it's true what they say....

you can never go home again.

I'm 24 years old, but the girl that is seen in my small town is apparently not a day over 17. [I think that's vaguely a title to a bad country song] Some people grow with you, some people just only remember who-you-were-then. It's strange to recognize that a random conversation is directed at a younger-version of yourself...the questions, the generalizations...seem to come way out of left field... gosh, i'm not like that at all anymore... mostly it's understandable, from an acquaintance, an old friend...but even from my own family, it's so unusual. Some of you know exactly what I mean, others I'm sure have no idea. I feel like that workaholic parent panged by guilt 'well, if only I'd been home more...' oh, well. we all have to leave the nest at some point. some just fly farther than others. I think it's a great illumination of the continued effort that's necessary in maintaining not only relationships...but being open about the person you have become. And striving to know others for who they are in the present, showing an interest... not assuming to know them intimately any longer, simply from the fond memories you have from the days gone by.

Hmm, I didn't sit down to write myself a little life lesson... you all know I really just have more pictures. I had a good visit, but it's probably the last of that kind for a long while...for a whole host of reasons. I'm excited to share that we had a fun little adventure over to East Tennessee... I'm prepared to out-do my last post pouring out my sentiments on the beauty of this state. Our timeline to fly back towards 'the nest' is about 4 years, in time for Aaron to finish his doctorate. We'd always talked about settling in Nashville...it just seemed the most likely candidate to have jobs for both of us, close to family, etc. But, it seems that our little drive to the mountains opened my eyes to the opportunities over in the eastern time zone. Chattanooga is adorable, steeped in southern hospitality and charm with a beautiful backdrop of the smoky mountains...with a whole host of 'outdoorsy' activities - caves, hiking, rapids, camping... Nearby is still Nashville, but also Atlanta, the east coast with beaches and mountains. I sound like a 'welcome center'. Now, that's about as far as I've thought, but I'll definitely keep that on our list of possibilities.
We suited up Friday morning - helmets, lifejackets, and oars - set out with our guide, Jake, to take on the Middle Ocoee River. My last trip a few years back with Hannah was extremely eventful, so I was just hoping to stay in the raft this time, that time we'd done the Upper Ocoee, the site for the 1996 Olympic kayaking competition - and it definitely put up a good fight. We looked like professionals out there, all rowing in sync - except, I guess, for this bright blue raft and gear with 'ocoee outdoors' stamped all over it. This is definitely one of my favorite things to do, I'd love to raft the canyons of the Colorado River someday.

here we are roped up to the side of the river - No, I'm not taking photos of frantic swimmers who've been thrown from their boat... Trae and Logan dove off of "Jump Rock" where you can go down a small rapid sans raft.

Here we go! I forget the name of this rapid... Broken Nose or Double Suck...or Slingshot...I can't remember. But, you get the point. Don't ask how I got these pictures.

Paddle High Five. No Men Overboard. But definitely not dry.

Our wet-and-wild adventures don't end here, though. I think I spent five of the 8 days at home in a swimsuit... we spent the last day back at the lake - trying our hand at wakeboarding. I never got up, but Trae & Logan did - what a workout! It is ridiculously tiring. I was, however, able to effortlessly master tubing - basically 'hang-on' is the only skill required. It was a lot of fun - I let go on one big 45 mph turn and they said I skidded across the water like it was a concrete surface. [Logan's up!]from the other boat, we were all surprised to see just how cool we look in a sailboat. :)

::cheers for visits home::


tiffany said...

I understand exactly how you feel... time stands still in Camden and even though sometimes it's irritating (in a 'i understand where you're coming from but come on, i haven't talked to you in 4 years- how can you expect me to be the same?!' kind of way) i often find myself doing exactly the same thing to people. Most often I find myself expecting them to change in ways that I have only to find they haven't, or worse, they've "gone backwards"...

great post!

Kaitlin said...

Wow...I have been settling in and have missed about 5 posts! Oops..took me a while to catch up! I am glad you enjoyed your trip home! I feel so "grown up" when I go out in Memphis. The Peabody parties are so much fun! I am glad you enjoyed them. I am also happy that you enjoyed smittenkitchen.com...Deb is amazing. I want to be her. Glad to hear that you had a good trip to Camden, I am headed home for the 4th and we are going to float the Buffalo...wish us luck!!