Monday, November 16, 2020

We actually had Visitors…and More!

Excitement reigned!  Laurie’s sisters Bonnie and Karole and Bonnie’s husband Bill drove over from St. Louis Missouri.  Bill, who is still working, had a Covid-19 test, a regular event at his place of employment.  There were bathroom and gas stops along their drive and masks were worn at each stop.  Given the Covid-19 protocols, they were about as safe as possible and we sure were glad to see and visit with folks other than each other.

But before getting into the family visit, and our related activities and dietary indulgences, I wanted to share the following Veteran’s Day appropriate photo we’d received from one of our friends. 

Our friend Jodie posted this photo of her husband Morrie from 1965.  Morrie served in Viet Nam and this picture was taken at a refugee camp.  This little girl ran up to him and wouldn’t let go… He made her feel safe!

Thanks to Morrie, as well as members of our families plus all others who have served in our armed forces, many of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice! 

We didn’t want to just sit at home with our visitors but, given Covid-19 and the risks involved, we wanted to limit any possible exposure to the virus while getting out and about a bit.  Our first stop was a local consignment shop and then we dropped in to the Good Neighbors Shoppe, a charitable operation based in Lenoir City Tennessee.  Everyone was masked up, social distancing was possible and we did make a couple of purchases.

This is a great store for purchasing quality donated clothing and household items at terrific prices.  All the proceeds go to supporting local charities.  The Good Neighbors Shoppe is located at 420 Leeper Parkway in Lenoir City Tennessee.  Website:  

The visit was all about the 3 sisters getting together to plan a future ‘sisters trip’ to Scotland, whether in 2021 or in 2022.  I pulled this old photo of the girls from our file.  From the left there was Bonnie, then Karole and then Laurie.  Cute aren’t they!

Here are the 3 sisters during Karole and Bonnie’s visit.  From the left there is Bonnie, Karole and Laurie.  The photo was taken along the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley Tennessee. 

The Parkway is a popular component of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Karole had never seen the Parkway and with the fall colors still in place, we knew she’d appreciate the drive.  Best yet, this is an easy place to socially distance while enjoying the great outdoors!

Here are a couple of different views of the foothills, mountains and Wears Valley as taken from the Parkway.  It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine…and we still had some decent fall colors to appreciate.

In the second photo you can glimpse part of Wears Cove, a valley that runs parallel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and includes the unincorporated town of Wears Valley.  The population of Wears Valley is close to 10,000 at this time…up about 50% from the 2000 census.  The Cove itself is about 4 miles long and a mile wide.

Despite its growth in population and its proximity to both the National Park and its outlier, the Foothill Parkway, when compared to nearby Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, this touristy area is laid back and less stressful.  There are stores to visit and places to eat, but the traffic and crowds are relatively minimal. 

We stopped at Harper Bros. General Merchandise Store, actually looking for chocolate rocks. (Eatable chocolates that look like pebbles) They didn’t carry them but a couple of purchases were made.  The staff and 90% of customers at Harper Bros. wore masks for everyone’s safety.

I’m not much of a shopper…so I wandered around out front taking a couple of photos and then settling down at the fire pit in front of the store.  I just watched folks coming and going and relaxed. 

Harper Bros. is located at 4149 Wears Valley Road.  Website:

Confession… We didn’t take this photo.  However, someone who probably had a boat and knew how to use a camera did…and they posted it for all to see.  These are the fall colors in their full glory along the shores of Tellico Lake.

All of us spent a fair amount of time on our screened porch.  Bonnie spent a bit of time going through Laurie’s collection of home related magazines.  As you can see, Karole and Bill were catching up on emails, texts and news from St. Louis on their smart phones.  However most of the time was spent catching up on life and sharing some of the experiences that we’ve all gone through in 2020, a year that will indeed live in infamy!

That’s it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Glad you got to spend some time with family.

  2. Glad you spent some with family, friend David. Same here ... son Paul got his deer so we were busy processing and packaging up for the freezer plus then he hit a deer with his truck so there was more deer to process. And speaking of processing ... I'm still working ... All is well but coming home from work at night, I do cry, then talk to my mumme overseas and things, sometimes dance myself into happiness, things like that. Sending love, cat.

  3. David what nice and lovely time. Im happy you finally can have some visits, lovely, hugs and love!!!

  4. Yes...Bonnie, Karole and Laurie are cute....nice gathering.

    I visited one of Vietnam refugees around 1980s when I was teenager....the war was over...they are then returned to their home country.

    Have a wonderful day