Lake House No. 2
Mo is more than just my sister-from-another-mister. Having been born into a family with the same unusual last name as me, she has also been my colleague and good friend for a number of years and the person, who over the last few years, I could talk to the most about personal and work life. So, when my plans to travel for a while and make the opportunity to visit with various friends and family became more of a reality, she passed along the invite from her best friends, Jill and John, to join her summer vacation at their house in Tennessee. I was happy at the chance to live in Mo’s world once again!
When I arrived she had already been there a day or so. The four-by-four was packed and ready to go load the boat and motor to a party on the other side of Douglas Lake in Dandridge Tennessee. So off we went in the pontoon, cruising along to pick up friends at the marina. Enroute to our final destination, we checked out some of the enormous mansions perched along the bluffs.
When we reached party central, we set up our chairs on the hillside along the lake – which doubled as a back yard - lined up the coolers and sampled the food at the birthday party / music concert.
So within the first hour of my arrival, I began what would be a week full of food, laughs, drinks and lakeside shenanigans. We met their baseball friend and the traveling umpires a couple of times, had a dockside floatilla in their little piece of heaven called Blonder Bay, sampled the most amazing Peach and Apple Pie “drink” which I later took with me, and enjoyed the lakeside beauty from early morning yoga to late night cocktails.
One day we ventured out to Hot Springs, North Carolina, which unbeknownst to me, would be the first of many hot springs towns I would visit along my journey. We met up with the baseball folks at a Smokies game (with many thanks for the great third baseline seats) and traveled by boat and car to the local marina bar, played with the coolest water beagle, Ziggy, and had some amazing homemade vegetable concoctions grown and prepared by Jill.
This was truly the first time I felt like I was on summer vacation since my childhood. I am glad Mo, Jill and John offered me this chance to piggyback on their vacation together because without it I may have decided to go on a different journey and just moved straight to Austin. But, one last week of fun (for now) with one of my closest friends, was not an opportunity I could pass up.
I met a lot of great new friends in Tennessee and got to share a little of their wonderful world on Douglas Lake.
My stops up to this point have been about visiting friends. While moving to Bluffton isn’t a bad possibility for a permanent home, or even Tennessee for that matter, I had kept the notion in the back of my mind that these stops were just about the people. I still kept an open eye for the beauty of the land, the quirkiness and differences in the culture of these states and towns because that is how I like to travel anyway, but searching for jobs in the area took a backburner. I was also still working full time so with daily logins, visiting with friends and trying to keep that eye open, I managed to look and apply for few job opportunities.
Up to this point I have had a couple of job interviews here and there but I feel like I can’t give it my full attention and also know that a month or two of traveling is within my budget. Before leaving Tennessee, I apply for one additional job and while traveling to my next destination, life takes over, as it has a habit of doing, and new challenges are thrown in my direction.