Michele in the Smoky Mountains

The most bizarre thing occurred on Friday morning as Michele flew from the Texas Panhandle to East Tennessee. A dust storm from Oklahoma blew eastward smothering Tennessee and surrounding states with a thin layer of grit and dirt. I could hear the wind beating our house when I woke up that morning, and as soon as we pulled out of the garage to pick her up from the airport, we noticed that the usually very blue sky was a murky brown. Son of a gun, I thought. Michele’s bringing panhandle weather with her.

It was a bummer, too, because all of my blabbing about the beauty of East Tennessee is wasted breath if Michele couldn’t see past the first layer of the Foothills. What irony! Fortunately, it all blew away overnight and the rest of the weekend was picture perfect.

We spent a lot of time outside enjoying the breeze, the trees and the rainbow of vibrant colors. As if on cue, Michele arrived in East Tennessee when fall foliage hit its peak.

She and the boys enjoyed a chat in the grass at the park when I went to grab my camera:

I drove her along the Foothills Parkway, which offers some of the most pristine views of the Smoky Mountains:And then we stopped at our favorite watering hole where the boys often swim in the summer:

It was perfect:

Michele and I ate dinner at Cafe 4 on Saturday, and then Chuck and the boys joined us at Tupelo Honey Cafe on Sunday, which just opened in Knoxville a few days ago. I so enjoyed showing Michele all sides of East Tennessee. It’s a wonderful mixture of rural and urban, rich with history while always looking forward to what might be next.

I lived in her hometown for two years, so I was most happy to show her my town, if only for a few days.

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