Tag Archives: Clingman’s Dome. GSMNP

Fun With Family-Part 3

7 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

After our adventure with my aunt and cousin earlier in the week, we decided to set out on another one, but not so strenuous for my aunt. My husband loves driving Highway 441 through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Even with the twists and curves, it relaxes him and we are blessed to spend 6 months of the year less than an hour from the park.

During leaf season Highway 441 can become congested, especially on the weekend. We checked the weather forecast and decided that Thursday, October 23rd would be a perfect day. We packed some snacks and set out.

The park has frequent turnouts, or scenic overlooks and we stopped at a couple of our favorites.

The walkway in the picture above leads to an overlook and the colors were gorgeous.

The first time my children went sledding was in this park at one of the turnouts. Friends had invited us to visit them at their cabin in Franklin, NC and we were thrilled when we learned the park had snow. Good memories were made with our children and the grandchildren.

Our next stop was the Newfound Gap overlook. It sits astride the Tennessee and North Carolina border and is a popular stop. It took a while but my husband found a parking space.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park now has webcams and I am thrilled. The mountains are always showing a different look. Here is the LINK if you would like to check it out.

Back on the road, we headed down into Tennessee. We planned to shop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for Christmas gifts but stopped at Chimney Top Picnic ground to enjoy our snacks. There are several popular trails off the road and their parking areas were full beyond capacity. We were concerned there would not be any free tables at the picnic area, but the concerns were unfounded. I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of our picnic, but I did take pictures of the boulders along the stream.

When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we only visited one shop, a ladies clothing store-of course. We scored some bargains then my husband drove us to his favorite shop…Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Since we don’t usually eat carbs this was a serious treat but we each only ate one and a half of the lusciousness!

My husband was tiring and since he was the driver, we decided to retrace our route to return home. The park reintroduced elk a few years back and the herd has prospered. We were hoping our family would see them when we reached the Oconaluftee Visitor Center area. And they did!

We weren’t the only ones gawking, I mean enjoying them! The park service had made one of the road lanes a viewing lane and helped keep visitors safe.

This is the end of my Fun With Family series. We enjoyed the time we spent with them. Time with family and friends is truly a gift.

The delayed colder temperatures have arrived and the beautiful colors are losing their luster. Even once the color is gone, the mountains still call to me and I love the time I am blessed to spend among them.

I'm a winnerAfter 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  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use 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.

Bargains, Blooms and Heaven Too.

6 Jul

On the Porch
Onisha Ellis


Have you noticed as one gets older, that days seem to speed by and you can’t really remember where the last week went? Maybe if something exciting happens I can recall that, but for the most part, days and weeks are a blur.

As a child, I couldn’t imagine enjoying heaven where each day would stretch into eternity and I would be bored to tears singing praise songs. Now my quirky mind is wondering if the sensation of time speeding up is preparation for eternity. I can easily see myself  having no clue how long I have been there, that is a good thing, but I sure hope heaven doesn’t include endless repetition of the same eight to ten words like praise songs at church. Somehow I believe the songs will be more creative and glorious.

I did have some excitement last week. Big Lots has a bread rack with reduced prices. When we made our weekly visit to check out their choices, I was thrilled to find Artisan Bread by Sara Lee. I love this bread. It is the closest to home made taste that I have found. It’s too pricey for me to have often unless I find it at Big Lots so I stocked up!



Our Hydrangea continue to bless up with abundant blooms and I am enjoying them. Yesterday my husband cut some beauties to enjoy inside. While I was stripping off the leaves, I accidentally pulled off some small blooming branches. I looked around the dining and kitchen area for a suitable vessel and spied a small blue bowl and pitcher set.  We had given to  my husband’s mom as a souvenir of one of our trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It depicts Clingman’s Dome. Her birthday is this month, so I decided it was a perfect way to honor her memory. She raised five boys and loved them dearly.



Our July 4th celebration was on the quiet side. Our grandson came over in the evening to have supper with us and watch our neighbor’s fireworks.  It was good to have one on one time. He is growing up to be an interesting young man. The neighbor out did his previous years efforts. Of course the one that went awry was kind of exciting. Nothing like having a ball of glowing green fire heading straight at you!

It seems fireworks can be purchased as a boxed set, just like books!


My cousin, Diane Murphy passed away this week. I like to think of the heavens lighting up to welcome her home. She was dearly loved.


At her son’s wedding

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