Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
Goodbye to Leaf Peeping
I didn't set off any more car alarms, but I did get in the wrong car.
I ran out in the rain opened the door to a car of the same color that
was parked next to ours. "Hello," said a lady inside.
"Whoops, so sorry, your car looks just like ours." Seems I'm
determined to be embarrassed to death by rental cars.
We were getting tired of "leaf peeping" as the locals called
it when you view the fall color, and it was raining again. We went to
a railroad museum and made a few pictures while trying to avoid being
trampled by tourists getting on the train or being run over by a train
while we were crossing the tracks from the parking lot.
After that we looked for an Audubon trail and couldn't find it, but
figured the birds were probably hiding from the rain anyhow. Even the
Chamber of Commerce was closed. Finally, we decided to call the day a
rainout and go shopping at a crafts store.
"I have been to the mountain top," Dr. Martin Luther King
said. And the next day I could say it too. There is a mountain in New
Hampshire called Mt. Washington that is supposed to be the third
tallest peak east of the Mississippi. To get to the top, you can drive
or take a cog railroad. I wanted to take the railroad. Everyone else
wanted to drive.
It was a narrow, winding road, so steep a mountain goat would say,
"No thanks." But here we were, driving along with sheer
cliffs straight up on one side and straight down on the other and one
wheel hanging its toes over the side of the road.
I promised God when we drove to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado
years ago that if I got down alive, I would never do such a thing
again. But here I was, doing it again -- different mountain --
At a certain elevation the paved road ended and became dirt, "no
traction," I surmised. When we finally made it to the top, we
were in the clouds and you couldn't see a thing -- same as Pike's
Peak. So, what's the point of risking your life? Don't ask me. I'm
just grateful that God didn't hold me to my promise.
It is said that people have raced up and down the mountain road.
Horses, wagons, and carriages drove it in the olden days. I feel sorry
for any horse that had to pull a wagon up that steep grade. Today
buses and motorcycles take it on.
Why do men climb mountains? Because they are there, it is said. I'm a
The next day it was raining again. Does it ever stop raining in New
Hampshire? The group went on yet another hike at a place called the
Flume, apparently a big tourist stop for buses and international
visitors. The hikers came back from the trail soaking wet again.
Good news, I finally saw a moose, except it was a stuffed one in the
visitors' center. Best I could do.
At last we did something I wanted to do, which was visit the home of
poet Robert Frost, who once lived in the area. It was a simple farm
house with wood floors and sparse furniture. It had a big stone
fireplace and one area was roped off for the poet-in-residence to
live. Each year a poet is selected to live for a year and be inspired.
It would have been nice visit if it wasn't so wet.
We decided not to stay long as it was late and we had "miles to
go before we sleep." (Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.) Good
thing as we went the wrong direction and ended up in Vermont, driving
in circles for about an hour. Eventually we found our way back,
driving more winding mountain roads at night.
By the time we got back, I was happy to pack my suitcase and say
goodbye to fall leaves, covered bridges, mountain roads and rain.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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