Archive by Author

50th Anniversary Trip-Last Day

17 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 14, 2021 Leaving Pigeon Forge

Our final morning in Pigeon Forge,Tennessee. The days had flown by and I wondered if I should have booked 7 nights instead of 5. Maybe it was good to leave with future adventures to anticipate rather than a “been there done that feeling.”

Our check-out time was 10 am and we had a lot of stuff to load into the car. We made it with minutes to spare and waved a fond good-bye to our unit.

As you may have noticed from previous posts, my husband loves Krispy Kreme doughnuts. For him, a trip to Pigeon Forge always includes a visit to the doughnut shop. Every day of our stay he would ask if that day was KK day. Every day I said not yet, until this day, our final day. After all, our route from the time-share to highway 441 to begin our journey home would take us past Krispy Kreme.

Photo Credit Pinterest

In past times we would always purchase a dozen glazed doughnuts, preferably hot from the fryer. Now we limit our order to one each or two each for special occasions. Fifty years of marriage definitely qualified as special.

Photo Credit Trip Advisor


Our daughter and I were salivating over the featured doughnut flavor, Oreo. We decided to split one. It was good but not nearly as tasty as it appeared.

After 5 days of doughnut deprivation my husband was too intent on wolfing them down for me to get a good picture. I had to settle for this one.

Hyped up with sugar and caffeine we began our return journey through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Newfound Gap is where the states of North Carolina and Tennessee meet. Several hiking trails including the famous Appalachian Trail can be accessed at the gap. I was impressed with this group of older hikers and wondered what sort of trail they were attempting.

When we began our anniversary trip we were thrilled to view an elk herd wading in the Oconoluftee river. We weren’t so lucky on this day, but we did take the time to enjoy a walk by the river. I was fascinated by the tree roots growing on top of the ground.

I think I may enjoy the spring colors of the mountains more than fall. There is something about the tender green of the leaves and the delicate blossoms that speaks life to me.

50 years of marriage. So many memories we have made together. Life hasn’t been perfect, but wouldn’t perfect be boring? We have always enjoyed road trips and the memories that stand out are the ones that began with a wrong turn or a particularly unpleasant situation that turned into a funny memory. We are looking forward to whatever time God has ordained for our future together. We are blessed.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

The Father of Miami

15 Jun

The Storyteller Almanac

The latest episode in my ongoing podcast series, “The Storyteller Almanac” is now live and available for listening / downloading. This one is called, “The Father Of Miami.” It’s presented in my favorite format, the “Paul Harvey / Rest Of The Story” format. In other words, ya’ gotta stick with till the end to figure who or what the heck I’m talking about :).

Click HERE to listen

You can find the podcast on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and similar. Or you can navigate directly to www.StorytellerAlmanac.com to listen/ Please “follow” or subscribe to my podcast so you won’t miss any future episodes. No charge. No obligation and no salesman will call :).

Thanks for droppin’ by, neighbor! “Mike, The Storyteller

Today, June 15th, 2021 is National Nature Photography Day!

Being a photographer that has always loved the great outdoors, wildlife and nature, this day was made for me!!!. I’ve captured thousands of nature pictures over the years. Having recently done a big push on my Etsy Shop, I though to myself, “ How can I not post a few of my original nature photo up there?” Sooooooo……. Check these latest two out if you would by clicking HERE


I’m on a roll with adding more good stuff to my Etsy shop :). I added a shot I managed to capture a little while back on a summer afternoon in small town Florida. The photo is offered both as a digital download and a physical matted print of ‘Old Glory’ – our American Flag in honor of Flag Day, June 14th, 2021. I also figured where Independence Day / July 4th was right around the corner, this would be a good add. Please check it out in my Etsy Shop where you’ll find an additional picture in greater detail 😉

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

Here’s the After-Covid Joy

5 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Goodness, spring is over and, admittedly, the spring cleaning became nothing more than a good intention.

Then guilt nudged. I rolled up my sleeves and began with closets. Then drawers. I tossed out jars of who-knows-what in my bathroom drawer—old tubes of lipstick, creams that probably ended up there since I was a teenager.

What happened to the beautiful fragrance?

But among the junk, to my delight, I found the little bottle of perfume I’ve been searching for months. It was my favorite for its delicate, yet delicious scent.

Without hesitation, I popped the glass lid off, brought it to my nose, and the scent was, well, blah. How could that fancy bottle of perfume lose its fragrance?

The same way lots of things in life lose their zest—a new outfit, a new car, a new house, a new career and even new relationships.

Have you been there? At first, they shine with promises and fill that part of us that hungers for a little delight. But before you know it, the luster fades, the excitement wanes and the scent of enjoyment evaporates.

Are we there today? A nasty virus caused the fragrance of peace to fade. Our days turned sadly insipid. And what was once filled with the scent of freedom and joy, now has the odor of gloom.

But while most sink into a life of blah, we have another option: the aroma of God’s Word. The scent of His promise. And the sweet smell of His joy. That joy becomes our strength (Nehemiah 8:10 paraphrased).

That’s why, no matter what you face, in your weakest moments, He will renew your strength. When you run toward the finish line, you’ll not be weary. And when you walk through difficult days, you’ll never faint. (Isaiah 40:31 paraphrased).

But…instead of exhaustion, you will be strong until victory is yours because “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8).

Until that day, you gotta be bold, be committed and driven enough to hold on to that bottle of His promise. Inhale His reassurance. Delight in His faithfulness. And, night and day, relish in His commitment to keep you strong.

Let’s pray.

Father, when my life loses its zest and my strength wanes, I shall enjoy the scent of Your grace to keep me strong till the end. In Jesus’ name I pray.

What will bring back the sweet smell of victory to your life?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

50th Anniversary-Part 5

4 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 13 Day 4 Shopping Day

Tuesday, April 13th was our last full day in Pigeon Forge. When we first visited Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge was called the quiet side of the Smokies. Now among its many claims to fame is the shopping. The original Red Roof Outlet still exists even though some of the major outlets have moved out and until recently my favorite Corning Ware store was there. The store was a clearance gem and I have many of their bargains in my kitchen cupboards. My husband enjoys perusing the discount tool stores and sometimes he even buys something! My daughter and I checked out the Old Time Pottery store. She is the creative one and finds inspiration browsing their shelves. Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee at the newly opened Black Rifle Coffee Company cafe. The brand is veteran owned and we wanted to support them.

PhPhoto

Photo Credit customcarsusaonline.com

Several years ago a new mega outlet center opened in adjoining Sevierville and that is where we headed next. I don’t think we purchased a single item but we enjoyed browsing. Our daughter may have purchased something in the Columbia Sports store. I had planned to include a visit to the Bush’s Baked Beans visitor center in nearby Chestnut Hill, Tennessee but due to Covid, it was closed.

Photo credit Wikimedia

Photo Credit Wikimedia

My plan for our last dinner in Pigeon Forge was to find a locally run restaurant. Unfortunately, we seemed to be smack dab in the middle of chain restaurant heaven. After some brainstorming, I remembered a restaurant aptly named The Diner my daughter and I had seen when we were driving around one day while my husband rested. It advertised itself as “one of a kind and locally owned.” Perfect. It was styled as a 1950’s diner and specialized in milkshakes and other ice cream treats. I ordered a fried green tomato BLT and it was yummy. I may have even eaten a few french fries as well. I held off temptation to indulge in a milkshake. But is was hard.

Photo credit Flickr Carl Wycof

After supper we returned to the time share. I made a pot of coffee to enjoy while we streamed a television program. We called it an early night as we had to be out of the time share by 10 am the next morning. We would be sad to leave.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

A Special Memoria Day Podcast:”A Soldier’s Last Waltz”

1 Jun

The Storyteller Almanac

Reblogged 6/1/21

 

Greetings Y’all

This weeks episode in my ongoing podcast series, “The Storyteller Almanac” is a tribute and recognition to all persons who gave the supreme sacrifice defending this country while serving the U.S. Military. It does, however focus in and gets based on a true story about a guy named Vince. Please tune in and listen to hear the whole story.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

You can find the podcast on any of the major podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more. You can also navigate to www.StorytellerAlmanac.com and find it. Please feel free to subscribe to the podcast on any of the aforementioned podcast platforms so you won’t miss any future episodes!

Until Next time, Be kind to each other, pray peace, do good deeds and help those in need. And as always – follow your path oof heart!

Make it a good day – Mike T.

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

Hope- A Full Blown Emotional Story

25 May

The Storyteller Almanac

Reblogged 05/25/21

The latest greatest podcast episode in my ongoing podcast, “The Storyteller Almanac” is live now. This episode quite different than anything I’ve put out there so far. Let me explain.

Several years back, I had this idea of creating sort of a ‘stories online’ type thing. These were all original pieces I’d conceived of and written. They were basically fiction but partially based on some of my real life experiences, interactions and people I’ve known during my lifetime. Each story is / was about 25 minutes long. The stories contained music mixed in, sometimes sound effects etc… They distantly resemble an old time radio program. Or perhaps to use a more specific analogy, they might remind you of a portion in my favorite radio program of all times, “A Prairie Home Companion” and the segment of that radio show that (original host and creator) Garrison Keillor used to call, “The News From Lake Wobegon.” If you’re not familiar with those references, not to worry. My podcast stories will make sense to you when you tune in and listen.

Hope” is one of those stories that has a twist ending. But I’m not gonna explain. You’ll just have to go listen and hear for yourself . If you like emotional, feel good stories then this is for you. I’d love to hear from you and what your thoughts and feelings are on this type of podcast / episode. 

As always, you can find the podcast at www.StorytellerAlmanac.Com or on any of the major podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple. podcasts, Google Podcasts etc… And if you feel so inclined, ple ase follow / subscribe e to the podcast via one of those podcast platforms. No charge. No obligation and no salesperson will ever call . 

Thanks for droppin’ by neighbor!

Peace – “Mike The Storyteller” 

“Follow your path of heart”

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

7 Ways to Conquer Rejection

22 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged May 22, 2021

May 21, 2021

“I wanted to die,” my friend said as she dabbed tears. “I never expected he’d cheat on me. I never, ever saw it coming. I asked him if he still loved me,” she said in the midst of sobs, “and he said he stopped loving me a long time ago.”

You or someone you know might have tasted that bitterness of rejection. It crumbles our world, leaves us stunned, and shakes our security.

And when we try to make sense of it all, rather than peace, self-blame adds to the heartache.

But in the cold winter of rejection, a spring day appears. Here are seven ways to make the transition:

  1. Take your turn in rejecting. Reject the enemy’s attacks. He’s a master in bringing on guilt, self-pity, and bitterness. Close your mind and heart to those intruders.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

  1. Embrace new habits. No more nights with pillows wet with tears. Lonely moments are filled with the confidence in the truth God is actively preparing the best.

…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

  1. Redefine your identity You’re not a failure, a loser, worthless or unlovable. Instead, you’re God’s child. Strong enough to keep going, open enough to receive His love, and able to embrace His promise for your future.

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

  1. Change the view. Look beyond the circumstance. When your eyes are on the Lord, a new kind of hope and an expectation of new beginnings replace worry.

My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psalm 25:15)

  1. Exchange guilt for hope. The path to healing is paved with confidence, not in our own ways, but in God’s guidance.

…teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:4)

  1. Increase prayer and praise even when there’s no visible sign of the solution, boldly thank God for the outcome.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4)

  1. Expect the best. And while waiting in expectation, embrace joy as you trust in God’s ways, count on receiving His best and watch as His answers appear.

… blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7)

As spring flowers bloom, a new beginning blossoms when embracing these seven steps. And in the midst of the thorns of rejection, a new rose bud. That’s when the garden of life has the scent of a new beginning

Let’s Pray

I pray your steps are firm, your convictions are sound and your dreams are sparked by God’s love.

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

50th Anniversary Part 4

21 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Monday April 12, 2021 Cade’s Cove

Planning this day of our trip was frustrating. Our original reason for choosing Pigeon Forge for our celebration was to visit Dollywood. From their website:

Spanning 160 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood offers more than 50 world class rides, high-energy entertainment, award-winning dining and the friendliest park atmosphere in the world! We even received an award for being so friendly!

40 years of visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and we hadn’t made it to the theme park. The call of the outdoors and nature had always been more powerful. Credit card in hand, I read online the requirements for visiting the park, make a reservation, wear a mask, purchase tickets ahead of time and reserve a scooter for my husband. With my husbands unpredictable health, it felt impossible. I slipped the credit card back in my wallet. We would see how the elements came together.

Sunday night we decided to once more pass on visiting Dollywood. Instead we chose to visit one of our favorite places in the park, Cade’s Cove.

The valley has a rich history. For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. 

Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. Pick up the self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the loop road for information about the buildings you’ll see in the cove and the people who lived here.

https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

Years ago when our children were small we enjoyed an evening hay ride along the loop road. It appeared the hay ride was not being offered when we would be there but a carriage ride was. The carriages were booked on a first come basis. We needed to get moving early! And we did. We were the first ride of the day. Unlike the hay ride, the carriage ride was through the woods.

Our driver was a “talker” and shared funny and interesting stories. At one point he stopped on the hewn path and explained we were riding on the equivalent of an 1800s interstate. I have a new appreciation for earlier generations who rode in carriages and wagons. I understand why they are shown traveling slowly. It was bumpy!

After the ride, we circled back to the loop road. We hoped to see deer and maybe even a bear. We didn’t see a single one even though we drove slowly and peered into the woods. I guess they had retired for the day. We did see some of the beautiful horses and spring fresh trees.

Our last visit to the cove, I saw a family picnicking in the field next to the cabin above. I had my heart set on picnicking there this trip. My husband being more forward thinking than I, wasn’t excited about the idea, but he went along with it. As he was taking a picture of my daughter and I, a woman in a truck on the loop road called out and offered to take a family picture. Wasn’t that awesome?

I soon discovered my husband’s forward thinking. I easily sat on the blanket, but getting up with nothing to hold on to was tricky and embarrassing. Notice he didn’t sit, merely knelt.

We were pleased to learn that one of the lesser known roads out of the cove, Rich Mountain Road was once again open after being closed due to the previous year’s pandemic. It is an unpaved one lane road that was used by the early settlers. In the past we have seen wildlife and even a bear on it, but not this year! From an overlook into the valley there is a beautiful view of one of the churches. It was a gorgeous day.

After leaving Cade’s Cove we headed back to the time share for a little R&R. While my husband rested, my daughter and I went to the swimming pool area. She was anxious to spend some time in the hot tub, loosening her tight muscles. I totally forgot to pack my swim suit but I enjoyed sitting under the shade of an umbrella and enjoying the view.

We weren’t in the mood for dinner out, so I made a run to a nearby Publix grocery to get my husband’s favorite meal, Publix fried chicken.

At the end of the day, I was completely happy to have spent the day in the cove, rather than in Dollywood. Maybe after Covid has passed and we can make a spontaneous decision, we’ll try again.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

50th Anniversary-Part 3

13 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

April 11, 2021 Day 3 Pigeon Forge, NC

We woke up this morning to sunshine and cool temperatures. A perfect day for the short hike we had planned, the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail located in the Chimney Tops Picnic area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Here is a description. You can read more HERE

Short but very sweet, the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail is a self-guided interpretive footpath that serves as the perfect introduction to one of North America’s richest ecosystems: the Southern Appalachian cove hardwood forest. In spring, the woods here serve up a truly spectacular wildflower display: one of the most lavish and accessible in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There were two signs at the start, one describing the wildflowers we would see, the other a warning. The man(teen) caused 2016 fires were devastating to the forest as well as humans.The fires ripped through mountain homes forcing fleeing residents to endure harrowing drives through the fires. We drove through one of the affected neighborhoods and were horrified at what the people must have experienced. In broad daylight the steep narrow road set my nerves on edge.

The loop trail was.9 of a mile with some up and downs, but overall was a fine trail.

It was good to see families on the walk. Watching the young ones scamper up the path brought to mind hikes with our children. So much energy! I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. We did see flowers too.

After our walk we ventured into the picnic area. We were surprised to discover the Park service had closed a whole section. We were even more surprised to discover they had also closed ALL of the restrooms. There was only a two door portable toilet! But when one is desperate, you do what you have to do. Fortunately the line was not too long and thanks to Covid, I had plenty of hand sanitizer. After lunch we decided to try another nearby short hike, The Sugarlands Valley Trail.

This trail is more of a stroll than a hike and the cool thing is that it is 100% handicap assesible. This is the description from Alltrails.com

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is a 0.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

I am a history fan and my imagination kicked into high gear as we walked past river stone chimneys and old foundations. The settlers were forced to leave their land to make way for the National Park. I can imagine their sorrow leaving the beautiful community.

There was a couple power walking and I wondered if they were “locals” who walked there frequently, They passed by us several times as we strolled, but we were content and thankful to be able to enjoy it at our own pace.

Back at the time share, we began to think about supper. Fresh air does that! My plan was to dine at family owned restaurants but the ones we saw,for the most part, only served breakfast and lunch. The main road, known as The Parkway was lined with restaurants but we weren’t excited about endless traffic lights and bumper to bumper vehicles. When my daughter and I had been shopping previously we discovered a road parallel to the parkway with less traffic. Surely there would be restaurants there too. And there was! We chose Texas Roadhouse. The meal was delicious and no cooking and washing up for me! When we returned to the time share, the temperature had dropped. We turned on the gas logs fireplace and settled in to watch a television program before turning in for the night. Tomorrow we would be visiting one of our favorite places, Cades Cove.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

He Just Wouldn’t Quit

11 May

The Storyteller Almanac

This week’s podcast episode in my ongoing series, “The Storyteller Almanac” is about a famous individual in U.S. History who, no matter what the odds became stacked up against him, just would not quit. It’s presented in the “Rest Of The Story:” format. In other words, you gotta stay with me until the end of the story to figure out who or what the heck we’re talking about :).

Click HERE to listen now.

You can find the episode at www.StorytellerAlmanac.com or on any of the major podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts etc… If you feel so inclined, please subscribe to the podcast when you navigate to whatever respective platform that you choose to listen. No obligation. No Charge. No salesperson will call :). 

Thanks for droppin’ by, neighbor!

I’ve been ‘clickin’ the shutter since I was about 16. I morphed into video production when I went to work for The Walt Disney Company many years ago. Currently, I still work for Disney. But my real passion and path is utilizing my photography and multimedia skill sets for the greater good. Translated, anything or anybody that deserves recognition, appreciation or documenting for future history, I’m all over it. Too many important things just slip away in a fast moving, fast paced world / society. ‘If ya’ wanna know where you’re going, ya’ gotta know where ya’ come from’ (Sir Lawrence Olivier – The Jazz Singer 1980). 

If you feel so inclined, I’d sure appreciate you subscribing to Storyteller Almanac on any of the major podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Really helps me grow the po

To contact me for any reason, please click or copy & paste: 

MikeThomasImagery@gmail.com

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