Lesson Learned On A Train



Moderate Daddy and I enjoyed a refreshing vacation to the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains for our 10 year anniversary (and I mean vacation… not “family time”… there were zero kids!)

During… what seemed like a months preparation for our trip… I dreamt about the beauty I was going to consume.

It’s Fall…

It’s the Smokies…

It’s kid-free…

It’s paradise!!!


I have lived in the same town all my 32 years.

Since I was a teenager I’ve yearned to live somewhere new…

somewhere beautiful…

somewhere exciting…

somewhere where surly I’d be happier!

Before setting eyes on North Carolina I was already planning what Moderate Daddy would do for a living and what home we’d live in when we assuredly moved there!!

As I was doing my typical over researching of this wonderland we were visiting, I was advised to take a trip on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.

A scenic 3 hour round trip tour by train through the mountains.

We’d ride parallel to a rushing river.

We’d see colorful leaves, layers upon layers of mountains and old, grey weathered houses.

Sign us up…



We rode in an open car with seats facing the windows to ensure we didn’t miss out on any of the glory.

Here are a few glorious things we saw.

SIDE-NOTE: Whenever something new was in view… the whole car roared with the excited voices of its passengers.

If the object was on the north-side of the train… the passengers from the south-side would run… cozy up to a new friend… and take tons of pictures while gleefully yelling out the objects name over and over.  If the object was on the south-side of the train… the passengers from the north-side would run… cozy up to a new friend… and take tons of pictures while gleefully yelling out the objects name over and over.

It was wonderful being around such child-like delight!!!




The deer were awe-inspiring… running without hesitation… bounding through barbed wired fences and ultimately beating the train in their spontaneous racing match!




It was a BALD EAGLE y’all!! Our nations bird in all his due splendor… soaring across the air that surrounded the mountains.

He was breath-taking!




Though out the entire trip the promise of beauty was delivered.  We saw mountains, with no vacancies for trees, full of every colored leaf imaginable.

The clear… rushing river called out to come enjoy her cool waters.

The houses that held the stories of  people who enjoyed these mountains long ago delighted this “old house loving” girl!

Riding to our halfway point stop… I was in a state of overwhelming thankfulness to my creative…





on the way back home there was a change…




Had beauty… in our eyes… already faded?

The once celebrated already forgotten?

Had I done that with my home… the place I’ve known for so long?


What beauty have I grown accustomed to…

blind to…

and ungrateful for?


The large oak tree outside the back windows that sings to me a peaceful song with his rustling leaves. (Oldest has lovingly named him Henry)

The birds that live in the woods out back that come to greet me for breakfast and an early dinner.

The people at the shops I’ve gone to for years who smile when they see my known face.


Beauty is all around me… it’s all around you!

Let’s not grow apathetic…

forgetting to look…

to listen…

to truly see the gifts around us!

They are lovingly given to us, for our enjoyment, by a creative…




 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”  (1 Timothy 6:17)


It’s Been a (beautiful… enjoyable) Pleasure,

Your Moderate Mama