Thanks and Kayaking

I believe that the shortest route to happiness is to conjure up feelings of gratitude.  But, at times, I just can't seem to do it, especially on gloomy winter days.  Today I am focusing on being thankful.

Most people start with the big items, family, friends, health and I am thankful for these things, but it's the minutia that makes life work. Sharing just a slice of mine....

Picking up the Casita this morning from the refrigeration man.  Thankful that we are not paying more than we have, thankful that he says the refrigerator is working fine.  I've got questions about this but choosing to stay with gratitude.
And thankful for the Casita which has brought us a whole new dimension of living, freedom and friends over the past few years.

Thankful that I live in the South where we have not encountered our first hard freeze of the year, just a little frost a few mornings.  My unkept red roses are still blooming beautifully in the front and back yard.

Thankful for the closeness of water, woods and mountains that provide a space to reconnect with myself.  Thankful when I can realize the need to do so.

Thankful for the warmth of the 30 year old gas heating system in our home.  If I keep sending it positive energy, maybe it will keep working!

OK.  Don't want to get boring, it's time to quit.  But must mention gratitude for the cats who make us laugh at their jealousy and ability to play ball.

Do I feel happy yet?  Gratitude wins!

We got in our kayaks last week, a first in a very long time!  When we go to the trouble of loading the boats and finally get out on the water, I wonder why we don't do it more often.  

We chose to put in at Raccoon Mountain, a TVA hydroelectric plant, that lies within the TN river gorge, downstream from Chattanooga and surrounded by wilderness.  The plant is an engineering marvel with a constructed lake sitting on top of the Cumberland Plateau that holds water drawn up from the Tennessee River.  When electric demand is high, the water is drained back into the river making more electricity than any of the TVA's nuclear reactors.  That is when things are working correctly. A trip to the visitor's center revealed that 3 of the 4 turbines are currently offline.

I also want to mention that the Tennessee River gorge is 26 miles in length and the fourth largest river canyon found in the east.  The Prentice Cooper State Forest is across the river from the pumping station making this put-in attractive for viewing wildlife.

We did not paddle far, just wanted to get out on the water and be away from civilization for a short time.  A few large boats and a barge came by providing us with huge rollers.  We traded our 63 and 75 year old selves for childhood while turning the boats into the waves and riding them out.

A fun day, probably one of our last 70 degree days until we get to Florida.

This is the TN River from Edwards Point (Chatt-town in background)

Our boats could not wait to get into the water!

View from the put in parking lot 

TVA barge taking a malfunctioning turbine up the river

View from the Visitor's Center at Raccoon Mtn


  1. A good list of things to be thankful for. We all should make such a list. We would then probably have a different perspective on our lives.
    Also, I'm envious!! Wish I could have been there to accompany ya'll. Looks to be a beautiful place.

    1. We wish you could have been there as it's fun to show off our area. Maybe someday in the future?

      The kayaks are going south this winter. Five weeks and counting.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Ahh, am thankful that you brought back some memories of my childhood summers at Nana's and Bopar's in Norris TN, where Bopar was a ceramist with the TVA. Enjoyed reading your "thanks". Good ones.

  3. I should have known that you were from east TN stock as you are such a hard worker.
    Oh, maybe they weren't native, oh well, you came from good genes.
    Hope you are getting through these post op days.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. That's a pretty impressive gratitude list. And seeing the photos of the area makes it even more impressive. I think that is one of the most beautiful areas of the country.

    So glad you got the refrigerator fixed.

    Maybe someday we'll do kayaks, too. It looks like so much fun. Unfortunately a new roof is ahead of kayaks on our list. But they are on the list!

  5. We are definitely blessed to live here.....did not realize it when I was a youngster!

    Is it a sticks and bricks roof? Don't remember anything about the fiberglass?

    The refrigerator man said he did not do anything, that it was cooling nicely for him. We shall see.

  6. We love to get out in our kayaks as well and don't seem to enough. It is so peaceful to be out on the water. Your header photo looks like one of the many lakes in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, like perhaps Canyon or Saguaro Lake. Could it be? Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  7. Yes, serenity comes with our type of paddling as we are very laid back.

    I had to look up the lake to make sure it was not Canyon...we camped almost a month, last winter, about 2 miles from Canyon Lake. But this is Apache Lake from our tour of the Apache Trail....it was in the car rattling unpaved part of the trail.

    Have a wonderful thankful day! Appreciate your comment.

  8. Lynne...I'm a little slow here...your pictures are beautiful! I lv TN...what beauty to surround you! Happy Thanksgiving! Xo

  9. Haha,nothing slow about you!

    We do have some pretty places....you need to come visit.

    Have a great time with the family!