Flood of memories

Flood of memories

A flood of memories took hold this morning after Lucy and I went to Bays Mountain. The first adventure Jason, Lisa and I had after we arrived in Kingsport almost two years ago.

This morning I needed more than just a run. I needed to get lost in the woods for a little while. So around 11, we started getting ready to go for a hike.

As soon as we arrived I spotted a chipmunk, which I haven’t seen since one of the first times we went hiking at Bays Mountain. The best part was Lucy had no idea what I was looking at, so I was able to capture a shot. A picture with food in his mouth.

I knew it was going to be a great hike after that.

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We first headed to the spot where that adventure took place. That adventure almost two years ago. An adventure that led us to a waterfall.

waterfall 3As soon as I heard the noise I became emotional. As soon as I stepped out near the top of the waterfall memories came flooding back.

I felt Jason with me . . . wishing he was beside me instead of hundreds of miles away.

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waterfall 1All of my memories from that day in May 2013 consumed me as I found a rock to sit on and take in the scenery. We had so much fun that afternoon exploring the outdoors of our new home.

IMG_3141 editWe created so many of our own little adventures that day. So many adventures that made me begin to beat my fear of heights, all with the help of Jason by my side.

The laughter filled my veins as I looked around, really looked around, and remembered the fun we had that afternoon.

IMG_3144 editI sat there on that rock for as long as Lucy let me.

IMG_3145 editFor as long as she allowed me to listen to the rushing water while sorting through my thoughts.

IMG_3146 editOf course those thoughts began tugging at the tears I somehow managed to prevent from falling. Happy tears. Happy tears of how far Jason and I have come since that day. Since that first adventure.

IMG_3151 editLucy finally had enough, so with a heavy heart we kept on hiking.

There was a smile on my face from that moment on, especially when the flood of memories continued of everything Jason and I have seen since we moved to Kingsport in May 2013. The smile was because a relationship that was already strong when me made that move together, has only grown leaps and bounds since then. That smile was because I have the heart of a man who will do anything to make me happy. This time a part has proven that on so many levels.

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IMG_3171 editThe further we hiked the Lakeside Trail the deeper in thought I became. There is just something about the outdoors that fully allows your mind to wander. Although I was deep in thought, the noises of the outdoors still captured me, as well as the beauty that lined the trails.

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IMG_3176 editI’m so glad I had Lucy with me. She brought me back into the moment as she too enjoyed the outdoors.

As always, here’s our hike through Lucy’s eyes.

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One of my hopes before leaving the house this morning was spotting signs of spring. I was so excited when I saw a tree along the water that was showing life again. The only tree along the path we decided to hike.

My trip was complete. I’ve been excited about spring all winter. It is one of my favorite seasons. There’s something special about watching nature come back to life.

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spring 2It’s hard to believe that tomorrow marks two weeks since Jason packed his car and headed to Florida to get us ready for our move. A move that would bring us closer to family and friends.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss Jason. There is not a day that goes by that I wish he was here with me, or I was there with him.

This transition period, however has shown me what I am capable of . . . what kind of strength I have. I have become independent on a level that has made me proud. A level of independence that has shown me I am much stronger than I have ever thought or gave myself credit for.

Today was a great day. A day that made me think of all the beautiful moments Jason and I have shared since moving to NE Tennessee.

More fall colors

After going out into nature yesterday, I got the bug, I wanted to go out again today and take more pictures of all the beautiful colors. (That’s the beautiful thing about freelance work, I can make my own schedule. The only downfall is when I get back from hikes like this, I don’t want to go back to work.)  Jason and I went back to the first place we visited when arriving in Kingsport in May, Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium in Kingsport. I really enjoyed seeing all of the changes, our hike was gorgeous today.

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We decided to take the trail that circled the lake, about a 2.3 mile hike on the Lakeside Trail. I wanted to take some pictures of the trees with the reflection off of the lake. unfortunately I had no such luck, there was too much wind, making the water rather choppy.

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I’m happy with what I was able to capture, especially with the cloud coverage . . . and then the bright sun.  IMG_0749

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There were lots of places along the trail that had flashes of color in a sea of green.

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Always catches my attention!

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Last night it rained pretty hard, so there were even more leaves on the path. I could really smell fall this morning, the smell of leaves. There is nothing like that smell, it again brought me back to my childhood.

IMG_0702I picked up some more leaves today for my friend Dorene. I was so excited to see so many beautiful leaves at the rest area in Virginia last weekend, I didn’t think it all the way through. By the time we made it to Maryland the leaves were already drying and the corners were shriveled. So as soon as we hit the path today, my hands became full again. I gathered more than a dozen leaves and brought them straight into the house, so I can flatten them and send them off. It was exciting choosing the right ones, sharing a piece of our new home with a friend.

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The picture above is one of my favorites, the vibrancy of the colors were amazing on the trail today. Yesterday it was the red leaves that caught my attention, today it was the bright yellow and orange.

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IMG_0740How can you not like the fall, when you see colors like this? Breathtaking!

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I like when I saw the red and yellow leaves together, incredible.

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Before leaving the trail we saw a beehive and what looks like some holly.  IMG_0730

This is the road leading into the park. Jason and I kept saying we couldn’t wait to see some of the roads we traveled when visiting the waterfalls when the leaves began to change. The sight was more incredible than I could have imagined.  IMG_0765

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IMG_0769Like I said yesterday, fall is my favorite season so far. Well now that I am completely relaxed, I better get back to writing.