I have friends(yes, real friends)in Eastern Tennessee. I left NE Arkansas Thursday morning and arrived at their home around 3 in the Afternoon. Jan, Con, three dogs and five cats greeted me. They live in a very nice home surrounded by woods. It makes for a wonderful place for their animals to run. They commune with nature too. She has four hummer feeders and as we sat on the porch in the evnings and mornings, they buzzed us as they came to feast on the feeders and on the flowers in the yard and around the fountain. There is a little green frog that lives in the fountain. He comes out and sits on the rim, but if you get too close, he dives back into the pump housing. Jan has a beautiful stained glass lotus blossom she made in the pond that the frog sits on as well.
I was treated to a scrumptous meal of roast, potatoes, carrots, wheat rolls and applie pie. I think I made a pig of myself, but I was hungry.
On Friday, we visited with Jan's mom and dad. Then along with Don, we went over to Sgt York's home. In case you don't know or don't remember, he was a WWI hero, and the most decorated veteral of that war. He came from humble beginnings in the hills of Tennessee, and a movie was made about his life starring Gary Cooper. You can read about him here. This is the grist mill his family owned and operated.
This is the water source that powered the mill in it's early days. It was later changed to some sort of motor driven grinding mechanism.
This is the turtle we saw at the edge of the stream. Don't know exactly what kind it was.
The picture below is yours truly standing by the statue of Sgt York beside his home. Don't know why I didn't get any of the house. The house was very interesting. The original furniture is there(and what I wouldn't give for some of it). Several of their clothes are on display. His now 84 year old son is the park ranger that spends his days there at the house telling about the life of his famous father. I asked him if he realized when he was a kid that his dad was such an important man, especially when very important people came calling. He said no he didn't. Anyone who knocked on the door was welcomed in, and people from every walk of life came to their home. The Yorks had 10 children, losing two in infancy, they raised eight to adulthood. The thing I thought was funny was the names of some of the children. The ranger was Andrew Jackson York, one of the brothers was Thomas Jefferson York and a sister was named Betsy Ross York. He was a true patriot, a person who had greatness thrust upon him, but struggled financially all through his adult life.
On Saturday, we drove to Chatanooga to the Fresh Water Acquarium. Along the way, we stopped at the overlook to the valley below. It was hazy that day, but still quite beautiful.
Once inside the acquarium, we found this fellow. Can you tell which is me and which is the penguin?
The butterfly room was awesome. There were butterflys everywhere. The blue one was the most beautiful I'd ever seen. When it's wings were open like in the picture, you see this beautiful blue, but when they are closed, the outside looks like a tapestry in browns.
Jan left Don and me to rest while she went to get the truck. I thought this building was interesting across from the bench on which we sat.
I had a wonderful(but too short)time with my friends. On the way home I got to thinking how long we've known each other. We met in late 1994, so it's been 16 years. My how time flies. Seems like only yesterday.
I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday. Pray that the newest explosion in the Gulf doesn't prove to be as tragic as the last one. Love one another.