The Women in My Life

August 23, 2016


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They say confession is good for the soul.  I hope ‘they’ are right, because I feel I really should confess about some of the ladies in my life.  If you go beyond this paragraph, however, you have to promise not to tell Betsy about my confession.

One of the first ladies I see each summer is Janice Brown.  She’s very pretty and perky, as you can tell by the photo above.

I must admit to being partial to blondes, and the bright yellow of Carolyn Criswell is always a delight to see.

Judith is somewhat shy, but she is always a joy to have around.

I have a great deal of Irish in me, so I suppose it’s natural that I’ve been drawn to Dublin Elaine.  In my mind there aren’t many like her in this world.

Of course it’s hard to think of the Irish without picturing fiery redheads.  Lady Lucille definitely fits that description.

Last, but not least, is Lady Elizabeth.  I suppose I shouldn’t feel too guilty about seeing her; after all Betsy’s first name is Elizabeth.

There — you have my confession.  I wonder when I’ll start to feel better?

Down Memory Lane: Trying to Feel Cooler

July 27, 2016


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It’s been down-right hot hear on the Cumberland Plateau for the past couple of weeks, and promised relief just never shows up.  So I thought perhaps I could feel more comfortable by revisiting an excursion my Beautiful Bride and I took to the Smokies in January, 2013.

We were on our way to visit Cades Cove, but we stopped along the West Prong of Little River on the way so we could visit Meadow Branch Cascade.

As you can tell from the picture above, it was decidedly cooler than it is now.  While I scrambled down the bank of the river to get pictures, Betsy kept an eye on me from the safety of the road.

I thought the point where the base of the cascade met the river was a pretty sight.

The West Prong Little River is definitely little before it meets the cascade, but it flowed clear and cold on the day of our visit.

We like visiting the Smokies because we always see something new.  We never expected to see a dolphin smiling at us as he stuck is snout out of the rushing water.

Another Experiment

July 5, 2016


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I’ve been experimenting again.  I’ve used Photoshop to horizontally stitch together pictures to make panoramas, but I had never tried to stitch pictures vertically.

When Betsy and I visited Dry Falls on our way home from our anniversary celebration, I captured three pictures of different parts of the the waterfall which I later stitched together to get the image above.  I think the result gives a good view of Dry Falls.

Early to Rise

June 15, 2016

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“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

I wonder if they still teach that saying from Old Richard’s Almanac?  I’ve given up on the wealthy and wise part of the saying, but my Beautiful Bride and I are hoping the healthy benefits of early rising hold true.

A nearly full moon greeted us as we left the house one early morning. May 23, 2016.

It isn’t always easy to get out of bed (and out of the house) before the crack of dawn, but we try.  Fortunately we are often greeted by a beautiful sight such as the one above.

Some days are cloudy, but there is still beauty to be found.

Dawn's early light on a cloudy morning. April 25, 2016.

Clear skies have a spectacular predawn beauty of their own.  The colors are amazing.

A crescent moon in the dawn sky behind our house. April 5, 2016.

In addition to beautiful skies, we are usually treated to the songs of birds as we make our way around the golf course.  The peace and serenity can be felt.

Good Morning World! The sun popping over the mountains. May 4, 2016.

And we know we can count on the sun to rise over the mountains to the east and show us the way home.

A light to show us the way. The fourteenth hole of Druid Hills Golf Course. April 30, 2016.

Down Memory Lane: Pisgah Forest (July, 2009)

May 21, 2016

2009  -- Pisgah Forest

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In July, 2009, Betsy and I met my son Robert and his family in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina.  We did some hiking in the Pink Beds and had a wonderful picnic lunch.

After lunch the young people (my son inclued) decided that they would like to check out Sliding Rock, a popular summer destination in the western North Carolina mountains.  As the name implies, Sliding Rock is a water slide down a smooth rock face.  Betsy and I volunteered to be the official photographers, so we had to miss out on the fun.

In the collage above, Sliding Rock is shown at the top left.  Robert, Sean and Zack are waiting their turn to slide down the rock (Sean looks a little unsure about what he’s gotten himself into).  The top right shows Robert and Sean going down the slide.

The bottom left photo was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway later in the day, while another picture of Robert and Sean is on the bottom right.

To see larger versions of these pictures and others, click HERE.

Thoughts of Spring — Memories of that white stuff

March 14, 2016

Spring is now officially less than a week away, and some of us — myself included — are thinking of green grass, fragrant flowers and warm days.  We’re glad to leave Old Man Winter behind.

Others, however, (and I’m not mentioning any names)  are less happy to leave Winter behind.  As most of you know, my Beautiful Bride loves snow.  She really likes it when she can watch it snow through the day, and when it clings to trees and bushes.

Betsy says we never get enough snow here in the Glade, and I will admit that other places around here get more than we get.  But we do get snow, even if it’s not a memorable blizzard.

I put this slideshow together to help Betsy remember the snow we got year.  The pictures were all taken around our house or on our morning walks on the golf course.  Hopefully it will help her get through the long months before Old Man Winter pays us a return visit.

Grandfather Mountain

February 16, 2016



In November, 2012, Betsy and I spent a couple of days in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  One of the places we visited was Grandfather Mountain, not too far from Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

The day we visited Grandfather Mountain was beautiful, but cold.  The cold didn’t bother us too much as we started up the mountain, stopping at the Sphinx, Split Rock and the Wildlife Habitat on the way.  But by the time we reached the Mile High Swinging Bridge at the top, the wind was really blowing and it was cold, COLD, COLD!  The weather had been mlld previously, so we weren’t prepared for the cold.

We made it across the bridge nevertheless, although for some reason there weren’t a lot of people around.  After thawing out in the Visitor Center at the top, we headed back down the mountain for some warmer temperatures.

This slide show contains images taken that day during our visit to Grandfather Mountain.  We’ve been back since, but the weather was milder at that time.

If you would like to see these and other images taken during our visit to Grandfather Mountain, along with a caption for each image, click HERE.

Morning in the Glade

January 7, 2016

The break of day on Druid Hills Golf Course, Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.  January 5, 2016.

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Betsy and I are making a conscientious effort to stay healthy.  Our plan involves watching what we eat and trying to get in at least one long walk six days pr week.

Neither of us particular enjoys walking along the roads (there are no sidewalks in our area), so we much prefer walking the golf course.  That usually means getting up early so we can get our walk in before the golfers arrive.

On a cold, winter morning that is not always something to look forward to.  It’s hard to get up while it’s still dark and start trudging up those hills.  But on some mornings — this past Tuesday, for example — we are struck by the peaceful beauty of the place we are fortunate enough to call home.

Autumn in the Smokies

October 1, 2015

The Smoky Mountains as seen from the Foothills Parkway.  October 23, 2012.

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Betsy and I make it to the Smokies several times each year, since we only live a couple of hours away.  We both think the Smokies make a wonderful day trip, although we do try to avoid the times and places that have the most tourists.

However the Smokies always call our names in October, so we venture out a time or two each year to take in the colors.  The pictures in this post come from a day trip we made several years ago.  On that trip we traveled along the Foothills Parkway, which offers wonderful views of the mountains from just outside the park itself.

The panorama above shows the Smokies from one of the first overlooks we came across.  From this vantage point it’s easy to see why Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the nation’s most visited park.

Trees showing off their vibrant colors along the Foothills Parkway.  October 23, 2015.

A closer look brings out the vibrant colors that bring so many people to this part of Tennessee each year.

Orange leaves against a blue Tennessee sky.  October 23, 2012.

A single branch can be a riot of color.

The beauty of a single leaf.  Foothills Parkway, October 23, 2012.

Looking even closer, we can see the beauty of a single leaf.  Is it any wonder we keep going back year after year?

Down Memory Lane: Kuta Beach, Bali

June 25, 2015

1987 -- Kuta Beach

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I spent most of the summer of 1987 teaching in the People’s Republic of China, but before beginning our teaching duties our group was able to spend four days on the island of Bali.

We stayed at Kuta Beach Resort, which seemed like the perfect island paradise to this farm boy from Indiana.  All of these photos were taken at the resort.  The images are scans from slides taken in 1987.

To see larger versions of these pictures and others, click HERE.