Sunday, March 15, 2020

Smoky Mountain Memories

Writer's Pantry #11, and I'm waxing nostalgic
 and posting something I wrote after the fire
in the Smoky Mountains in 2016.  I like to
revisit it from time to time.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 15, 2020
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                                                 SMOKY MOUNTAIN MEMORIES
                   
For more than 30 years, my three good friends and I spent a week every autumn in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Creatures of habit, we stayed in the same room in the same lodge for all those years.  It was our favorite place.  The Riverhouse Lodge sat at the base of a mountain beside a gurgling little river called The Little Pigeon River.  We spent long hours on the balcony over the river, and slept listening to the sound of its tumbling progress over the rocks below.   We played rousing card games, snug by the fireplace, with the bounty of our shopping sprees lining the perimeter of the room.   We shared our lives, our joys and tribulations, and marked those long hours with sometime tears, but always with much laughter.

The years have passed, and the other three of our foursome have passed on to what comes after.  I was left with my memories and the hope of returning to the Riverhouse one more time, but it was   not to be.  Last year, a careless spark ignited a dreadful fire that swept down the mountainside and burned to the ground the lodge we loved so much.  I was bereft.  One day soon, I thought, I’ll follow my friends, and we’ll all be gone … the four of us, the lodge, and the balcony where we shared our lives.  We’ll all be but a blip in the passage of time.  A new lodge will replace the old, and new young housewives will come for their annual girlfriend getaway.  But I wonder, I just wonder,  if our spirits may not linger in the green hills above, and the sound of our laughter be heard faintly as the water tumbles over the rocks below. 

13 comments:

  1. This is a lovely memoir Bev. Happy Sunday

    Much❤love

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  2. This is so beautiful and poignant, Beverly. It truly was harmonious with my spirits, as I read: the depth of feeling for that which once was … the truth-of-life that we cannot turn back time. The perfect post for these very challenging days ahead.

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  3. my, this post is so beautiful and poignant.
    you have described the place so well, and the friendship and camaraderie of your group. sometimes it is the memories that keeps us going, instead of hindering us, it gives us warmth and strength and the knowledge that we are loved.
    yes, Little Pigeon River, what a lovely name. i am trying to imagine what it really looks like. :)

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  5. This is wonderful ways. One that you three could meet every every year. Another that if three wer to go then you are still left. The third is the very nice outlook you have in passing. And finally is a wonderfully written piece.
    ..

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    1. We have been staying at Discovery Lodge (Hobby Horse back then) as we just come into Estes Park town from the north east. Kids and grands had room outside to play. A couple of times we've stayed at the YMCA motel at the south of town. My parents liked that one.
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  6. How precious those memories are... I believe the places we go to change us and we too by passing through them, change them a little...

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  7. We affect places as much as they affect us, I think. I bet the land is richer because it has fed in the laughter of friends. And I bet new visitors feel that bright energy, even if they don't know why...

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  8. This gives me chills. So moving. Thanks.

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  9. This is incredibly touching, Beverly! I must confess I had tears in my eyes as I neared the end 💝

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  10. I bet they are waiting for you and then four spirits can once again appreciate the beauty of Smokey Mountains. Not that I wish it would be soon. (Please forgive me if it sounded that way)
    I liked this reminisce of friends past.

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    1. I chuckled at your concern! Not to worry. At 86, I cling to my perch knowing many people who were dear to me are forming a welcoming committee and I'll be greeted with open arms! In the meantime, life is still good and I savor each day.

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  11. Beautiful writing, Bev! I like to think you and your friends might do a spot of benign haunting later on. Meanwhile, although I can picture only too well the devastation of fire after our recent Australian summer, I also think that nothing can take away those very wonderful memories. How great that you lived them for so many years!

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