Beauty in a Hotel Parking Lot

This was gong to be a Silent Sunday but there is a story here. The night before as we were driving towards our off-the-highway inn for the night, I smiled. I was in photography mode and thinking that there is little beauty to photograph from a hotel parking lot at these busy highway turnoffs.

Next morning I joined JB for breakfast, getting my usual scrambled powdered eggs, almost toasted English muffin, and juice. I looked up and there it was. The sun shinning on autumn leaves, slowly illuminating the mountains in the distance. People get up at 5:00 in the morning and travel miles to see this scene in their viewfinder. Fate shined on me with a room close to the dining room and next to a door to this scene.

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I don’t think cold powdered eggs taste too much different than hot ones – especially when I am glowing with the privilege of witnessing a beautiful Appalachian sunrise.

Which Way?

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I love Cee’s Which Way Challenge because I seem to collect images of roads and paths. I took this at the Mabry mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway; one of the many streams that were diverted to turn the mill wheel. It isn’t a road, but it so clearly shows the path of the stream. It is a bridge, but not one to walk over. This seemed a perfect illustration for thinking about “which way” the water travels and the many ways in which it is vital for our survival.

I hope you will look at your photo files and find one or more illustrations of the multiple ways in which we travel.

Woman of the Mountains

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I was in awe as I read the story of Aunt Orelena Puckett. She was born in 1837, married at 16, and became a midwife after age 50. She lived in this house in the later years of her life – a long life having lived to the age of 102. She helped bring more than 1000 babies into the world, the last one in the year she died, and it is said no baby died due to her fault. Orelena knew great grief, however, because she bore 24 infants herself, with only the oldest living just past 2 years. All the others died in infancy.

parkway200 185-2That is the story written on an information board at milepost 189.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It tells so much but so little about the life of this woman. This homestead would have looked so different in 1900 when people were living here.

parkway200 179-2I wonder what her life was like on a daily basis when she was, say, 70 years old – like me. She had to be a tough woman because she, along with her husband, widowed sister-in-law and her children, had to provide for and protect themselves. She also needed to be tender and supportive to bring so many women through labor and delivery. How did she grieve the loss of 24 babies and maintain the “cheerful and witty attitude” that she was remembered as having?

I think I found a new hero on the Blue Ridge Parkway.