State Parks and Thanksgiving & The Great Cornbread vs Bread debate!

Dupont State Park

No mistake in this house I love a good cornbread dressing. GMR loves my cornbread dressing, too, as does most anyone else who eats it. GMR is from New Orleans, and I am a West Virginia HillWilliam who lived a lot of her time in the deep south and who had a Tennessee Daddy and an adoptive mom from an Arkansas farm. My mom always made cornbread dressing. I ate it as a child growing up; I watched her make it and  learned from her as I grew up; I took up that tradition.

GMR, however, prepares Erster Stuffing . . . or for you who aren’t New Orleans born or haven’t lived in or been to South Louisiana, that’s Oyster Stuffing (he does call it dressing, but I refuse to *teeheehee*). This stuffing is made with Bread – no cornbread. Not a touch. And it has critters in it – oysters. What the fiddledeedee?

dupont state park

So each Thanksgiving, I have an informal but rabid poll about this. What do you eat/prepare in your house at Thanksgiving (or during the holidays)? Is it WONDERFUL MAGICAL SUMPTUOUSLY DELICIOUS Cornbread Dressing. Or is it nasty soggy bread stuffing with maybe some snotty-looking critters in it? (*haw*)

Dupont State Park

I want to wish you all who observe to have a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families. Hug each other. Tell each other you love one another. Make the moments count. If there is any time at all to be mushy and to build broken bridges and to talk about gratitude and family and friends, well, now is surely that time.

cataloochie valley as seen through the barn
from waterrock knob on parkway
from water-rock knob parkway

Today, I bake my cornbread and we’ll have a slice when it’s warm from the oven – there’s always plenty left over for my dressing. I’ll bake my pecan (puh-cahn!) pie and my pumpkin pie, as well. GMR is brining the turkey (this really does work quite well), and he will make his erster stuffing (what-EVER –laughing–), and whatever else he will do ahead of time. I am lucky to have a GMR who loves to cook, but also who cleans up along-side of me so I don’t have to do it all alone.

Blanchard Caverns

blanchard caverns

99% of photos here on my blog are taken by me. The two cavern photos were not taken by me, but by my brother Tommy, from our Odyssey round-about from Texas to North Carolina, and they do not do these caverns justice much as he tried–they are just too majestic and awe-inspiring to fully capture in the dim light–Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View Arkansas. In the caverns, it was as if some ancient civilization, or aliens, created the “sculptures.” I’ll have more photos later, I hope. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me (I rushed to Texas so quickly, I didn’t grab it), but my brother did, so as soon as he can upload all the hunnerds of them from our Odyssey :-D I will share some more with you. (Our first State Park stop was below at Petit Jean State Park).

The photos of waterfalls above are from our own WNC Dupont State Park. And two below I took from the train ride my brother and I took on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.

from train (great smoky mountain railroad)

With GMR’s friends, I also visited Cataloochie Valley (photos above and below) and Water-rock Knob at Blue Ridge Parkway (above). These are places, here in WNC, that GMR and I go frequently and never tire of it and are always awe-struck.

cataloochie valley from trail

We also visited Max Patch and walked a bit of the Appalachian (AppaLatchun not AppaLayshun) Trail.

I am awe-struck at the beauty of our parks and parkways.

And, how grateful I am for our National and State Parks. They are truly a national treasure that we oft-times can take for granted. Think of them when you go on vacations – many can be “right in your back-yard.” They do so need our love and support.

turkeys at Cataloochie Valley- they won’t be eaten, at least by humans, lawd!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for all of you. *Blowing You All A Kiss*

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