Montgomery Bell State Park

Sometimes me and my husband go camping.

All the time me and my husband run into interesting/strange people.

All the time we end up dancing.

Chapter 1

First encounters

It didn’t look promising. The state park camp site was crowded and squished. Michael and I were going to head east and go on a six mile over-night hike, but it was raining east. When it rains east, head west. Westward we went. Tent up, dog stake in the ground and hammock high, we walked along a creek and into the woods for an hour or so. Manning ( my Australian Shepard mix) leading the way. We were chilling at the campsite, singing and playing guitar, starting a fire, ya know normal camping things, when a lady walked up and fell in love with my dog. I mean love at first sight. She had him trained in a matter of minutes. Then she stomped on his new hedge hog playfully, but he looked sad that the strange lady was squishing his new snuggle buddy into the ground. I went to the restroom and when I returned, Michael informed me he accepted her invitation to go over and have dinner. Meanwhile, I’m still weary she is going to kidnap my dog. So we went over, and it was good. She wasn’t as strange as we initially thought. She talked about her ex’s and her son and her dogs. She fed us food that was all soaked in white wine, (she stated she wanted to get me tipsy for Michael, though I don’t need alcohol for that) and cheerfully let us be on our merry way. Manning is now safe at home with me. Goes to show, people are not always as they seem. Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us and give them free food in return. Also she said camping as much as possible is on her bucket list now, instead of camping in particular places. She got cool people points in my book for that. Do what you can.

Chapter 2

Being outgoing

Settling down from dinner, Michael strummed his guitar and I sang semi-quietly. Across from our campsite were two tents filled with nine 9th grade girls, who were actually quiet and contained. The mom of one of the girls came over and asked if we would mind going over there and singing happy birthday to her daughter and requested maybe one popular song. She said every time we would play the girls would get quiet and try to listen to us. Of course we went. I felt awkward because 1. I thought I had been social enough for the night 2. I don’t normally like teenage girls and they don’t like me. The girls were super sweet and amazing. The mom thanked us and her husband came over to chat. Small talk around Nashville TN always leads you somewhere. Turns out, he is the owner of one of the most exclusive coffee shops in the US. He was so passionate about coffee it inspired me. I am a huge coffee addict so I was beyond intrigued to listen to his story. His shop has no recipes. He brews his coffees uniquely and instead of whipping up espresso’s he serves expressidos (my spelling is all wrong on that) but it means expression, rather than to express, or get something quickly. He described his work by using an analogy of an artist painting a portrait of someone. The artists is going to paint or draw you as they see you, likewise the baristas are going to replicate your coffee in the same manner. Personalized coffee. It was the most mind blowing thing I have heard of in a while. I am beyond stoked to visit the shop tomorrow. Also they are hiring, and what kind of coffee loving barista would not want to work there? Anyways, after we sang we found out their daughter is home schooled and trains in ballet. All the girls actually just came from rehearsal. I love dance. I love all things musical, and theatrical. With out their point shoes, with out music, or a stage they happily agreed to perform a few numbers in the street with only a small lamp in the middle of the road so we could all see. Dancing without music is difficult. After laughing and gracefully bumping into each other (ballerinas are graceful always)  It dawned on one of them that even though we’re all camping it is the 21st century and we can play music on our phones. So they found a few songs, we grabbed our Bluetooth speakers and prancing away they went. They are so talented, and dedicated. It’s beautiful. Their love for their art radiated out of each of the girls. They each were so innocent, lighthearted and free. It was beautiful. Two of them started swing-dancing. OHHHHH SNAAAAP. That turned into Michael and I teaching swing dance lessons in the middle of a campground, past curfew, to nine ninth grade ballerinas. Needless to say it was an amazing trip. I love this life I have been blessed with. If your not happy with where you are, where you live, what job you work, move. Go. Explore. Adventure. You are not a tree, you arn’t so deeply rooted in one spot you cannot leave. God has shown us repeatedly Nashville is where we are supposed to be at the moment. I love every minute of it.

PS: My dog is seriously freaking amazing. I get bragging rights for days. He was so well behaved and trained. Literally the best trained dog I’ve had and he came from a shelter exactly that way. Go get a shelter dog. Now. Then take him camping.

Happy trails,




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