Seasons of the Heart- John Denver

I always loved this song by John Denver.  Today was a hard day and an emotional day for me and so it wasn’t hard to just let the tears just roll down my cheeks when I heard this beautiful song playing today.

Were you a John Denver fan?

Seasons of the Heart

Of course we have our differences, you shouldn’t be surprised.
It’s as natural as changes in the seasons and the skies.
Sometimes we grow together, sometimes we drift apart,
a wiser man than I might know the seasons of the heart.

And I’m walking here beside you in the early evening chill.
a thing we’ve always loved to do, I know we always will.
We have so much in common, so many things we share,
that I can’t believe my heart when it implies that you’re not there.
Love is why I came here in the first place, love is now the reason I must go.
Love is all I ever hoped to find here, love is still the only dream I know.

So I don’t know how to tell you, it’s difficult to say.
I never in my wildest dreams imagined it this way.
But sometimes I just don’t know you, there’s a stranger in our home.
When I’m lying right beside you is when I’m most alone.

And I think my heart is broken, there’s an emptiness inside.
So many things I’ve longed for have so often been denied.
Still I wouldn’t try to change you, there’s no one that’s to blame.
It’s just some things that mean so much and we just don’t feel the same.
Love is why I came here in the first place, love is now the reason I must go.
Love is all I ever hoped to find here, love is still the only dream I know.
True love is still the only dream I know.

Gail

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Ozone Falls

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Hubby and I recently visited the beautiful Ozone Falls in Rockwood, Tennessee (near Crossville, Tennessee).  Ozone falls is a 43-acre natural area.  The falls plunge 110 feet below into a greenish-blue rock pool.  Hubby and I went with the intention of doing some hiking but once we got there, we discovered there really wasn’t much hiking to do.  But oh, those falls!!

I LOVED THIS PLACE! 

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Ozone Falls is one of those hidden gems in Tennessee that I never knew was there despite living in Tennessee for 59 years, nearly my entire life!  The falls are just off of Interstate 40 and a quick walk from the parking area (which is not actually a parking lot but just a small pull-off area from the highway).  You can view the falls from above (careful as it’s all natural meaning NO fences, so if you have children, beware) and then if you so desire and are brave, you can climb down the steep rugged boulder-covered path to view the falls from below.  The day we visited, there were only about six other people there but hubby and I were the only ones to climb down below to the gorge area and I will say that it was very much worth it!  Some of the others (most on motorcycles) were revisiting the falls and had climbed to the bottom on previous visits.  We were glad we brought walking sticks and wore appropriate footwear!

we were grateful for having worn these when we saw the steep rock climb we had to make down to the bottom of the falls!

Did you know that Disney chose Ozone falls to film some of their scenes from the movie Jungle Book?  It was filmed in 1994.  The famous cliff scene was filmed at the top of Ozone falls.  Here’s a clip.

Some views from the top of the falls:

at the top where the cliff scene from the movie Jungle Book was filmed

Why oh why do people feel the need to leave graffiti??????

Now it’s time for the climb down to see the falls from below.  There’s no real “trail” to get to the gorge, just rocks and boulders.  It’s pretty steep in places and rugged but doable.  These are the rocks we climbed down  to get to the gorge.  And yes, we watched out for snakes!

The view from below was so beautiful!  The temperature drops quite a few degrees as you descend downward.  It was in the mid 70s outside and there was just a slight spray from the mist but it was cool and refreshing.  Tennessee summers get very hot and humid and so usually in the summer, you’ll see people swimming in the swimming hole.  It didn’t look too deep but it wasn’t quite warm enough the day we were there to do any swimming.  Hubby and I sat on a boulder down from the falls and just enjoyed the peacefulness and the roar of the falls.  I felt like I was in another world.  I could have sat on that boulder admiring the magnificent view or reading a book for hours!  The air felt so clean and clear down below.  The amount of water you will see going over the falls depends on rainfall.  It had rained a couple of days before we were there so there was a good amount of water compared to other pictures I’ve viewed.

The boulder you see in the lower right hand corner is where we sat and admired the view of the falls.

Our view from the boulder

 

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view looking behind the boulder

In all honesty, we were somewhat dreading the climb back up, but surprisingly, it was much easier climbing back up the boulder strewn path than it was going down.  And we stopped along the way to admire the scenery.

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I think this was called “Gambler’s Den”

It was an enjoyable day and we had a good day at Ozone falls.  I will definitely go back.  I love waterfalls…. they are good for the soul!

Gail

Posted in Beauty, Nature | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Virtual Coffee #6

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If we were having coffee today, I’d let you know that I’ve missed you since I stepped away for a month-long blogging break.  It’s good to step away for these little breaks every now and then.  And though I didn’t blog myself, I still made visits to most of my favorite blogs.  And already I see that there are changes in WordPress since I’ve last posted.  For one, the toggle for spellcheck is gone and that’s certainly not good (for me anyway).  Why is it we become so resistant to change the older we get? I should probably invest in a newer edition of WordPress for Dummies.  I have to confess that after almost nine years of blogging, I still have no clue as to what I’m actually doing. 

WordPress for Dummies

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I honestly sat and cried last week when I read this blog post  by Michelle DeRusha the other day.  I’ve said it before, but her blog is one of my absolute favorite blogs and her writing is so brutally heartfelt and honest.  I just love her writing.  I identified with this post so much and have the utmost respect for her for sharing it because I too, thought I had chosen the perfect career, my dream career, that I had wanted since I was seven years old and worked many long and hard years to attain.  But after just a few short years into it, I realized it was NOT the career for me.  And experiencing a career death and the loss of a lifelong dream is EVERY bit as difficult as going through the death of a loved one.  The grief is hard.  I can vouch for that.  I’ve never found the courage to blog about it.  So yes, I loved this post.  And then today, she followed up with this post which once again brought tears spilling down my cheeks.  I hope Michelle never quits writing because she is so very good at it.

If we were having coffee today, I’d probably rave on and on about a book I just finished reading.  I’m more of a non-fiction reader but occasionally will read fiction, especially if it comes highly recommended.  And this historical fiction book did.

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From the back cover:

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai’i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place—and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka’i. Here her life is supposed to end—but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.

The author just released a sequel to this book in February so I’ve seen some renewed interest in this book which was written in 2003.  I. Loved. This. Book.  I’ll have to admit, I knew nothing about leprosy (other than reading about Jesus healing lepers in the Bible and some about it from an old episode of  Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman back in the 90s) but learned a lot about it after reading this book.  I had no idea leprosy was even still around (it is and it’s now called Hansen’s disease).  The loneliness, isolation and the shame people with this disease experienced was just horrific!  This book is full of action and it was one that was hard putting down at night.  I think I felt every emotion known to man while reading it.  I can’t wait to read the sequel!

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you my heart nearly broke yesterday morning  when my youngest son called me and told me he and his wife had just had to have their beloved little dog put to sleep.  They were sitting outside in the parking lot of the vet clinic when he called.  When I heard that twenty-six-year-old boy of mine break down and cry and heard muffled sounds of his wife’s sobs in the background, this momma just wanted to jump right through the phone, take them in my arms, and hold them both close.  Missy, who was a little 10 lb. dachshund/shih tzu mix, had only just turned two years old.  She was a sweet, loving little dog who was always so eager to please.  But she developed severe skin and health problems from a very early age.  They spent a lot of time during her short little life taking her for vet visits and to veterinary dermatologists.  She was tested for everything under the sun and skin biopsies finally showed she had a rare genetic inflammatory skin disease.  There was no cure.  They were told they would have to use oral and topical medications and treatments for her lifetime which they were very willing to do and did.  Her medical care was intensive.  Recently, she got a severe MRSA infection and her little immune system just couldn’t handle it.  After spending Sunday at a pet emergency clinic, they had to have that very difficult conversation that as pet owners we all dread having.  When Missy’s regular vet saw her yesterday morning, she agreed that it was time.  I’d appreciate prayers for my son and daughter-in-law as they go down this very hard road of grief.  It’s tough.  Missy was loved so very much.

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Excuse the quality of this photo but this is Missy last fall after one of her surgeries for a greatly enlarged Lymph node in her neck.  She developed a large seroma after the surgery.

I am 100% convinced that she is happy and healthy now and she’s running and playing in the glory of heaven today and she’s with her creator.  And though she’ll be missed here, she’s no longer suffering.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my husband and I have decided that even though we’ve lived all our lives in the great state of Tennessee, that we haven’t seen near enough of it.  Tennessee really is an incredibly beautiful state with a lot of diversity.  There’s rolling green hills, the stunning Smoky Mountains, beautiful rivers and lakes, and waterfalls galore.  Yes, there’s lovely things to see right here where we live and so we’re seeing it!  We’re doing some hikes and visiting state parks and waterfalls.  I’ll blog about some of our adventures.

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Well, thanks for having coffee with me today.  Let’s do it again real soon!

Gail

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Blogging Hiatus

 

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Thanks for stopping by Moonlight Reflections.   I am taking a little blogging break and will be stepping away from the computer for a while.  I’m not really sure when I will return.  It might be days, or weeks or maybe even months.  But God willing, I’ll be back!  

Have a wonderful spring season, get out and enjoy God’s beautiful creation, and always, always, be kind to one another.

Gail

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Sunday Glory

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Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Gail

Posted in Sunday Glory | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Girl and Her Duck

I saw this On the Road with Steve Hartman segment on the CBS Evening News yesterday and it was just one of the best things I’ve seen in a long, long time!  What a sweet and  beautiful story.

Gail

Posted in Animals, ducks, Love | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Things I’m Loving These Days

Early spring walks

Hubby and I went to our favorite place to walk at a nearby state park a few days ago.  It has a nice little 2 mile paved trail around a small lake.  We just about always see wildlife of some sort at this park– deer, wild turkey, Great Blue Herons, turtles basking in the sun, etc.  We weren’t surprised to see that our favorite trail had been recently flooded with all our recent rains.  There were barriers up at the entrance to the trail with warning signs that said: Walk at your own risk.  Lots of hikers were out and we were told the trail was passable, just a little messy in places.  The water was  high and some of the observation piers along the trail were completely submerged under water.  Parts of the trail were muddy or filled with debris and there was lots of driftwood.  At one part of the trail it appeared the flood waters had actually gotten up underneath the pavement, lifting it and moving it several feet.  So there’s lots of work to do on our beloved trail and signs said work would start around March 22nd. Today!!

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Briarwood Lane Outdoor Rubber Doormat Tray and mat inserts

I ordered this doormat tray from Discount decorative flags.  I’ve ordered garden flags and mailbox covers from them for years and have never been disappointed.  I love that they have the mats organized by seasons or holidays.  Just add a new insert at each new season or holiday.  They are so colorful and cheery and they always have a good clearance section!  All of the mats I’ve found have been on clearance.

Briarwood doormat tray

The Doormat Tray

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new spring mat insert

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This is the mat I used during the winter.  Just packed it away until next year!

America the beautiful doormat

Loving this one for the Fourth of July!

Fireside Cozy Slipper Socks

Fireside cozy slipper socks

Hubby put a pair of these in my stocking this past Christmas and I absolutely LOVE them.  He found them at Academy Sports + Outdoors.   They are so warm and wash easily.  I will definitely be getting another pair or two of these!

Watching April the Giraffe’s new baby on Animal Adventure Park’s webcam

Baby G is just adorable and he is growing so fast!  He will be a week old tomorrow and has already gained 10+ pounds.  I have so enjoyed watching and learning about giraffe behavior from this park and watching sweet April mother this little calf.  As you can see, I’m not the only one in our family who watched his birth.  Yes, Nugget and Dakota were very much into the whole birth too!  Dakota was also very interested in Oliver, the nervous pacing daddy giraffe in the next pen, but Nugget was totally in midwifery mode watching April, and I swear he wanted to help her.  I tell you, animals just melt my heart sometimes.

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Dozen Roses Necklace

Hubby surprised me with this ruby and diamond pendant necklace on Valentine’s Day.  The ruby is my birthstone.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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Educated- by Tara Westover

Educated

I’m not quite halfway through this memoir but let me tell you, this book has captivated me!  Have you read it?  It’s been on my to-read list for a long time.

Book summary from the book cover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing ties with those closest to you. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

I recently saw the author on The Ellen Show (and found her and her story very interesting which made me run out and get this book).  Here’s the interview.

I’ll warn you though, the book is hard to read at times as the abuse the author suffers at the hands of her brother gets quite violent at times.  It’s leaving me with a lot of questions as well but since I’m not quite halfway through the book, hopefully, those questions will be answered.

Gail

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