Ducks still swimming

As I drove past the Kingsport Greenbelt after going to the pet store to pick up more food, the ducks caught my attention, so I had to stop.
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The portion of the Greenbelt that I entered during the summer months looks completely different now. The trees have no leaves, which left the water that much more visible.
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Nonetheless the ducks were still there as I snapped a few pictures before my fingers became a little too cold.

Whenever I hear ducks quacking it brings me back to my childhood. It brings me back to my mom’s pet duck on the farm that used to talk to her all the time. 
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Like I always say, it’s the little things that bring a smile to my face.

Blue Hole

Today was another perfect day with my baby. We found another area to explore  … Blue Hole.

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Although there were not many trails to take at this destination, the areas we found were an amazing sight to see.

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We turned the hike into an adventure. We walked through the running water to get to the other side at many spots. It was a rush, quite the experience. Jason held my hand as I found my footing between rocks and on logs to cross the creek. I climbed up rocks on all fours and climbed down rocks while finding spots to get my footing.

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The Blue Hole was at the bottom of a small waterfall that many people and dogs were swimming in, which we stopped to check out before finding our own adventure again.

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Every time we go out and explore I become a little more gutsy and follow Jason as he finds amazing views.

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After our shoes, and well parts of our shorts, were completely drenched we decided to head back to the car and further up the street.

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The road leading us up the mountain was stunning, absolutely beautiful.

We decided to get out of the car at the Holston Mountain trail, which was much wider than the other hikes we have gone on lately.

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It was beautiful and cool, I had goosebumps from time to time as we were walking up the trail.

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The wild flowers were every where …

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We even spotted a snail hanging out along the trail.

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It was a wonderful walk, one which left our legs burning once we finished.

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Like I said, it was another perfect day, one which brought Jason and I even closer. These adventures are good for the soul and spirit. They show you what you are capable of if you put aside any and all fear.

Hopefully tomorrow we will have time to add another area to our list of exploring.

Lost in my own thoughts

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Today I went exploring the Kingsport Greenbelt once again – this time in the other direction.

I had to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, so I could get lost in my own thoughts while taking in the scenery and sounds.

It seems that feeling of being homesick hits me extra hard on the weekends. Yesterday especially, my emotions got the best of me. When I wasn’t working, the weekends were always spent with my mom when I lived in Fort Myers because I only lived miles away from my parents house.

So what occurred today …

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I was brought back to my childhood, which made me instantly think of my mom. The deep quacks first got my attention as I was walking down the path, a sound that took me back to the farm in Illinois when I was a young girl. My mom had a pet duck that looked exactly like this, Matilda. That duck used to talk to us all the time, that same deep quack.

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I love how everything around me today reminded me of mom … it made me feel like she was right there with me.

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This must be why I find myself at the Kingsport Greenbelt on the weekends … to make me feel closer to her.

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The path was again breathtaking, but not as covered with the huge lush trees as the other direction. The sound of the water running down the river was as clear as can be, making me thankful I left my earphones at home.

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Walking down this path cleared my head and erased some of the homesick feelings I was experiencing yesterday. Nature is the perfect therapy.

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No matter what part of Tennessee I am exploring, there is always a spot that grabs my attention and makes me stop dead in my tracks. Today it was the sound of the water and the beautiful view of this particular place. As the bikes, runners and walkers made their way past, I was still glued to this spot. My jumbled thoughts instantly became clear … my mind was free again.

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What a beautiful way to become centered again.

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Now as I sit on my porch recalling my journey from today a smile spreads across my face once again. Although I still miss my family, the emotion isn’t as extreme anymore.

What a great afternoon.

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One beautiful spot after another

Tonight Jason and I went exploring, a much needed break from my desk and computer.

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Our drive took us to a portion of the Cherokee National Forest. The lake was surrounded by mountains and lush green trees everywhere. We even spotted a mamma duck with her young swimming towards the shore.

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Unfortunately it was raining during our drive, so we did not have the opportunity to walk around and sit at the many picnic tables surrounding the lake.

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So we continued to drive down a very scenic road where we stopped again.

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I stood in the rain holding an umbrella while snapping pictures …

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Until it was time to get in the car again. I love how it feels like you can touch the clouds when the weather is overcast …

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Jason then took us down a beautiful country road that had a canopy of bright green trees overhead. Of course we were led to a creek …

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The sound of the water is my new favorite sound. I become mesmerized as my feet do not want to move.

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I will never grow tired of finding spots like this where my thoughts become lost as the sounds of the water capture all of my attention.

Although it was rainy, tonight was exactly what I needed. I love how Jason knows when to take me away from work. I came home relaxed and ready to start writing more articles in the morning.

We live in such a beautiful state. I fall in love with Tennessee a little more every day.

Another adventure

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We decided to get lost in nature again tonight at Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport.

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What a great way to end a day. I left all my worries along those trails because tomorrow is another day.

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The trail went straight up alongside Holston River, which was so pretty!

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After a couple steps, the scenery made me stop and take more photographs.

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And more …

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The smells, the scenery, the constant climbing up and descending down the hill was just what I needed.

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The trail became difficult at times …

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But always pretty …
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As we hiked down we started to hear rushing water as we became more level with the river.
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And the trail continued deeper into the woods along the river …
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The cascading water was now easier to see…
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And beautiful to hear …
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It’s amazing to see, wonderful to hear …
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A smile constantly spread across my face as we continued to walk along the trail looking at Fall Creek.
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More trails to walk … which then led us to a bridge.
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The trail was stunning, so much green, so much beauty.
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Tennessee is absolutely beautiful, what a breath of fresh air.
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I am beyond thrilled that Jason and I made this move! There are so many places for us to see, so many parks to visit and explore.

Nature is such a wonderful place to go when you need time to think and reflect on what has happened and what is still to come.

Although Jason and I were walking the same trail we were both in our own little worlds taking in what surrounded us and thinking our own thoughts.

A number of goodbyes

The last few days have been wonderful and of course emotional, as we fill the moments of our days with friends and family before we move.

Last night was a perfect example of spending time with friends and family, as we all gathered at Jason’s parent’s house for our going away party.

It was an incredible night full of laughter and many unexpected presents, as well as a few surprise guests.

I’m grateful that Jen and Ed opened up their home, so we could all gather in one place. Everything was perfect, the food was good, the company was excellent and the thoughtfulness was heartwarming.

At one point of the night, Jason walked up to me and put his arm around me. The squeeze and look said it all … we really have some special friends. The farewell party really was a great way to bring some of those people who have impacted our lives together.

One of the highlights of the night was of course the time I got to spend with Dorene. What a truly great friendship, one that has only grown since I moved back to Fort Myers from Arizona. This beautiful individual has been so instrumental in helping me through the stresses of our move. Every and anytime I needed her she was a phone call, text or visit away. A friendship I will always be grateful for. The best part of our goodbye, was it wasn’t our last one. Dorene is coming by tomorrow to help me clean, wow, what an incredible friend.

As the night went on, more individuals stopped by and spent a few minutes or hours with us as they shared our excitement for the move. So many good wishes filled this already warm house, which only left me with so much joy.

Jason and I have so many wonderful friends, so many thoughtful friends who are truly excited for us. The gifts, which of course was a surprise, blew us away, again how thoughtful.

Last night left me feeling loved …

Today of course that feeling only intensified …

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Dave and Judy treated Jason and I to a day out on the water … fishing and enjoying one another’s company.

As Jason and I left the house, my emotions and nerves were sky high. As soon as we stepped on the boat and got comfortable, those feelings started to subside as Judy and I instantly began a conversation.

As the afternoon went on, I felt like a new person. All the worries about the move disappeared as the boat gently rocked back and forth from time to time, all while breathing in the fresh air. There is something about being outside that calms any and every nerve. What great therapy. It was extremely relaxing to be on the water with three very important people in my life.

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The best part was I caught the first fish and two out of the three that were caught. Although they were only catfish, it was still a great feeling for me!

After some time out on the water, we went back in and began our goodbyes. Although I knew this goodbye was going to be difficult, I didn’t anticipate the tears to flow as much as they did when I finally sat down in the car and reflected on everything that took place this afternoon. 

All the sweet words that Judy whispered as we hugged filled my eyes with tears, while warming my heart. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and feel a friendship grow. This woman has been my other go to person as we planned our move. So many wonderful conversations, so many incredible memories and so many helpful words as things became to overwhelming.

Dave and Judy, you gave us a wonderful gift, a day of relaxation before we pack everything into the U-Haul pod and head to Tennessee.

This past week has filled me with so many emotions, so many memories, so many sweet words that will stay with me forever.

The best part of this past week is the closeness I feel with my boyfriend. I love how we are growing together as we finalize everything to put this move into motion on Tuesday. I love this man with all of my heart … oh my goodness how do I love this man. I know this move is the right thing for us … 

Tomorrow is our last day in Fort Myers. One more day of goodbyes before our next adventure begins, a day of goodbyes that I know will leave me an emotional mess. 

One more day … the countdown is finally coming to an end.

Great ending to the day

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Tonight Jason surprised me with dinner on the beach, which was then followed by a beautiful sunset.

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There is something special about being out in the open, smelling the fresh air, and listening to the waves roll to the shore.

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Tonight we traveled to Fort Myers Beach one last time before our move to Tennessee. One last sunset on the beach.

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As we witnessed the sunset yet again, the sky changed to a beautiful array of colors.

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A perfect ending to my day for the simple reason that Jason and I spent some amazing quality time together creating more memories. Our laughter filled the air throughout our time on the beach.

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Best part is we saw many dolphins playing in the water, a beautiful site to witness. I have video of a few coming up for air at the same time.