We've always loved the Smokies, moved to NC in fact in 1961 to be near them. You might say our lives have revolved around those sainted mountains.
Gatlinburg, ugh! It used to be a lovely little town, but it's been overwhelmed with motels and tourists. However go a mile up the mountain, and it's pretty much like it was 50 years ago. Lovely!, smashing! inspiring! In the old days I used to flee to the mountains whenever my spirit was bruised. What therapy!
After our alloted (and treasured) time we went to a mid sized southern town to see Ellie's sister and fam. Great meal, but the conversation was loud and noisy. I've never been a great fan of casual adult conversation, and less and less so as the years go by. So I headed out of the dining room, but on the way I encountered this two year old; I grabbed him and turned him upside down. Scared him a little bit; he checked to see his mom and dad were still there, but he was kind of intrigued.
He followed me into the kitchen, so I asked him to show me his toys. He had a new one which he proudly exhibited; then we reviewed his farm. I went into the living room and turned on the TV, hoping to get the evening news. But he had other toys to show me: he turned on the video (country music), turned on (and off) the lights several times, turned on a small vacuum cleaner-- lots of toys to show Larry. I could see I wasn't going to get much out of the news.
I went off into the bedroom to read my book; my feet were getting pretty dead so I pulled the chair up next to the bed and put my feet up on it.
Soon the kid came in-- curious about my position. So I worked my legs up and down a few times. This excited him enormously; with my help he climbed up on the bed and began his own form of exercise: he would jump up and down a few times and then belly flop on the bed-- great fun!!!
His mother came; I thought she would stop him, but she was permissive; we both enjoyed his ebullience; I told her he ought to sleep well tonight.
After a while he had enough of that; he went back into the rest of the house where the adults were, but ever so often he would check on me and take a few bounces.
Then I heard his mother say to him that they must go home. He came back and asked me to help him up to the bed for another bounce, but I put my arm around him and told him his mother wanted him to go with her now. He obediently turned around and went out, but he came back to tell me goodbye a couple of times.
Say, that's some kind of a real kid.