Septober: Another Month-Smushing, But Not So Weird. Maybe.

October 8, 2022

The older I get, the faster the months fly by. Next year my Doodle may become Janfebarchilayjunjulgustseptobernovdecember. This could be a win-win for all you Doodleheads out there. Only one long Doodle to read per year! Don’t count on it though. I have a perfectly sensible reason for squashing September and October together into one grand, all-encompassing month of Doodledom. The last week in September I was preparing to go on a little vacation trip, so I didn’t have time to write whatever I could dredge out of my mind right then and there. Now that we’re into October, I might as well do some more smushing and save us all some time. Although, this entire paragraph has just stolen some moments that could have been used for something more essential.

Oh well, here we go! September wasn’t all that momentous. In fact I don’t remember anything that happened during those thirty days, other than Fall fell at last, my father-in-law turned 90, which is certainly a major accomplishment, Bret and I endured some more vaccinations, I knit a shawl, Bret delivered a salamander to a professor in Wilmore, and we visited the daughters, son-in-law, and grands while we were up there.

The first week in October was much more exciting! We took off for Raleigh, N.C. on September 30, driving through several hours of tropical storm Ian. We had an appointment of sorts there, or we would have waited to leave another day. Bret had a certain exciting musical instrument to pick up from a guy in the Czech Republic who made it for him. This man and his wife, who were very nice, was attending the World Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh that weekend, so we traveled over there to meet up and bring Bret’s instrument home. From there we drove to Boone, N.C. for a couple of days of wandering around on the Bluegrass Parkway. Even though the fall color was not in full glory, the mountains were still beautiful.

We hiked parts of some trails, but my clumsy old body kept us from going very far. Bret can still tromp all over the place, walking on logs and jumping from rock to rock in streams, but I’ve always been klutzy, and I seem to get worse the older I get, so I didn’t want to do much of that. I waited in the car or sat on a rock while he did his thing. My old bones did make it to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi, from the parking area. Bret had no trouble, but I just about died. Goodness! Steep climbs were never my strength, but these days my body prefers to avoid such strenuous endeavors. I was quite proud of myself for making it to the top and not falling off!

From Boone, we traveled to Robbinsville to visit the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to see big, old-growth trees. Poor Bret was all excited about walking the whole loop, but wiggly rocks and too many steps gave me the willies, so I waited by a tree, while he explored a little farther. Poor guy! He’s married to an old lady! But this old lady spotted a baby snapping turtle on the ground on one of our walks that the biologist didn’t see. Ha! He found a Red-Bellied snake and a salamander or two along the way.

On our way home, we drove through the Smokies, stopping several times for Bret to hop around on rocks taking photos. The Smokies are my absolute favorite place to visit! If we were rich, we would have a cabin down there to go to whenever we wanted. Thankfully, God moved us to Corbin in 1989, close enough to visit the Smokies often.

Get out and enjoy the beauty of Autumn color and cooler temperatures! Unless something spectacular happens later this month, I will enthrall you once again at the end of November. I will post more photos on Facebook when Bret finishes making them presentable.

Mt. Mitchell
Red-Bellied Snake
Baby Snapping Turtle