I was away for a few days at the beginning of December. It was a long-planned trip to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Not for me and Lowi, we go back further than that, but for my husband and I arriving at 20 years of marriage still speaking to one another and overall happily together.
For you long time followers of the blog, or those who actually know me in real life, you may know my partner-in-crime as John, Swaggy J, Johnny Armani. He is a man with many names and alter-egos, although we aren’t sure why. Most everyone likes John just the way he is.
Off we went to Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, Georgia and if you haven’t been, I encourage you to check it out posthaste. But be warned, if you don’t like to go down steep hills and then climb back up them, this may not be the place for you.
While we were away in nature, we rolled into December and our latest and last theme for the year was unveiled and as Lowi told you, we’re all about joy. We are for joy, we are finding joy, we are wanting to be joy(ful)! When you get away from all the activity, the to-do lists, the incessant ringing and chirping of your phone, apps and text messages you come to a place of quiet inside and out. It helps if you are in a place with unreliable cell service, then the quiet arrives whether you choose it or not.
We stayed in this simple mountain cottage that had all the basic amenities like running water, a kitchen, heat and indoor plumbing. But it was also immensely peaceful. We had a chance to embark on all our favorite things: be in nature, run, hike, see beautiful scenery and … be joyful.
Nearly everything we did was based on whether it sparked joy. We didn’t outright Marie Kondo this little excursion but we found joy all the same.
We picked up pancakes curbside from one of our favorite vegan restaurants. OK it’s my favorite restaurant but John enjoys the pancakes, too. We sat outside and ate these piping hot flapjacks, as John likes to call them, from cardboard containers and were in heaven.
We hiked around a trail we know in Chattanooga and took it all in. We were there for the scenery. We were there for the squirrels running around, the leaves leisurely falling to the ground, and the calm it always delivers to us.
We ate doughnuts from this awesome bakery that creates a glazed doughnut that makes you wish you could eat one every single day.
We sat outside on a beautiful Tennessee day and ate veggie burgers and drank craft beer because … joy.
We went to Neels Gap, a waypoint on the Appalachian Trail, and explored a bit, enjoyed the scenery and contemplated hiking the AT from Georgia to Maine one day.
And then on Tuesday we came home and after bringing all our belongings in from the car, John said, it feels good to be home. It did as we were welcomed by our ever-demanding feline Bhakti. Lucky for her it makes us joyful to attend to her every whiskered whim.
Much like Lowi said on Monday, often when it comes to joy we are looking for a story to go with it and sometimes it is delivered in the case of Lowi’s THC-loving mother-in-law (Hi Mimi). And other times, you’ll find it just as easily riding along a string of moments that are short on story but no less potent.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G