food of course. We ate breakfast at Flapjacks, and it was just our style. The other highlight was driving through the Smokies. We didn't make it to Cades Cove this trip, but we drove up the mountain and stopped at several pull-offs to admire the foliage. The colors weren't as vibriant until we got to a higher elevation. We were constatnly saying to one another, "Oh, look!" It was definitely a revelation from God. Only beauty like that could be designed by His hand.
It was Tuesday when we drove up there. We got back into town around 1pm. We decided to eat and look around some more. We walked forever and ever. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were worn out. We had pretty much decided that we were going to cut our trip short and leave in the morning. As I began to pack up what we wouldn't be needing to get ready with in the morning, George went out to sit on the balcony. While I placed each item in the suitcases, I kept thinking over and over how I wished we could just go ahead and leave. I went out to sit with George, and eventually shared how I felt. That wonderful man of mine replied with, "I'm fine to drive!" I literally jumped up and down. I am not kidding you, within 30 minutes we were in the truck heading out.
When we got home, I believe at 10:30pm, our animals were thrilled to see us. It was of course dark, but we could see the white on their chests as they stood at the top of the steps to greet us. Plus we could hear our dog's tail swatting back and forth. Home never felt so good. You know how when you were a kid and you got sick at school, all you could think about is your mom coming to get you. Once you got home, you automatically felt some better, just to have your own bathroom, your couch and your pjs. We had only been homesick, but boy were we relieved to have our bathroom, our bed and our babies-Scotty and Scarlett.
I have almost made it up in my mind to just stay home until the Lord calls me home to my permanent residence. I don't think I care if I ever leave again. Of course there are some places I'd like to see, but surely with technology being what it is, I could take a virtual vacation from the privacy of my own home? Or, maybe by the time George retires, they'll have made real transporters like the ones on Star Trek. If I taught my very intelligent, Border-Colley mix how to operate it, then I could genuinely say, "Beam me up, Scotty." Wouldn't that be nice?
I have told George that we just need to stay home the next few years and save back the money that we would've spent on a vacation and eventually buy a camper or RV. I don't know how willing Scotty would be to travel with us, he's pretty partial to the head of this holler like his momma and daddy, but I'm sure Scarlett would be content to go with us-as long as she had a window seat and plenty of food. I guess we are her home, more than this actual place.
Anyway, we've been back a few weeks now. I love it here. About an hour ago, I walked up the holler a little ways to check the cattle's hay, and I just felt like I was in the most beautiful spot on earth. There are no mountains or sandy beaches, but there are foothills and creeks, cows bawlin and dogs barkin. Scarlett brings us the occasional present in the form of a ground mole or chipmunk to reassure us she's earnin her keep. Scotty's tail sweeps across the porch when he sees us, I know he's tryin to help me out by cuttin my workload down. I have a good-hearted father-in-law not to far from my front door who would protect me if need be, or feed me if I was outta food, or provide warmth in the form of a wood stove if my electric was to go out in the winter.
I'm tellin ya, when you are as blessed as all this, how could your heart long for anything other than home. The only home that could top this one is the one that is being prepared for me just inside the pearly gates. It is a home not made with hands, where there's always Sonshine.
It's so good to be home.