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Good Fortune!

I have had the good fortune to spend some time in the woods in the past few weeks and it was amazing. I get to go on my children’s  end of year trips with their school. By the way they all 4 have attended Evergreen charter school and that is another blessing altogether. It is an ELOB (Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School) charter and is an amazing learning environment here in Asheville. There is always a waiting list for students to get in. So much so that there is a group of parents and teachers that are going to start a sister school so there will be another ELOB school in Asheville to handle the demand. That gets me back to going on the end of year field trip with our youngest. I have been on this same trip with three of our 4 children and since this was with our youngest it may be the last time I make the trip to this particular area. I was standing in this beautiful mountain meadow enjoying the kids running around feeling the cool mountain air and enjoying the sunshine when it hit me. I will never do this again with this group of people under these circumstances. Sure I can always come back but it will never be the same. I will be ever grateful for the opportunity that I have had to have the memories of our kids growing up. Especially outside in the beautiful mountains that I am blessed to live in. We spent three days in the woods hiking looking at the wildlife and flowers and enjoying each others company. We had good food that I and other parents helped prepare with lots of help from the kids! There were about 40 kids and 11 adults on the trip and all of the children made a presentation as part of the trip. This was not just some camping trip it turned into an outdoor classroom and the kids did amazing jobs. They had to bring all the information on a subject, like energy conservation, the effects of mountain top removal, the life cycle of a mushroom and its uses and many others. They taught us what they knew and we had a short assignment where we wrote about what we learned. I am so glad at 51 I get to go back to school, even for a short three days and get to be a student and let a 10-year-old teach me. What good fortune!

Tara and I took off last Sunday and went to Bent Creek which is a forest about 10 minutes from The Pines Cottages. It must be the amount of rainfall and the mild temperatures we are having but in the 11 years I have lived here I have never seen the forest floor more beautiful than it is right now. There was a carpet of flowers of all shades and varieties. We must have spent the entire afternoon just walking and talking about everything and nothing. At one point we sat on a log on the edge of the stream and were looking back on the last 24 months and were overwhelmed with gratitude. I survived stage 4 cancer and am cancer free and am as good or better than I was before the cancer. It was a tough process and here I was after the chemo and radiation and hospital and cancer clinic and feeding tube and surgery sitting on a log enjoying life like nothing had happened. What good fortune!

I hope if this blog finds you and you decide to come visit these ancient mountains you will make some memories that you will carry with you for a lifetime. No matter where your travels take you I hope you find Good Fortune!

Allen