Monday, November 11, 2013

Seasons Come, Seasons Go........

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Foothills Parkway
November 3, 2013

The autumn season has come and gone here in the mountains of East Tennessee and I have largely missed observing it.   I'm learning a lot of valuable lessons about seasons of life as they come.  I hope and pray that I will be a better person who applies these life lessons as this difficult season passes.  I'm sure I'll be writing about some of the things I've learned as time goes by, but for today, I just want to show you a few pictures we took last Sunday (a week ago) on Bill's last day of "recovery" before chemo treatment round two began Monday.  

We just wanted to see some of fall foliage without the headache of traffic and thankfully, we are natives of this area and know exactly where to go to avoid the nightmares of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  We headed toward the Foothills Parkway in Blount County and this is what we found.

Mile after mile of stunning yellow, red and orange trees with stunning vistas of the mountains in the background.  And just look at that road up ahead totally free of traffic.  At that hour of the morning, most tourists were in one of the many Pancake Houses back in the towns!

After exiting the parkway, we made our way out of the park and headed across some backroads few people know about and into the Cherokee National Forest to get a look at Bald River Falls.     We knew the falls would be crowded on a Sunday afternoon and would be at less than optimal flow in the dry season of early November, but took the risk anyway.

Bald River Falls - Cherokee National Forest
November 3, 2013

Remember, I am no photographer and I've posted pics of this waterfall before, but always taken in the early morning as I began the hike that runs alongside the waterfall for several miles.  I don't think I've ever seen the falls with this little water.  Normally the flow covers the rocks and I've see it tumbling ferociously during the rainy season.  And yes, we found the crowds here so we didn't linger.  Besides we were hungry and knew just where we were going...........

Don't come to the Tellico Beach Drive-In expecting anything fancy.  In fact, what you see in these pics is pretty much what you get as far as atmosphere, plus there is that big sign by the window that says, "no credit cards" and "no public restrooms!"  Waiting in line is guaranteed and believe me, they get in no hurry.  What you WILL get is a hamburger or hot dog made to order like they USED to make them before fast food joints ruined everything and crinkle cut french fries to die for.  

Fine waterfront dining at the Tellico Beach Drive-In
November 3, 2013

After our delicious lunch, we headed home.  Bill tires very easily and we'd been gone since early morning.  We were so thankful that he felt good and we were able to spend his last day before starting all over again out enjoying this autumn season as we watch it go!

We aren't real good with selfies, but I thought this one came out pretty good!
He looks normal to me since I'm used to him wearing a hat - who would know there's no hair under there?

Chemo treatment round two began one week ago today.  It's effects on Bill have been similar to round one, but we did learn some things and his doctor helped us with some ideas for managing the horrible nausea a little better this time.  But there are no two ways around it, chemo is awful for the person receiving the treatment and difficult for the caregiver to watch someone they love suffer so.  You would do ANYTHING to take away the sickness.  If this round continues to progress as the last one did, he will enter into his "recovery" period on Thursday and then have 1 1/2 weeks before treatment number three on November 25.  

Your kind words  have helped me tremendously and Bill is simply awed by so much support from folks who don't even know him!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers!


  1. Great photos the colors are amazing as are the falls. Keep hanging on in there Bill you will come through this and beat it.

  2. great photos and so glad you and Bill could get out and enjoy the fall Color. Safe travels and prayers for the next round. Stay strong!

  3. So glad you got a day to enjoy the color together. The falls are gorgeous, and how wonderful to be able to eat outside next to that beautiful water. You are both in my prayers.

  4. Best fall photos I have seen this year! Thank you for sharing! It looks like a wonderful day, and I'm so happy both of you were able to have it and enjoy it. You both remain in my prayers.

  5. So glad to see Bill out getting strength from feeling at least a bit normal. Great that you know just where to go to find all this beauty to soak up. David felt his best right before he started all the drugs again as well. But he was still tired. He napped a lot. Naps are good. I drove, he napped. You are 2/3rds of the way through. Coming into the home stretch. We keep you both in our hearts.

  6. Love the photos of the trees! Wow - such great colors. Nice photo of you and Bill. Tell him to hang in there, that I'm sending good thoughts his way (and your way too!)

  7. So glad you all were able to get out and see some of FALL ---in the interim between treatments. Love the photo of you two together.. You need more of them!!!!! Yes---Bald River Falls is low… Not much rain since the end of July…

    We've never eaten at the Tellico Drive-In ---but need to try it sometime!!!

  8. Those pictures are gorgeous. The colors peaked around here last weekend IMO.

    I'm glad you two were able to get out a bit and enjoy yourselves before the dreaded round two.

    Thanks for sharing this hard part of your life with us. You remain in my prayers.

  9. Glad to see Bill smiling on the blog! Best wishes for a smoother chemo course for this round.

  10. Enduring chemo (or any other significant trial) magnifies the beauty of simple pleasures. I'm so glad you and Bill were able to get out and enjoy a few.

    (Me? I'd have been at the pancake house.)

  11. Continued good luck. We learned for ourselves the 'nightmare of Gatlinburg' last spring when we came down to see the Smokies. Otherwise, a wonderful area.

  12. What a blessing that you could get out and enjoy such a glorious day. You have those lovely images to draw on as you manage this round of treatment. Prayers and good wishes to you both.

  13. So glad you were able to get out and enjoy some beautiful fall together. Photos are beautiful! That picture of you and Bill is very sweet. Best wishes to you both in this round. He should be almost o recovery as I type this. Thinking if you both.