Wednesday's highlight was our first broken window due to a baseball. I figured one of my boys would be the culprit, but NO! Addison Claire did the honors. She, Sam, and Taylor were playing a cut-throat game of "Wall Ball" when the incident occurred. Now we may be able to work out a buy one, get one free deal with the Glass Doctor because Tom accidentally broke the kitchen window back in December. Feeling more and more like the Griswalds from Vacation every day!
The kids and I decided to spend some time in a bookstore because the day was cloudy and rainy, so we cashed in some more donated books at McKay's. Yee-Haw! $25 in trade for us! Now we just need another rainy day and the third grade summer reading list to make for another trip to McKay's.
I woke up early Thursday morning feeling kinda lonesome and out of sync. I think it's because school is out, summer hasn't hit me yet, and it seems like all my friends are busy. Just
feeling BLAH. I spent a few minutes talking to God about stuff and would you believe He took care of me again! He said, not audibly, "Go to Cades Cove and talk to Me." So I did! Sam came jogging back to my bed and we snuggled a little bit. Tom had left early to go to the office, so my one-on-one time with Sam was unhurried. I told Sam we were going to the mountains today!
While I took a shower, he woke up Addie and we threw a change of clothes in a bag in case of emergency. We gave Grandmom a call in the hopes she could join us and she DID!
God blessed us with an overcast day on the cool side. I filled up my car with gas for a whopping $50.52, and we were off! Once we arrived at "the Cove," Grandmom begged and pleaded for us to walk the cove (11 miles). Addie has walked it before, but Sam? I didn't know if my six year old had it in him to walk 11 miles...in his crocs! Since Grandmom was near tears (not really, I'm exaggerating), I relented and parked the car! At 11:15, we set out for what was sure to be an adventure!
We had no water, no food, no band-aids, nothing but our determination and sheer will to take us through this perilous journey. The cicadas were out in force! Every 17 years they emerge from dormancy in the ground, mate, and die. They were everywhere! Dead cicadas littered the road. Flying cicadas occasionally flew into our hair, or landed on our shoulders and looked at us with their fierce red eyes. We say many of them...um...mating. Addie asked about that, "Is that like getting married?" Grandmom and I looked at each other and said "Yes!" at the same time!
We saw three of the largest bears I have ever seen! Sam wasn't impressed. He told us he'd seen much bigger. When we asked him where, he said, "In my dreams!" He cracks me up sometimes. The smells of fresh earth, newly mowed grass, horses, wildflowers, and nature made me wish for a bottle to keep it in so I can open it on those cold, winter days ahead and remember... We saw 14 deer, one salamander (Grandmom saved its life by throwing it back in the creek with a leaf), a furry, black caterpillar, a dead frog, a dead snake, and a dead mouse.
Miraculously, Sam walked all 11 miles without out giving up or giving out! He complained a little bit and told me when he finally finished that he was "never, ever, going to do this again!" He walked about half the way around barefooted!
This was a day to celebrate Sam's great accomplishment! We praised his effort and his success and gave him hugs and high fives! He frowned and reminded us that he was never, ever going to do it again, but we know he'll change his mind...hopefully!
No trip around the loop is complete without an ice cream cone reward, all four of us indulged our craving and devoured our treat in record time! Addie and Sam each got a root beer from Grandmom because they were "so, so thirsty!"
We headed back to the valley at about 4:00, tired, but happy. We took Grandmom home to babysit Bennett and I crawled onto the trampoline fully intending to finish my book. No such luck. Tom cruised home and gave me a 15 minutes heads-up to be ready to go meet someone to sign a contract, then we'd grab a bite to eat. O'Charley's was our restaurant of choice tonight because Addie loves the big, fat yeast rolls! I was thrilled to see one of my former students, Danielle DeFayette, working as the hostess, and another former student, Amanda Collins, was working as a server!
Obviously, God took a look at me this morning and decided to fill me up some more! I am abundantly blessed!