The Ink Penn

I had no plans to vacation in the mountains this summer until I revisited a story about a trip we’d taken several years ago. Suddenly, I got the uncontrollable urge to hear a rushing stream while rocking on a porch. Before I knew it, I’d booked a stay at Mountain Creek Bend Cabin in Scaly Mountain.

The trip lived up to our every expectation. Picture opening the front door to an expanse of glass doors leading to a screened porch overlooking a wide creek. See wicker rockers and a Pawley’s Island hammock inviting you to relax. I hardly noticed what the inside of the cabin looked like, but it too was inviting with wood floors, a four-poster bed in the bedroom, and a large kitchen complete with all the things you often forget to pack—aluminum foil, spices, coffee and more.

It was all we could do to take the time to unpack before settling on the porch. The last thing I did before claiming my rocker was to grab a jigsaw puzzle and set it up on the large round table. No, we didn’t complete the puzzle, but we had fun adding a piece here and there as we wandered by to and from the porch.

A highlight of the trip was meeting Samson, the Newfoundland who belongs to the property managers. He visited most days and introduced Lord Banjo to the joys of cooling off in the creek. He took off down the hill to the creek with Banjo at his heels, and after that, Banjo was in the creek every chance he got.

Banjo and his Dad took morning walks down the dirt road to see the horses and cows, but I never could manage to change out of my robe and leave the comfort of the screened porch in time for those jaunts.

I would have been content never to leave the porch, but there were scenic drives to take and shops to visit in nearby Highlands, N.C. As I was so close, I connected with local author Jeannie Chambers, who wrote “Tunnel of Time,” and we sold our books at the Highlands Farmers Market.

It made my day when folks exclaimed, “Is that Lord Banjo? I read his column in the Highlands Newspaper.” It made Lord Banjo’s day when they gave him belly rubs.

When friends joined us for a few days, we girls headed to town for lunch and shopping while the guys did “guy” things. We ate lunch at a rooftop restaurant where we sat beneath red umbrellas and took in the view of the mountains. Next up was a bit of shopping before heading back to the porch.

We had all agreed we weren’t going to cook, but we found it increasingly difficult to tear ourselves away from the porch and the sounds of the creek to head to town for dinners. Had it been a girls trip, we likely would have continued sipping wine and nibbling on cheese, crackers, hummus, salsa, and such, but the guys required a square meal.

We reluctantly left the soothing sounds of the creek, but upon our return, the porch beckoned once again. The final morning, we were savoring the creek sounds when Banjo decided to take one last dip. Unfortunately, instead of fresh mountain air, our ride home was filled with the aroma of wet dog—a small price to pay for a relaxing week.

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest, Amy’s Hallmark at the Forum, and on Amazon. Contact her at inkpenn119@gmail.com, and follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor/.

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