Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Memorable Smokies Break-away

Hey there! My husband, Jim, and I are in the Great Smoky Mountains this week, having good days near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Jim is giving a fresh look to all of his book manuscript, Hope of the Phoenix: How three presidents saved millions of refugees in a conflicted world. When not sleeping, I read, think, and do a little Internet surfing. We get together on our condo's patio that faces mountains - for refreshing change of pace every afternoon. We soak in the fresh air and watch more leaves turn their bright, dying colors. 

This morning, I listened to Pope Francis's address to the U.S. Congress. I felt moved by the four Americans he chose for focus - President Abraham Lincoln (a man of peace and reconciliation), Martin Luther King, Jr. (a man of dreams and daring), Dorothy Day (a woman of social conscience and action on behalf of the poor and neglected), and Thomas Merton (a man of prayer and contemplation). All remained open to God and the work of God in individual and national life.

At lunch time, Jim and I went down the mountain to a barbecue lunch that was scrumptiously diverse. There were chicken and pork barbecue, baked beans with dark molasses taste (yum!), coleslaw, cold pasta salad, potatoes, and huge bread rolls. We did not taste everything, but I decided to dig in on the pork, baked beans, coleslaw, and pasta salad - four choices enough to take me well past dinner! Oh, and beverage choices including unsweetened and sweetened iced tea.  I think of it as Tennessee Tea.

We sat beside a swimming pool across the way before taking a shuttle back to the top of the mountain with our heads full of interesting conversations with other "take a break"-ers on the shuttle, at lunch, and as we walked around and saw now-familiar faces. We learned that Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where we once lived, is being made into a national park. We'll try to get over there before we depart this gorgeous state of many family memories.

Now I'm ready to post a link to Jim's 2002 monograph, The Perils of Unresolved Humanitarian Problems, with preface update, now a 2015 Kindle Direct ebook

Here's hoping you are getting ready for a relaxing weekend, or at least a few relaxing, contemplative, active hours. See you soon, friends.

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