Sunday, October 21, 2012


So, there I went cruising down the water in my loaner junkyard boat just soaking up the early morning sun when out of nowhere an observation swept over me.  I've been all discombobulated over cheap as opposed to expensive dental insurance for the past four months.  I can change companies this month only.  But, the fact is that I don't have any teeth.  What am I worried about?  I laughed out loud and continued chuckling for twenty minutes.  I'm free of that financial yoke of dental insurance..  Wow!  The realization was starkly apparent.  The dentures that don''t work right have a warranty for 7 years.  What could I possibly need a dentist for?  Why do I need great insurance?  I guess I should keep the insurance just because it would be un-American not to have it.  I'll think on it some more though.

 Fall is my favorite time of the year and I like to enjoy the leaves on my favorite lakes.  I also enjoy forays into the mountains on my little mule of a motorcycle.  The air is sweet and cool and the leaves waft by in my passing.  The wheels kick up the dried leaves off the road and I can see them swirling behind me in the mirrors as I pass over them.  It's going to cost me "gasoline" but I have to get back west of here to visit my very favorite lakes.  Indian Boundary, Chilhowee and Calderwood Lakes are tops on the list.  Abrams and Panther Creeks rate high.  I want to walk upon the ground where Scona is buried and ponder those great years when she was young and vibrant.  I want to relive moments when Douglas, the golden dog of the lakes and I roamed through Scona's history together and shared precious moments when he and I were as one.

Oh, I know I won't get to all those places this Fall but, I like to roll the idea around in my head.  Those places aren't just places.  They are all an accumulation of precious experiences.  They are embedded into my mind and heart.  They, to me, are what makes Tennessee a magical place.   Four years ago I raced Douglas to the top of a mountain bordering Abrams Creek non-stop.  He waited every 50 yards for me to catch up.  I never stopped to rest though.  I was proud of him for sticking with me.  Eight years ago I discovered 13 wide, stone steps at the base of a mountain in a wilderness that would lead me on a path of exploration driven by passion that ended with the discovery of a magical creation called Scona Lodge.  I've paddled a canoe on Calderwood Lake many, many times - sometimes with Douglas - and have enjoyed being the only human being on or near the water.  My mind was prompted to escape centuries back to another time lending false adventure to my simple paddling day.  And, I can't forget watching the Mistral Canoe float slowly away from me, just out of reach, down Abrams Creek until it disappeared around a bend in the waterway.  I had never felt so helpless.

For me, all the outdoor experiences I enjoy are not for the present - they are for that book I'm creating that illustrates the past.  All the memories, friends, animals, wild places and the inhabitants there-in, are written into the book of my mind where I can leaf through the pages at will and relive the times I hold sacred and valuable to me.  It is there where Douglas resides, ever faithful, waiting to emerge as if real.  It is there where Mom and Dad await me to turn the pages where a life on a farm with them established the foundation of who I am.

I've not forgotten, my golden boy - and never will.  Someday - someday---
 I'm not a planner at all and I act upon the thought of the moment so, I have no plans that can go awry.   I awaken in the mornings with an urge to go here or see that and I just do it on a whim.   I can, however, promise you that I will bring the wild places home with me to share with you as long as you wish me to.   Go out and enjoy life!