I Get A Peaceful, Easy Feeling

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau

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I love water in nature! I like looking at it, listening to it, and observing wildlife in and around it. I think many of us do. What is it about water that draws us in and almost places us in a hypnotic state? I know for me, hearing the sounds of the ocean waves crashing on the shore, or the gentle lapping of the water on a lake shore, or the occasional ripples in a still, almost glass-like pond, or even the babbling of a brook is soothing, relaxing and just makes me calm and happy. It doesn’t get much better.

Nature + water = a peaceful, easy feeling for me

We don’t have a beach, but Tennesseans are fortunate to have an abundance of streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy all year. I discovered a lakeside oasis last week on my drive to Murfreesboro from Nashville and I wanted to share it with you.

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This little retreat is right off of Sam Ridley Blvd. on Jefferson Pike in Smyrna, TN.

As I drove into the entrance and headed down the winding lane, I saw my first glimpse of the lake! Happy happy, joy joy!! As we pulled into the parking lot, I couldn’t wait to leash up the boys and start exploring this cool area.

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Some of the features to point out about the park—

  • Plenty of Parking (large slips for boat trailers)
  • A large picnic pavilion
  • Numerous picnic tables and grills
  • Beautiful, abounding shade trees
  • Nice, clean restrooms
  • and a delightful view of Percy Priest Lake

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Although it wasn’t very crowded that day, activities were bountiful all around me. I saw

a fisherman casting from the shore

a young man leaned up against a tree strumming a guitar

a couple enjoying a picnic

a boater fishing off in the distance

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a mom and her two children lounging on a blanket

and a man snoozing in a hammock he had tied to two trees

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and at that moment I felt content and happy from head to toe, AKA ‘that peaceful, easy feeling”!

On our exploration we discovered a family of geese (or I believe a ‘gaggle’ is the correct term) puttering around the lake, several ducks waddling around the grounds close to the shore, and a blue heron perched on a buoy eyeing his lunch. We were continuously serenaded by numerous birds perched high in the trees. To Brody and Baxter’s delight, (or should I say dislike) there were squirrels scampering everywhere.IMG_6886

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I took the opportunity during our walk to inhale as deeply as I could to take in this perfect moment when all seemed right with the world. I pulled out my camera to capture the serene scene so I could share it with you.IMG_6970

Anne Frank wrote in ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’,

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

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So grab your family, a friend, a book, a fishing pole, a canoe, a picnic, a blanket, a dog or two, or whatever means a lot to you, and head out to Jefferson Springs Recreation Area. If you start humming the Eagles song, “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” once you arrive, you can blame it on me.

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Simple Pleasures Are the Best!

IMG_6633Nashville, Tennessee is such a cool place to live or visit. I am fortunate to be a native Nashvillian and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has grown so much since I was born, but most of it is positive! Some of the many great qualities about Nashville are

  • Many unique and fabulous restaurants around town to choose from
  • Our diverse culture and population
  • Great Shopping
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Rich Heritage
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Friendly people
  • All types of Music Venues (not just country music everywhere)

I could go on and on… (I will highlight many of these listed above in later blogs in Focused on Nashville!)

but one of the things I adore about Music City (especially this time of the year) is the abundance of green, right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of a big city.

Only a few minutes from our home, office, workplace or school are little gems that provide:

  • an escape
  • a refuge
  • a place to get away
  • a learning experience
  • an adventure
  • quiet time
  • exercise
  • quality time together
  • peace

and just an experience to enjoy nature all around us and to be able to breathe in and breathe out -FREE OF CHARGE!

If you are not familiar with these parks I will be blogging about, and even if you are, allow me to take you on a journey with pictures and my interpretation of my experiences at these parks. Hopefully my words and photos will inspire you to take your own journey soon!

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I have always liked the song,

“Simple pleasures are the best! All the little things that make you smile and glow. All the things you know. Life’s simple pleasures are the best, are the best, in all the world.”

I agree. Simple pleasures are the best!

Be watching for my next blog in the next day or two talking about the first of a few of my favorite parks in Nashville.

Until next time-

I hope you spend every day living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Welcome To Your Weekend!

The song says ‘Everybody’s Working For the Weekend” and I remember those days well. I couldn’t wait until Friday at 5:00. I remember getting in my car, taking my high heels off to rest my feet for a few minutes and then starting the car and heading out to meet friends for whatever we had planned. It really didn’t matter, as long as it was the weekend.

Today I still look forward to the weekend and 5:00 P.M. still has a special place in my heart. But lately I enjoy spending many weekends at home with my husband, my son and 2 westies. We choose a night that is just for the 3 of us and we will watch a movie, (probably a Marvel movie because my son is into Marvel BIG TIME and can quote many lines from every movie)  and we will order pizza and just be together. I will cherish every moment because it won’t be long before my 14 year old makes plans with his friends every weekend. So, here’s to Iron Man and a large, cheese thin crusted pizza.

Whatever your plans are, whoever they are with and wherever you are spending them, enjoy your weekend! Remember, no matter what you are doing, “Spend time with those you love. Because one of these days you will either say I wish I had, or I’m glad I did.”

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A good life is a collection of happy moments.

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Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Get Your Peddle On !

I have written about biking the Harpeth River Greenway already, but we have biked two more greenways as well, so I had to share my thoughts on all 3 greenways.
Here is the update to the first blog, ‘A Biker’s Delight’.

IMG_3633 I think I was just as excited for my son’s Spring Break to happen as he was this year. Besides getting to sleep in a little later, eat some food that is not necessarily good for us, and stay up late, I was also looking forward to getting our bikes out of hibernation and hitting the greenways around town. Biking is a a great family event that everyone can enjoy together.  It is great exercise, and for me, brings back memories of biking as a kid. Except now there are beautiful and safe greenways all over Nashville !

We decided to go a different direction each day and see what we would find. Monday we drove west to Percy Warner Park where the Harpeth River Greenway begins. The paved path winds around Ensworth School and the Harpeth River. The majority of the way we were in the shade. Even the times we were in full sunlight it was nice. Maybe because the flowing river tricked us into thinking there was a cool breeze blowing. Or maybe because it was only 66 degrees. Either way, we loved the greenway. We would have gone the whole way but ran out of time. It is about 5.75 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

IMG_3635IMG_3606IMG_3609IMG_3638 Tuesday we decided to head east to Murfreesboro to the Stones River Greenway. Again, the path ran along side the Stones River which made our trip even more enjoyable. There were several areas where you could park your bike and picnic or walk down to the river bank. One area where we spent some time was at the waterfalls. It was very scenic and not really crowded. We even saw people canoeing and fishing. There are several bridges you cross over, lots of beautiful scenes and just enough hills to keep you interested. Most of the greenway we traveled was shaded. It is about 6 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

Wednesday we decided to head to downtown and turn right which would land us at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Center. I will have to say I was a little skeptical because the park is not in the best area of town. You have to go through an industrial area. I kept thinking there was no way I would want to ride bikes where we were heading. But once we pulled in the entrance it felt totally different. There was a great nature center, tons of cars, people, activities going on, a play area for small children and clean restrooms! The greenway we were on ran alongside the Cumberland River. The view of the Cumberland River is not the best although there are certain areas where you can pull over and see the river through the trees. It might be a tad more difficult to see the river once the trees are full of leaves this summer but is still a nice view.  I will have to say we did not go all the way to Two Rivers Park, so there might be better views from that end of town. This greenway goes all the way to Two Rivers Park but we stopped about 3/4 of the way and came back. I enjoyed the experience all in all. I noticed the nature center has lots of activities for families and had a full calendar for Spring. One of my favorite moments was seeing a train come around the corner and above us on the trestle about 40 feet high. We waved and were as giddy as 8 year olds when he waved and blew the whistle! This trail is around 5 miles. (This does not count the complete greenway to Two Rivers.) Check out more information about this greenway on the link below.

I would highly recommend all 3 greenways because you will get 3 different experiences but will walk away (or should I say ‘bike’ away) with a smile on your face, a heart that is happy from the exercise, and a greater love for Nashville.

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

A Biker’s Delight!

IMG_3633IMG_3616IMG_3638IMG_3611IMG_3606Spring Break is finally here for my son and we decided the first thing we wanted to do this week was head out to a local greenway with our bikes. The day was perfect- sunny, 70 degrees and a slight wind. We chose the Harpeth River Greenway and chose to start our journey at Percy Warner Park. The greenway was not too crowded, and paved the whole way. We saw rode along the Harpeth River much of the way and it was really pretty. “The Harpeth River Greenway is a series of four disconnected, multi-use trails that run along the Harpeth River in suburban Nashville. The trails total almost 6 miles. The various segments serve a variety of communities and parks throughout the city.” The  majority of the trail is shaded so it will be nice when the temperatures get up in the 90’s this summer.

This will definitely be in my top 5 favorite greenways in Nashville.

Grab your bike and go check it out!

http://www.traillink.com/trail/harpeth-river-greenway.aspx