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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Awesome Mother's Day for ME!!!!

Bert (Tre),  a Happy Mama, and Mark at their home the evening of 5/13/18
Dear Friends,   To say I had a great Mother's Day this year is an understatement... I may have had the BEST Mother's Day ever  thanks to my son, Mark.  Mark and big brother Bert (who had to work on Mother's Day) moved to Maryville in April.   Maryville is only a little over an hour from where George and I live.  Mark has lived in Texas for a long time ---so I can't remember when I was able to be with him on Mother's Day. This year was SO special.

Most of you remember that Mark is the son who lost his wife last August.   He spent months grieving and wondering what he was going to do with his life.  He finally made the decision to move back 'home' (Mark was born in Maryville in 1970) near the mountains that he loves SO much.   He found a good job in the Maryville area ---and even though it was hard,  he tearfully left his family and friends in Texas, yet knowing that he had made the correct decision.

Since moving here,  he is doing GREAT...  He spends every spare minute in the mountains hiking or driving around in his new jeep.  Or in the evenings after work,  he is walking on the Greenway in Maryville,  or searching out new places to meet people,  hear music and drink a cold one!!!!!  As much as he misses Debbie,  he knows that she is glad that he is moving on and finding happiness.

On Mother's Day,   Mark asked me ahead of time what "I" wanted to do...   AND --since I also love the mountains so much,  I told him that I'd love to go to the Smokies and have a picnic....  He took my thoughts and made them happen BIGTIME.  Today I will share some of the MANY pictures we took on Mother's Day  (5/13/18).


First,  I received some gorgeous fresh flowers  (Mark knows how much I love flowers.)



Gorgeous cards from Mark and Bert



Off to the Smoky Mountains in Mark's shiny red JEEP;   Mama just thinks she is going to drive it!!!!!! ha



We headed up the Roaring Fork Motor Trail (near Gatlinburg) and stopped at the OGLE Cabin...  



Roaring Fork Motor Trail  (We saw a bear near here not too far off of the road.  George got a picture --but since he left his camera at Mark's house,  we haven't seen his pictures yet.)



At one of the overlooks along the Roaring Forks Motor Trail;  Such beautiful mountains --but you can still see evidence of the damage the wildfires of Nov. 2016  did.  See the dark tree lines in the distance?   BUT--the good news is that nature has a great way of coming back!!!!



George and Mark are rock-hopping along Roaring Fork near the Bales Cabin



A little cascade along Roaring Fork;   Also--note the reflections on the big boulder from the Rhododendron Bushes!!!!



My little hiker ---who loves being in the mountains!!!!!! 



Mark captured this picture of me sitting on a log at the Jim Bales' Place along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.



We stopped at the Place of a Thousand Drips (waterfall) along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail .   There definitely weren't  1000 drips --but it was still pretty.



Next,  we drove to Metcalf Bottoms and Mark fixed us an awesome lunch  (cheeseburgers,  baked beans, and chips)....  YUMMMMMMMM.



Mark took this picture of two hungry people enjoying a delicious meal...  Food  (any kind of food) always tastes better on a picnic!!!!!)



I think Mark is saying,  "Enough pictures.  Let's EAT!!!!"   ha ha 



Dinner is over... Tummies are full.  Time for a NAP.



Mama got to take a turn in the Hammock... Could have stayed there for hours!!!!!   (But --glad there was no picture of me trying to get out of that thing!!!!! ha ha)



Our next stop was gorgeous CADES COVE late in the afternoon



All of the 'critters' we saw were far away from us,  but I captured a couple of shots with my long lens.  This male turkey was spreading his tail feathers to try to impress the lady...  Not sure it was working!!! ha



Again, far away --but I at least got more than a 'spot' with my long lens;   We saw bears --but none close enough for a really good picture.



Last but not least,   Mark surprised me by stopping by Brewsters in Maryville on our way home for an ICE CREAM cone....  I had wanted a soft-serve cone from the Cades Cove store --but we got there too late.  The store had closed.  (I promise I didn't eat both of those!!!!! ha ha )
What an awesome day.   Who could EVER want more than a ride in an open jeep in the mountains,  a chance to spend time with my son,  a delicious picnic dinner,  and then a Black Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Cone????????

Thanks,  Mark,  more than you will ever know.  Just being with Mark is great --since he is so enthusiastic and fun to be with!!!!!!    I just wish Bert (who had to work) and Jeff and Dawn (who had her parents at their home for the weekend) could have been here also!!!!!!

Hugs,

37 comments:

George said...

I'm glad you had such an awesome day. It was lots of fun.

Marcia said...

Sounds like it was a day in heaven! Glad you could spend it with the son who has been so far away all the other Mothers Days.

Ginny Hartzler said...

What a perfect picture story of your day! Fun from beginning to end. I am GLAD that bear did not get close enough for a picture! They can run really fast. I am glad Mark is doing so well. Can I ask what his job is? How are YOU feeling now?

Fun60 said...

What a terrific day and the memories will last forever.

Connie said...

I'm so happy you had such a fantastic Mother's Day, Betsy. And it was extra special that you got to spend it with your son. Sounds like you had a lovely time.

Ann Thompson said...

Sounds like a great day. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

Chatty Crone said...

You had a wonderful - wonderful Mother's Day - lucky you - and you deserve it!!!!
That is a gorgeous RHODODENDRON !!!!!!!!!!!!

sandie

Shug said...

I see complete happiness in these photos. What a special way to celebrate Mother's Day. I'm thankful for this time that you had with family. God is so good!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

What a nice Mother's Day you had! For me, getting out of a hammock is the easy part. Not pretty. But easy. ;) I sat down in one in a store one time, and it flipped me out onto the floor in a flash. Doug still laughs at the memory of it.

linda m said...

This sounds like the perfect Mother's Day to me. To be able to spend time with loved ones is the bet thing.

Betsy said...

Oh Betsy, you sound so happy! It looks like an absolutely wonderful day. Since I share your love for mountains, I can understand how that can bring so much happiness to you. And to get to spend it with Mark after all these years is wonderful too. I hope you’re feeling much, much better these days. Blessings, Betsy

Barb said...

You deserve an awesome Mother's Day. Looks like a treat from beginning to end. Love the photos and seeing your smiling face.

Happytrails said...

Sounds like a wonderful day spent with Mark and Bert and George...in such a peaceful setting. Glad you had a great day!!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Sounds like Mark knows just what his Mama needed to make that day special.Looks like you had a great time, and those ice-cream cones look soooo yummy.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

How wonderful to hear you feels so blessed on this Mother’s Day. It must feel good to see your son enjoying his days again. You look good too.

Linda said...

Roaring Fork is lovely. Congrats to Mark on finding a job near you.

Margaret Adamson said...

what a wonderful day out you had with your son Betsy

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a wonderful celebration with loved ones in beautiful countryside.

Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Jo said...

Oh Betsy, what a treat to be spoiled by Mark. I'm so glad he's "come home" and settling down so well. Blessings Jo

Lynda said...

Oh, Betsy - - I am sooooo thrilled for your marvelous Mother's Day Celebration!!!! God has a way of giving us abundant blessings after we have weathered a storm. Mother's Day was certainly a gorgeous rainbow type day after last year.

You look beautiful and happy for sure.

Jo said...

Oh Betsy, what a treat to be spoiled by Mark. I'm so glad he's "come home" and settling down so well. Blessings Jo

eileeninmd said...

Hello Betsy, so glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day with your son. A picnic and ice cream sound wonderful to me. I have been on the Roaring Fork Motor trail is was great seeing the bears there. I know you are one happy Mama having her son living close to home now. Wonderful post. Have a happy day!

Jeevan said...

You’re right about the taste on a picnic… I too used to eat more when on outing than at home. Lovely greeting cards from your sons and mark got a great machine – Jeep – to enjoy rides on mountains and Smokey’s looks like a place to visit anytime and the nature is so pristine and beautiful. Loved the little cascades and picnicking on woods. Fun shots, indeed!

Cheers

David said...

Betsy, What a great Mother's Day! What a good son too... With our son living in Omaha, not too much going on here. Phone call and gift and I treated my bride to a bologna sandwich! Honestly, that's what she felt like! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Big Dude said...

Glad you had such a special day in your special place. Bev's mom always wanted an MD picnic lunch in Cades Cove so one of us would go up early to get a creek-side table where we always had the same meal of burgers and potatoes fried crispy in a 12" cast iron dutch oven.

Mark Wilhite said...

Was SO good to finally spend a Mother’s Day with you, Mom. I LOVE YOU!!

Arkansas Patti said...

Your boys know you well and provided you with all your favorites. What a great day you were shown by those you love. So glad you had the day you deserve.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Cades Cove is an awesome place and I love your photos. I'm so glad you had a wonderful Mother's Day. You deserve it. Glad Mark is living back home and enjoying it.

Pat Tillett said...

It looks like you had a great Mother's day Betsy.
What a gorgeous place you went to. I remember it from an earlier post (or two). I'm glad you had a good time...

Lady Fi said...

Wow - what an awesome way to spend the day! Lovely scenery too.

Beth said...

Such a wonderful day! Aren't sons terrific?! (In my case, a daughter too!) Great photos!

I posted about my mother's day also.

Beth said...

I don't think my comment made it. I don't think I clicked on publish. So, here goes again. An awesome day with wonderful pictures. Such a terrific son! I spent Mother's Day with my terrific son and posted a picture and note of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Betsy, So nice you have your son fairly close. I like Maryville, TN quite a lot. My late cousin lived there in his last few months. We often visited as we still were in Crossville at that time. A lovely community. Have a great coming weekend and enjoy your nature. Love that long distance bear shot.

Small Kucing said...

Hoi Betsy!

Am so happy for you . This year you have your baby with you . :)

hahaha.... hammock... i would have a hard to coming out of there too.

Terri said...

Sounds like a wonderful, perfect day with your boys and George! Just going to the mountains that you love and seeing the waterfall and flowers...gosh, I think I am a tad jealous!

Andrea said...

What a lovely life! And you are so blessed for having a sweet son like him. I also smiled when you said "any food always taste better in a picnic". Somehow you life is envious. Regards to George.

Lowcarb team member said...

Such a wonderful day ... full of love, laughter and beautiful memories.
I enjoyed seeing all of your photographs very much.

My good wishes to you Betsy and have a great week ahead.

All the best Jan