There seems to be no shortage of responsibility that gets put on my shoulders. I have a very difficult time is saying the simplest of words, "No". I realize that I do most of this to myself. I must learn how to say it. I need to stand in front of a mirror, purse my lips and utter that single syllable over and over and over again, until it feels...natural.
But here I was, standing on the deck high in the mountains in this beautiful log cabin (although complete with all the modern facilities minus the WiFi) overlooking a great expanse of woods. As I looked out on the expanse of wilderness listening to nothing, I could feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. The road getting to said cabin was rather extreme in itself. The grades were steep both going up and down as we wound our way higher into the mountain on a single lane gravel road. Thank God I drive a Jeep, but even so...I don't think I'd want to encounter one of those roads after a heavy rainfall OR ice. Treacherous is the only word that comes to mind. And what pray tell do you do if you come across another vehicle going the other way! Backing up on these steep curvy roads with a deep ravine drop off on one side and rock mountain on the other doesn't sound like it would be easy. And there would be no possible way for two trucks to pass each other on these roads.
But it was extremely peaceful and a pace that made you want to stay there...for a long time. We actually DID extend our stay from the original time planned. It was just too beautiful and too relaxing to leave! We hiked every morning with the dogs, relaxed every afternoon, made a fire every evening and cooked over the open flames. How good can it get? Did I mention the hot tub? That helped with the post hiking...as the same grades I spoke of in driving were even more challenging on foot.
When we ventured down into the little 'town' at the base of our mountain, everyone we spoke to always asked us to, "Come see us again!", or "Stop back if you get the chance!", and "Hope we'll be neighbors" when we told the guy at the hardware store how much we were enjoying our stay.
We thought, "wow"...what a positive Zen place we have found.
But as all good things, we had to pack and return to the urban setting from whence we came. It seemed more arduous packing the car for the return trip. We were quiet and pensive as we made our way down the mountain, out of the little town into the mecca of tourism that lies in the surrounding areas of the smokies.
As I eased my car into the left turn lane and was waiting at the light an old boat of a car pulled up on my right. The woman appeared to be in her 60's although I think it was just all the hard living/drinking that made her appear so. It was only 9:30 in the morning and she was yelling and shaking her fist at me.
"Bitch! You almost hit me!" she screamed. "You need to learn how to drive!" I just looked at her blankly as I knew there was no possible way I could have or even would have cut her off. I wish I had had something smart to reply like, "You need to go to a cosmetics counter!", or "Whens the last time you brushed your teeth and spat our your chew?!"
But instead I just hit the up power window button on my new-fangled car. I watched as she gunned her boat and blasted through the traffic light to show me who actually really needs the aforementioned driving lessons.
And with that I got on the highway leaving Tennessee, now with conflicting emotions about my stay there. What happened to the wonderful serene people in the mountains? Was that a farce and they are all really like this moron early this morning?
I guess I'll find out when I go back....as I know I will, after I write my book on good driving practices.