The Magic of Memories

The Magic of Memories

The other day a friend of mine commented how a video on the Fontana Lake Cleanup brought back such good, childhood memories for him. As my canine companion, Buddy, and I walked at Deep Creek today I reflected on my happiest childhood memory.

My immediate family, mom’s sister and her family, grandparents, aunt and uncle and another extended family went to the Smokies together…14 of us in total. One day in particular was amazing. My cousins, brother and I went tubing on Deep Creek. The water was so cold yet I couldn’t bring myself to get out. Our parents were watching from the picnic tables and we were having a big time.

Before my dad got sick and before all of the adulting there was this magical time in the mountains that became my most treasured memory of family.

When I was feeling the pull back to the mountains, I was trying to find a place around Asheville, where I had lived before, or Black Mountain and there was absolutely nothing that worked. My house in Alabama was getting attention but nothing was working out for a sale. For over 18 months I looked and looked and couldn’t believe the dumps with high prices for sale around Asheville. 

So I finally got a contract on my home and had to find a place. As I drove past the sign for Dillsboro, Sylva and Cherokee on my way to Asheville, I heard a question: Where did you always want to live as a child? But I was worried that living an hour away from Asheville would be difficult and too scary to start over…again…far from everyone I knew. But as it happened, a cousin saw my social media post about looking once again in the Asheville area for a home and he said, You gotta meet our cousin in Sylva. And in the end, it was that question I heard that opened my mind to hearing what my Sylva cousin had to say about the area.

Yesterday I sat at the dining table in my little cabin and gazed out at the mountain ridge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I live here, I said aloud. My childhood dream realized. Eight miles via the back way into the Deep Creek area from my door…that’s how close I live to my happiest childhood memory.

It’s hard to always know what calls us to certain places. But this time around, I felt I owed it to myself to align with the happiest place I remembered. My love for the area grows as I celebrate my one year anniversary here in five days. There are other reasons I’m here and I’ll share those in another blog, but for today I’m smiling at those treasured, magical memories. 

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