Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Just a few words....

It has been a long time since I've posted on the blog.  Just as is the case with you, it has been a busy time here.

There are those of you to whom I have sent Christmas cards in past years who most likely didn't receive one from me this year.  Perhaps a few words of explanation are in order.

On Wednesday, November 23 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff reported a 1.5-acre wildfire near the Chimney Tops Trail.  Fire suppression efforts began, though extreme drought conditions hindered successful extinguishing of the fire.

On Monday, November 28, hurricane force winds entered the picture, setting off the unbelievable spreading of the fire!  Where blown sparks didn't ignite, trees blown across power lines set off fires as well.  Evacuation of the area was ordered.

Before the burning was controlled, a total of nearly 18,000 acres had burned, along with a reported 7,000 structures burned/damaged and 14 fatalities reported.

Rather than adding to my Christmas card list, I chose to donate to the Disaster Response Fund of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Should you wish to donate, write your check to Holston Conference and mail to the Holston Conference Office, P.O. Box 850, Alcoa, TN 37701.

Tourism is vital for Sevier County's economy.  Gatlinburg has re-opened, and tourists are welcome.  If you wish to make plans for a vacation, there are many places that are open for lodging.  It is a lovely area and The Husband and I have many memories of time spent there during our courtship, then with the girls as well.

The year is quickly passing!  While I may get around to another post before year's end, I send good wishes to you for the year ahead at this time.


  1. 'A fine reason to redirect your Christmas card/postage funds, Nellie. ♥ Happy new year.

  2. Oh I am so glad you wrote. I was praying and praying and then when I didn't hear from you this year, I thought I wondered and prayed some more. I think that is a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for writing Nellie. I am glad you had a nice Christmas, I hope. I hope you get lots of rain too.

  3. Yes, Sister, that was a horrendous fire! As you know, one of my good friends lost her home and all of her earthly possessions in that fire, and they barely escaped with their lives as she, her brother, and their 91-year-old mother had to go to a neighbor's car because their driveway was blocked by a massive tree that the winds had blown across it. They lived in three separate homes on their little mountain, and all three homes are lost, along with their vehicles. I have chosen to make a donation to their GoFundMe page and have encouraged others on Facebook to do the same. While they are fully insured, and that is surely a blessing, there will be a long wait till all can be worked out, and they are living in a hotel until Jan. 3, wearing clothes that were donated by many generous people around the country. Their faith in God is keeping them strong, but the massive loss of property is mind-boggling! When the Dolly Parton Foundation did their first distribution of $1,000 checks, $900,000 was spent in just a few hours!

    Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg do need business to keep operating, and this would be a great time, while WinterFest is still going on! A HUGE chunk of my heart is still there, even though we've had to relocate for health reasons unrelated to those wonderful mountains. I hope many of your readers will choose to visit East Tennessee and think of me while they're there! Love you!

  4. That was a great idea do donate the money instead of sending out cards.

  5. The Smoky Mountain wildfire was indeed devastating to so many people.
    Firefighters and first responders from our town spent volunteered to help fight the fire. They told of horrendous destruction and loss.
    Thank goodness for kind and unselfish people, who are helping rebuild, and put lives back together.
    We donated to the Dollywood Foundation.
    Hoping you had a Merry Christmas and wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year Nellie !

  6. I'm so sorry about the wild fires in your area of the country. Fires has devastated Fort McMurry in Alberta and went on for days. Such a devastating force. Many homes and businesses destroyed. Jobs lost....

    This year I cut down on my Christmas cards as well after addressing over 100 Thank You card. I only sent out one box and ran out. Too many things to do and getting ready for Christmas. I did receive your card Nellie. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I thought of you too but didn't sent a card. My daughter arrived with her family on the 18th and time was spent with having many family visitors.

    Thinking of you.

  7. Living Across the Pond I had not heard of this disaster. I think you did absolutely the right thing by donating to the relief fund rather than sending Christmas cards.
    For several years now I've cut back on my list and made a donation to a local charity instead, where the money is put to good use rather than spending on paper and postage that end up in the recycling a few weeks later.
    ~~~Deb in Wales

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