Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture this month showing Autumn Colors was taken in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Smoky Mountain Christmas --Part I

Kelly (George's daughter),  George and me --on a bitterly cold Christmas Day morning  (22 degrees)   in the Elkmont area of the Smokies   (12/25/17)
Happy 2018 my Friends... Hope you had a great holiday season...    We did something VERY different on Christmas this year....  Since George's daughter (who lost her husband in November) was spending Christmas with us this year,   we wanted to do something to help her find some JOY during this hard time for her....

SO---we spent several days in Gatlinburg  and the Smoky Mountains... Kelly had never been to this area ---so George and I  enjoyed showing off some of our favorite areas of the Smokies...   She is a photographer (like her Dad) ---so we of course took her to places where we love to take photos... She  seemed to enjoy herself --and I hope she was able to find some PEACE and JOY in 'our' mountains.

Today and next Monday,  I will share two posts from our little Christmas Vacation... Hope you enjoy the pictures....


Downtown  Gatlinburg,  Tennessee on 12/24/17  (People-people-people-Traffic-traffic-traffic);  But the  Christmas lights were pretty and festive!!!!


We visited Patriot Park (12/26/17).  It was great seeing all of the patriotic light displays....  Recognize this one?   I'll bet you do!!!!!



SNOW on Christmas Day in the mountains  (12/25/17);    We didn't get much snow at all where we were --but the road (441) across the mountain was closed for 2 days while we were there due to ice and snow...



Guess who joined us on  Christmas Day?????    Our good Indiana Friends,  Neal and Patti,   were in the area on a short vacation ---so of course,  we just 'had' to make plans to spend the day with them...Our original plans were to go across the mountain to Newfound Gap and Cherokee ---but since the road was closed,  we had to go to "Plan B"....   Instead,  we did quite a bit of hiking in the Elkmont area of the Smokies...  Other than the frigid weather,   we had a great time...  Then--after about a 3 mile hike and lots of pictures,  we all went to dinner together in late afternoon.  Had a great day with special friends!!!   (12/25/17)



Along Little River Road (between Gatlinburg and Cades Cove),  we stopped at the SINKS....   Since we had had a lot of rain recently,  the water in all of the creeks and rivers was really flowing... SO pretty.  (12/24/17)



I love this picture of my Sweetheart,  taken in the Elkmont area  on 12/25/17.



On 12/26/17,   we took Kelly to CADES COVE ....  Here is a great picture of one of the amazing cabins there...  This is the John  Oliver Cabin,  the oldest log home in Cades Cove.  John Oliver arrived in the cove prior to 1820....  IF you get to Cades Cove when visiting the Smokies,  be sure to take the short walk and check out this cabin...



One of my favorite places in the Smokies is the Greenbriar area.   We visited there on 12/27/17.   This is a picture taken in the Greenbriar area.  I love the big rocks and boulders in this area.  The flowing water was beautiful.



Besides taking pictures of the flowing water,   all of us enjoyed taking pictures of the ICE.  This was taken in the Greenbriar area on 12/27/17.....



Taken in the Greenbriar area,   George took this picture of some silly  'tree-hugger'.....  12/27/17



THEN---after each long day out in the cold  (did I say  COLD???) weather   (Brrrrrrrr),  it felt good coming back to our motel room and enjoy a roaring wood-fire in the fireplace.
I have one more set of pictures to share from this little trip,  but that will be next week.... Hope you enjoyed this first set...  We hope that this little Christmas trip gave Kelly a distraction from the heartache she feels after losing her husband of 20 years....   Keep her in your prayers.

Hugs,

32 comments:

Ann said...

I'm sure this was a very pleasant distraction for Kelly. So sorry for her loss. Your pictures are wonderful as always and make me want to be there to see it all in person

Linda G. said...

I am sure that Kelly found peace in your mountains. I am glad that she could spend the Christmas holiday with you and George. By the way Bob and I will be in Maggie Valley again in May this year. I have Cade’s Cove on my mind, as a new place for us to visit.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh my goodness, it looks so cold there. My dear husband and I went to Gatlinburg for our honeymoon in 1969.

I'm sorry for George's daughter's loss of her husband. Glad she was with you both over the holidays. You made and tucked some new memories into her heart.

Happy 2018 to you and George ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

eileeninmd said...

Hello Betsy, prayers for George's daughter. I am glad she kept you all company on Christmas. Gatlinburg is a beautiful city and I love the park. Great collection of photos. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

Big Dude said...

Looks like you had fun introducing Kelly to your mountains and surely a unique Christmas day activity. Nice to have a room with a real fireplace.

George said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos you got during our Christmas visit to the Smoky Mountains. We had a wonderful time, and I'm sure Kelly did as well.

linda m said...

What a fun way to spend Christmas. I am so glad Kelly came to spend Christmas with you. I will keep her in my prayers.

Liene said...

Happy New Year!!! Here's to another year of adventure blogging! Stay warm...

Arkansas Patti said...

It was so sweet that you two were there for Kelly. I'm sure you made the holidays bearable. full of care and interesting for her.
That shot of Gatlinburg really brought me back and I haven't been there in years.
Sure looked cold though.

David said...

Betsy, It's great that Kelly was able to spend time with George and yourself over the holidays...tough times for her for sure. Too darn cold for me to be outside, much less hiking but more power to ya'll! We just stayed home and stayed warm! Actually, Laurie's cousin...a professor...has traced their family back to Robert the Bruce as well as to some guy/early king or chieftain from Ireland who ran around with his enemy's dried brains/brain balls, hanging from his belt. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

A Colorful World said...

What a wonderful Christmas! I know Kelly had to love it! Look at all the BLESSINGS, Betsy! An abundance of wonderful blessings! Loved sharing in this with you. All my best, dear friend, Marie.

Lady Fi said...

What a tender gesture to help Kelly. Lovely shots.

Fun60 said...

That was very thoughtful of you to plan a very different kind of Christmas for Kelly. Her first Christmas without her husband must have been a very difficult one. Although you can't do anything to ease her pain you gave her the means to have some new memories of Christmas.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I am so glad George's daughter got to spend Christmas with you. I cannot imagine how painful this time of year is for her. Thankfully, you both kept her very busy! You had an active Christmas for sure! It must not have been as cold there as it has been here, with temps below zero at night, and in the teens in the day. The little church in your header looks much more like a Mennonite or Amish church than Methodist! Favorite picture is the snowy mountains.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Beautiful scenes. I am sure Kelly appreciated the time spent with you.She and you and the family are in my prayers daily.

Connie said...

Great pictures, Betsy! Sounds like you all had a fun time, and I'm sure it brightened the holiday for Kelly.

Barb said...

You were in a scenic place with family and friends. What could be better? Sounds cold though - even colder than here in Breckenridge! Happy 2018 to you and George! Love the chilly/icy photos.

The Furry Gnome said...

What a wonderful way to spend Christmas Day! We loved Cades Cove when we were there.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I'm sure this visit to the Smokies WAS a help for Kelly in her grief. It's tough to lose a loved one at any time, but especially right around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm glad you and George were there to help get her mind on some other things for a little while. I love your photos. The John Oliver cabin is featured on our January calendar, so we're enjoying seeing that every day.

Linda said...

Great shots but it sure looks cold! Bless you for helping Kelly.
I like the Iwo Jima lights. I've seen the sculpture across from DC, and also the copy in Quantico.

Kay said...

Oh my gosh... I'm so sorry for Kelly. That is very hard. I'm sure spending this time with you made the holidays a little easier to bear. I love all your photos. It's been such a long, long time since we were in that area. So gorgeous!

Sally Wessely said...

Betsy, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of Kelly’s husband. I didn’t know about this. I do hope her adventure with you gave her some joy. I loved all of the photos. My favorite is of George in his red hat. He looks so happy and healthy. Let’s just hope that 2018 is that for all of us: happy and healthy. Hugs.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Hi Betsy, You all were very brave to get out in that cold! I'm sure sorry for the loss of George's son-in-law. But it was so sweet to show his daughter some of your favorite places. I know it helped to ease the pain of being without her dear hubby. Take care and stay warm and stay well! Hugs, Cheryl

Betsy said...

I bet that fire did feel good. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas for all in such a beautiful area. I look forward to seeing more. Your fingers I bet were cold hugging that tree. I would love to spend a Christmas like this in a cabin with a roaring fire and see snow falling.
Happy New Year - Betsy

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

So happy to see you all had a great Christmas!

Susie Swanson said...

Such a beautiful place and I always love to visit there. I just know Kelly enjoyed it as much as you both did. love the pics. Love and hugs.

Shug said...

This was a wonderful thing for you and George to do for Kelly. I know it truly meant a lot to her. Oh my...all of the pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I love that area and I especially love all the water that I'm seeing in your photos. I do believe that you and George are getting younger every day.

Dee said...

Dear Betsy, thanks for sharing with us this wondrous trip with George, his daughter, and your friends. I look forward to next week's photographs and text.

I was in Gatlinburg in August 1971. It was so less crowded then, but still enchanting. And the Smokies drew me into mystery and beauty. Peace.

Lowcarb team member said...

So lovely to see all of your photo's Betsy, and I feel sure that spending time with you and George will have been good for Kelly. I sincerely hope she may have found a little peace in those beautiful surroundings.

Special thoughts and prayers for you all

All the best Jan

BeachGypsy said...

You absolutely can't go wrong with a Smoky Mountain Christmas!! Beautiful scenes....so peaceful and I love the water shots, all of them! the Tennessee streams and rivers are just amazing aren't they? Glad y'all had this time together!

Terri said...

I imagine Kelly enjoyed having time away from her normal, just to get away is always nice, and it does seem to help when feeling sad or down. You and George are really hardy hikers- that freezing weather would have probably kept me in and see what I would have missed! Thanks for sharing your trip, y'all always have so much fun!

Rose said...

Beautiful views, Betsy. I will be looking forward to the next set of pics...