what I learned on vacation…

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IMG_1181The smartest move I have ever made was having the doll invite a friend along on our trip to Tennessee. Not only did I see new sides to her personality–good ones too; I heard nary a complaint. She and Stephanie would disappear into their own little world (they had an upstairs bedroom to themselves) and leave the rest of us alone. I can’t remember a more pleasant experience without a sulking, moody thirteen-year-old. In fact, I think we’re going to need to invite a girlfriend along for all successive trips–just to keep us all happy.

The boy likes to hear himself talk and fancies himself an expert on just about every topic he raises–not limited to  when he’s hiking down a mountain trail.

On Sunday, due to the large amount of rainfall and cool temperatures we decided to revisit the Conasauga Falls, where two years earlier the hubby and kids climbed up and down The falls without worry. Just like every other hike we took, the kids took off down the trail while I slowly brought up the rear. At one point, I came upon my husband helping the doll pull a sweatshirt from her backpack to wear. Once she was fully dressed, she turned and literally ran down the trail to the switch back then hurriedly ran to catch up with Stephanie. I stopped and watched her disappear into the woods and commented, “Do I smell? Everyone keeps running away from me…” My husband smiled and said, “Perhaps…”

Back to the boy, due to his inability to be quiet while hiking, I learned all about mushrooms and fungi and the many varied classifications thereof.  He also gave me a nice dissertation on turkey tails…

“Mom here, see this? That is what is known as turkey tails” he said as he pointed at fungus growing atop a tree stump. “Hmm, okay” I replied not very enthused. “You know I’ve heard told they are natures bubblegum” He continued. “Have you tasted it?” I wondered. “No”. Came his quick reply. “Why don’t you knock a piece off and taste test some?” I replied half joking. With consternation the boy declined. “Oh come on, you can’t tell me this is natures bubblegum without hard facts to back it up.” I tried to convince. “Otherwise, you shouldn’t refer to something as nature’s bubblegum without full knowledge of the item you are discussing,” I replied. “It was just something I read somewhere,” he said quickly before turning away to find someone else to tell of his discovery.

Luck comes in small waves. While we had a very wet stay in Tennessee, we managed to get some good hikes in during a few small pockets of sunshine. When we made it back to the car, following our hike to the Conasauga falls, we took a quick family picture before getting into the car to leave. We had not driven more than a hundred yards when the skies opened up and dropped large heavy sheets of rain upon us–so heavy in fact we had to pull over because we couldn’t see where to go. “Wow, we lucked out!” The doll decreed and to her amazement we all agreed.

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