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Paradise Discovered Again!

By Glenn Arnette, lll

Discovery is a very exciting part of life.  You find new adventures and open up what some might call “Pandora’s box!”

When moving from Florida to the Great Smoky Mountains about 6 months ago, I was a little unsure that at my age this might not be the thing to do.  I am originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and in my youth use to play in the hills of Boone, Blowing Rock and Hendersonville, North Carolina.  I loved it then and have so many memories including the glory days of Ghost Town, Tweetsi Railroad, Jump Off Rock, Chimney Rock, Lake Lure and so much moAfter deciding to move from Florida I choose to live in the “Hills of Cataloochee” at Waynesville / Maggie Valley, North Carolina.  Some friends have asked, “Why there?”  The answer is simple.  I wanted to be in the mountains and not on the edge of the mountains like in the area of Hendersonville.  At one time I lived in Hendersonville and found it to be very exciting, but it was just not in the Valley of the Smoky Mountains surrounded by beautiful vista views..

As an original Carolina guy, the term for those moving from Florida, “half-backs,” does not apply to me as I am a “full-back” returning to my homeland territory.  (Explanation:  Northerner’s moving to the mountains from Florida and not going all the way back up North are called “half-backs!”  Southerners moving from Florida back to the Carolina’s are called “full-backs!”)  Why I even sound like the people living in the Southern region of the country and I am proud of it.  If I want liver mush, grits and sweet ice tea, the people here know what I am talking about.  Thank God, I am a Country Boy, well, not really!

There is nothing more beautiful than a cold morning sunrise with the smoke dripping and crawling over the mountain tops.  How about the living above the 3500 feet above sea level where the tops of the mountains on a beautiful Winter morning can be crusted with sparking ice.  And then there is the snow.  Being back to the hills, some people say, “I’ll get over it,” but I say “not on your life!”  Even the 10 degree mornings find me on my porch taking sunrise pictures and thanking God for another wonderful day in my life.

Just recently I turned on my first gas log fireplace and sat for hours just staring at the flames knowing I was snug and warm for the evening.  Something about that fireplace makes me sleepy and it is not from leaking gas!

From Asheville to Pigeon Forge and all the surroundings; i,e., Greenville, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc.  gives you something to do each day.  There is always somewhere to go and a new place to discover.  Why did it ever take so long for me to realize there is life after Florida and Disney?  The real world is right in front of me as I look over the 12 mountain ranges I treasure each day. 

I have come back to my roots and I will never leave them again!