Just BE

Barefoot Cabin, Banner Elk, NC

In 2013 Tom and I bought a cabin in the high country of North Carolina.

We named it Barefoot Cabin in order to mix our love for the beach with our love of vineyards. And it’s a cute play on words since it’s former name was “Bearfoot Cabin”.

We chose the small town of Banner Elk (BE) elevation 4300’, thus the title of this post.

It is conveniently located between Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountains—the closest ski resorts to Florida. This area is affectionately called, The Florida Alps.

It has the best restaurants all located near the intersection with the only traffic light. This also happens to be the place where our youngest daughter got engaged during the 4th of July Parade in 2017. The only gas station is located at the same intersection and still offers full service. If you don’t know what that means—look it up. A bit of history that makes me smile.

We bought Barefoot Cabin right after my Mom died.

She and I took many road trips to NC when I was a kid to pick blackberries, huckleberries and go ruby mining. It’s one of the finest parts of my childhood. She would have loved it here.

I say “here” because Tom and I drove up after Thanksgiving to pack away the Fall decor and spruce the place up for our winter guests. It is my favorite time to decorate.

Due to family needs we didn’t make it here last December. I realize how much I’ve missed our cabin.

Below are photos of our progress thus far. If you’re looking for a place to rent either to go skiing this winter, or to have a nice cool Summer retreat in 2022, you can check out information on how to do that HERE.

My advice for today? Just BE!



Photo from LAWD in Apopka, FL

Lake Apopka is one of the largest lakes in Florida. It just so happens that we live 15 minutes away from its shores.

A few years ago our state began an extensive cleanup of this lake that was overgrown with algae. This was caused by the muck farms that lined the shores of the lake for decades.

The work began by buying the surrounding land and turning it into a wetland project to naturally filter the polluted lake.

All this effort is working.

On Friday, Saturday and Sundays as well as National holidays, they open the area for nature lovers to drive through the 11 mile restoration project. The speed limit is 10 mph and the road is a one-way gravel road. Photographers and nature lovers come from all over the state to slow down and breathe in the restoration—of the lake and their own souls.

This morning my husband and I decided to take the drive. Our life has been quite stressed and it does us both good to hear nothing but the gallinules calling through the wetlands.

Today was different for we woke to dense fog. We weren’t sure how much we would see, but we needed to try.

What a surprise was waiting for us. Normally we see over a hundred Gators prowling the waters. We see water fowl of all kinds and turtles and fish. An Eden of sorts with all kinds of teeming wildlife.

Fog. It settled on the water allowing glimpses of the beauty we normally don’t notice. Since we couldn’t see the details we observed the landscape as a whole and it took our breath away. I’ll let the photos draw you in to our experience. I pray your Sunday will be blessed through my lens.

If you ever come to Orlando, please reserve time to visit the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. It will refresh your soul and enrich your mind. We all need to take a pause from life and let God help us focus our gaze on His handiwork. It is marvelous in our eyes!

“…wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14b ESV

This is Day 14 in The Ultimate Blog Challenge to post every day in November.

A Dozen For You

I’m at a loss for words tonight. We are in the midst of some things that are critical and time sensitive. But I don’t want to miss a post in this challenge. So…

I’ve decided to share my second hobby after writing—photography. My husband bought me a Nikon 3500 for my birthday a couple of years ago and I have fallen in love with capturing moments through my eyes.

So today I’ll share a dozen of my favorite photos. Enjoy…

This is post #10 in The Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in November.