Smoky Mountain Wanderings, First in the Puzzle Pieces: These United States Series

An oldie…but such a goodie!

Source: Smoky Mountain Wanderings, First in the Puzzle Pieces: These United States Series

This is a lovely tribute to the authoress’ home state of Tennessee…it highlights so much of the uniqueness that is within America!  Enjoy…

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5 thoughts on “Smoky Mountain Wanderings, First in the Puzzle Pieces: These United States Series

    • Hi Stella,
      Absolutely I agree about Menagerie’s writings. I’m going to check out your Michigan (God’s Country!) post. It’s awesome that you guys get to write for a Conservative group like that! Blessings, Valerie

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Stella,

      So I ended up doing a drive-by Michigan tribute focused on my husband’s ancestor & inspired by your original post here:
      https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/a-pleasant-peninsula-lovely-tribute-to-michigan/

      …then inadvertently went on some major Gaylord tangents when only intending to link to my son Josiah’s post about Gaylord & the 4th of July here:
      https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/josiahs-story-about-the-4th-of-july/

      I would absolutely love your feedback on either/both since you know & love Michigan & are already such a seasoned writer. When writing the Gaylord one, it almost felt like a love letter in that there were so many things that kept unexpectedly pouring out. I knew I loved it Up North…but didn’t really realize how deep are the roots…& the memories!

      Blessings, Valerie

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think our best writing (Menagerie and I recently talked about this) is stream of consciousness about family and beloved places. I have written a lot about my mother, her poetry, family, the family farm, and happy days from my past. I am also interested in genealogy, so I was very glad to read about your husband’s family.

        I think just about everyone in Michigan has a place “Up North”, either one they own, or visit, either as a guest of a family member/friend, or just a place they visit on their own each year.

        My uncle and dad built a cottage (actually they prefabbed it on my uncle’s property in Sterling Hts, where we also lived, then trucked it up north) at Jose Lake, which is in the Hale/South Branch area, very near to the dammed area of the Au Sable River.

        We were across the road from the lake, but had a straight shot from our driveway to the lake access, and I don’t think anyone else used ‘our’ dock. I first visited there when I was a baby, and there is a pic of me in a wash basin taking my bath at the cottage. There was no electricity or running water then, just a pump on the front porch for water, and an outhouse out back. We had to be sure to keep the food away from the bears! When I was older, I liked rowing the boat, catching minnows for fishing, and swimming of course.

        One summer I spent a couple of weeks there with my aunt and uncle, and my aunt taught me a lot about the woods and the plants that grow there. Funny the things that kids remember, isn’t it? We went to Tawas and Oscoda to see the big lake, took a boat ride on the Au Sable, bought home-made cottage cheese from someone in Hale, and just enjoyed that special Up North smell in the woods.

        Thanks for sharing your writing with me. I think it’s just fine! I’m always afraid of writing about family and personal experiences, but people seem to enjoy reading it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for sharing your & Menagerie’s insights on such personal writing…as a hobby genealogist I also really enjoy such sharing by others, even when there is no familial connection. I thoroughly enjoy Roberta Estes genealogy & DNA write-ups on her DNAexplained blog & hope to some day write similar thorough treatments about members of our family tree, but I’m not nearly prepared nor organized enough for that level of detailed genealogical presentation yet.

          In my very young years my mom’s parents still had their primitive cottage on Pike Lake in the UP…and it sounds like it was quite similar to the one you describe with a hand pump & outhouse…My mom spent many summers up there in her childhood & recalls having to take the ferry across the Straits of Mackinac prior to the building of the Mackinac Bridge. She also recalls driving North in the winter, I guess before defrosters, as her dad would take off a glove/mitten & hold his bare thumb against the windshield to create a peephole through which to see the road. There also were frequent tire changes, as you couldn’t expect to drive from Detroit to the UP without at least one flat tire–wow have times changed!

          My Aunt & Uncle & cousins lived in Sterling Heights until my Uncle’s death, in the 1990s, I believe. My parents’ church moved out to Sterling Heights from Detroit sometime in the 1980s and it has a substantial property adjacent to Freedom Hill that used to be Pine Knob, I think. Small World…

          We have several fond canoeing &/or kayaking memories from along the Au Sable, though more from the vicinity of Grayling. Approaching the Hunting Shack near Luzerne from the Cottage in Gaylord required crossing the Au Sable in several places, which was always such a visual treat!

          Speaking of bears, my mom said one of the pastimes of young people in the UP was going to the local dump after dark to watch bears with cars off & headlights on. I think this ended up being a Lovers Lane type of destination too…but likely only when up-wind!

          Liked by 1 person

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