Sunday, July 15, 2012

One Stroky’s Journey: Unexpected visitors in the Smokies

Shane, left, and Chastity, bound for Istanbul via Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mountains always have something special for Husband Walter and me, and this year’s summer sojourn is already meeting our expectations.

We were enjoying temperatures in the low 70s at the mile-high Balsam Mountain Campground where we were setting up camp Friday, July 6, for our first two nights in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Our neighboring campers across from us were from Moss Point, a Mississippi Gulf Coast town not too far from our own. Chastity is a Moss Point native who has spent four years in Istanbul, Turkey, as a missionary with the Mission to Unreached Peoples (MUP) organization.

She and Shane, originally from Tennessee, have been married for a year. They haved lived in Moss Point as they prepare for returning to Istanbul where both will work as instructors of English as a second language and will serve as missionaries with MUP. We enjoyed some delightful conversations with them Friday and Saturday before they broke camp and left to drive several hours back to the site of their next week of language and cultural training.

They both had entertaining stories to tell about their experiences in Turkey. I have their email address and look forward to updates on their continuing adventures. Chastity was also a physical therapy tech during her university pre-med studies. She decided working toward healing hearts through the spiritual route rather than the medical profession was her calling.

She had had experience with stroke survivors as a tech. Her encouraging words were a special blessing as Hubby and I are charting stroke-recovery territory that is new to us on this year’s camping vacation.

 Later that Saturday afternoon, Hubby’s sister Anita and her husband Scott, showed up on Scott’s Harley. They would make good detectives. With minimal clues from my mother-in-law, they had scouted out our location, successfully avoiding some heavy wind, rain and elk that had laid claim to the road.

Scott and Anita, a happy surprise from home

Scott, a veteran Harley aficionado, offered me a ride. Since I occasionally fail to achieve total stability on a stationary chair, I declined the opportunity to test my ability to keep my seat on the back of a Harley. I still have visions of last year’s Smokies camping when I had been out of the hospital for less than five weeks.

I was seated on the bench of a picnic table and went sailing off, crashing to the ground and scaring dear hubby and myself. I haven’t fallen off any picnic table benches so far this year, so maybe I’ll try the Harley next year!

I have missed keeping up with the blogs I follow, but electricity to recharge and Internet connection has not been readily available. We will return home to electricity and WiFi soon, though. I hope to post more on our Smoky Mountain experiences then and catch up on your blogs, after eliminating a Smoky Mountain of dirty laundry, of course. Have a great week!


  1. What a special couple. I admire what they are doing.

    It sounds like you are having a great time.

  2. What a delightful young couple you met. I so admire missionaries but always fear for their safety. I wish them a safe and successful stay in Turkey.
    I envy you that 70 degree temp though ours have moderated to normal lately. Phew.
    Enjoy your stay.

  3. What a delightful post! It sounds as if you are having a wonderful time:) Seeing folks from home, while away, is always fun.

    I love the mountains, too, and they refresh my body and spirit almost as much as the ocean does. Enjoy!

  4. Always lovely up in the Smokies. Lucky you. Hope your visit this year does not involve you washing your hair again. Can't get that image from last year out of my mind. Time for me to get mine cut again. Wild wild stuff.

    As for your new acquaintences, how nice to meet some youngsters having fun in this difficult time. My SIL went to China to teach English as a second language. Worrisome to have them so far away when the minister from Boston was kidnapped this week by Bedoins in the Sinaii. Dianne

  5. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. We all need to have a change of scenery from time to time.

  6. I just love those divine appointments that happen. How delightful to meet fellow Christians and learn of their passion and future.
    I'm so glad you are having a wonderful vacation and have had a chance to even visit with relatives.
    Being out in our beautiful world is a great healer too.
    Blog when you can. We will be there.