Wednesday, December 24, 2008


click the pictures to enlarge This is a very windy day. I'm not going to be able to make it home this Christmas. I was given some days off at work during the summer for another event and I just can't make myself ask for more time. I get vacation just like everyone else and don't care to abuse the privilege. Friends at home understand. I received a great Christmas present from my friend Tom who lives in Pennsylvania. For three years now we have been tripping on the Blue Ridge Parkway together. It is an event I really look forward to each Fall. Tom gathered together some pictures from all three trips and combined them into a really neat little photo book, professionally bound, and he made many flattering notations throughout the pages about me. Each page is high gloss and most pictures are of me. I am deeply moved by this gesture of friendship. I'll cherish that book forever, as I will him and his lovely wife Jill. If your reading this Tom; thanks again from my heart. The wind is howling. It is warm and will rain this afternoon. I have a day ride planned with two friends on Friday so I made sure the iron horse was ready to roll if the weather holds. Then, as usual, my eyes scanned over the yard to the dogs who were staring at me with anticipation. Why not. "Come on guys!" They leaped to their feet and stood by the gate waiting. This would be a great morning to do a turn around the ruins area at the park. The wound in Happy's shoulder was healing nicely but still has a way to go. I chose a hike that would not take us too near the lake as I didn't want her in the water and risk infection. So we walked around the lake shore from a higher point. The vista's are beautiful from this high position. I can see a large portion of Tellico Lake. It is amazing how much construction has occurred since I moved to Tennessee. The quantity of new homes on the lake side is amazing. Huge buildings. I'll never, ever understand why one family needs such an enormous house. The house above is not out of the ordinary. They are beginning to line the edge of Tellico Lake much like Fort Loudoun Lake. I do not go to Fort Loudoun Lake anymore at all. There is no land where one can beach a boat and not be on private property. It is that way from Lenoir City clear to Knoxville; about twenty miles of shoreline and I'm referring to both sides of the lake. I see it happening at Tellico Lake. I don't want to dwell on it here but; TVA levied immenent domain on all the land owners years ago to build all the resevoirs here in East Tennessee. Federal marshals actually physically entered homes and removed owners forceably when they resisted. Flood control and power were the reasons. Well then; why hasn't the unflooded portions of land been given back to the original owners? Seems someone is getting rich by selling those unflooded tracts. Who got the money when that property along Tellico Lake, above, was sold? Bet it wasn't the farmer who had it taken from him. It's a curiousoty of mine pertaining to right and wrong; at least in my mind. Here's another photo of what I'm talking about. Wonder how long it will take until this beautiful lake is filled with Wall Mart size houses and the water is littered with jet skis? The picture above is just down the shoreline from the other photos. Even here one can see the construction starting on the high area at the top of the picture. The real estate sellers are on the move. I guess it won't be long until the wildness of this fantastic lake is gone. I catch a glimpse of white out of the corner of my eye and swing the camera to it while pushing the shutter button. I almost got a great picture of two deer entering the edge of the forest. I did get the second one just before he disappeared into the thick scrub brush. And yes; there goes Shade with them. Douglas made an attempt to follow but a loud "NO" from me stopped him in his tracks. Shade is not as well disciplined. The deer in the picture should appear clearly if one clicks on the photo to enlarge it. Douglas is such a good boy. He wanted to follow Shade but he waited with me. Great! He makes me happy. I entertained thoughts of being stuck out there in the wind and later, the rain that is sure to arrive, calling my lungs out for Shade to return. I yelled, "Shade, Come", the whole way back to the truck with Douglas, Happy and Sigh. One more loud vocal "Shade, Come" and I saw her black form round the bend in the dirt path that leads to the truck. She had been waiting there by the truck for us to return. She's a big goof and I love her. But there's work to be done. We're home now. I thought I would go ahead and do this blog post to kill some time. I want to see what the weather is going to do before I start on an afternoon adventure. I would certainly like to get the canoe on the water again. I doubt it will happen today. But I believe I can do it tomorrow. Perhaps I will spend some time training Turnip, a foster dog, to walk on a leash. I'll not waste the day. Of that you can be sure. Merry Christmas.