Posts Tagged ‘robert frost’

The Road Not Taken — and Kudzu  

Kudzu taking over the landscape. Photo by Pat Bean ,

Kudzu taking over the landscape. Photo by Pat Bean ,

            “Everyone has to make their own decisions … You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining.” – Grace Jones

Adventures with Pepper: Day: Day 53-54

After two sight-seeing filled days in Nashville, I stayed put at Nashville RV Park for an extra day so as to catch up on my journal, my writing, and some needed rest. I spent most of that day, however, replotting my route back to Texas.

Pin Oak Lake, Natchz Trace State Resort Park, Tennessee. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pin Oak Lake, Natchz Trace State Resort Park, Tennessee. — Photo by Pat Bean

I had planned to drive the entire Natchez Trace but was now reconsidering. I had previously driven the lower end of the trace, and if I only spent one day on the historic old foot path, I could cut miles and days off my trip back to Texas.

Usually when I get into an argument with myself about which route to take, the longer, slower, less traveled one wins the day. But my slow, beit fantastic, drive through Shenandoah National Park on Skyline Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway had been tiring.

I was also eager to once again hook up with kids and grandkids that I hadn’t seen in over half a year. So this time, after a night of sleeplessly continuing to mull the decision, I didn’t take Robert Frost’s less-traveled road, but his road-not-taken instead.

It was

A bit of color could be seen through the trees, but today's drive was mostly a green one. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A bit of color could be seen through the trees, but today’s drive was mostly a green one. — Photo by Pat Bean

a slow pleasant 150-mile drive in which autumn’s fall colors had been replaced by trees buried beneath kudzu. If you’re not from the South, you might ask what is kudzu.

It’s an invasive plant that grows and spreads over the landscape like uncontrolled wild fires, beautiful but deadly to plants that it envelops in its viny arms.

I ended the day at Tennessee’s Natchez Trace State Resort Park, where I hooked Gypsy Lee up beside Pin Oak Lake, took Pepper for a long walk, then settled down with her outside to watch the sun set over the lake.

I went to be still thinking about my choice of routes because the options were still ahead of me.

Book Report: Worked on Travels with Maggie for only a half hour this morning, stopping for a dentist appointment.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.


Bean’s Pat: Life out of the Box http://tinyurl.com/cptj25y The value of a notebook. This should give us all pause to be thankful for what we have.

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            “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers  

Stone Fence exhibit along the Blue Ridge Parkway. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 31

            Today was my first day of driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Of course I began it by stopping at every overlook and exhibit along the 466-mile scenic drive.

One of the many stone fences along the Skyline Trail. Am I the only on who sees beauty in them? — Photo by Pat Bean

One of these first sites talked about the rock walls, some of which had been built by slaves, in the area. The ones on exhibit at this site were hog walls, designed to keep out wild hogs that foraged for accords and chestnuts.

I had also seen a lot of stone fences on my drive on Skyline Drive.The way the natural rocks had been fitted together to form low walls around narrow road drop offs fascinated me.

And what kind of wall do we get today? The ugly, too tall, cement Jersey barrier, which if the thousands I see as I drive across this country are any indication, somebody is probably getting very rich. — Wikipedia photo

Most of these walls had been built by the Civilian Conservation Corps work relief program during the Great Depression. I’ve seen handiwork of the CCC almost everywhere I’ve traveled, including Lake Walcott State Park in Idaho.I saw a lot of rock fences, and wooden ones as well, along the parkway as I slowly made my way south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the rate, including stops, of about 15 mph.

The fences, of course, made me think of Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall,” which I later looked up and read. I thought you might enjoy a few verses, too.

This fence builder, in my opinion, was an artist. — Photo by Pat Bean

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast….

But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.

 He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now at 57,928 words.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Tripperspot http://tinyurl.com/8zgxa7q This blogger got me with her conclusion on how we judge a person. Passion for something positive in life is priceless. Just save us all from ever being judgmental of others.

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            “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” – Robert Frost

Part of my everyday Sunday life was sitting on the back steps of my grandmother’s home early in the morning watching her wring a chicken’s neck so we could have the best fried chicken in the world for dinner. It spooked me the way the headless body of the chicken would flop around. My grandmother’s house on the outskirts of Dallas is now condemned. — Photo by Pat Bean

Mine from the Ages of 3 to 11

These are the steps I ran up every week day to catch the school bus. I tripped on them once and chipped a tooth, which the dentist said was why it finally fell out when I was in my 60s. — Photo by Pat Bean

When I was 11 years old my grandmother, the only person I thought loved me – of course I was wrong – died. My whole world then changed, and it wasn’t for the better.

I recently searched out my grandmother’s old home. As Robert Frost said, life had moved on. But the memories of my everyday life as it was back then are still etched into my soul.

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon


This is the tree in the next door neighbor’s yard that I climbed most everyday. I loved this old tree, which back then was young and perfect. The house on the right was a corn field. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” – Anton Chekhov .


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 “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” – Robert Frost

A tree that doesn't want to die. Now this is what I call a passion for life. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

When I first started writing about my travels, I tried to disguise the fact that I was an old broad. Then one day, after a hint from an online writing colleague that being an old broad was what set me apart from all the glamorous young women out there traveling in search of love. I claimed the honor.

I first heard the term “old broad” back when I was a journalist reporting on the environment. In writing about wilderness issues and the value of protecting it, I came across a group called “Great Old Broads for Wilderness.”

I sent this photo of me taken by my friend, Shirley Lee, in Cozumel to my kids announcing that I had a new boy friend. Even old broads want to have fun.

Wow, I thought, when I met some of these women, like Susan Tixier, the brain behind the organization, and author Terry Tempest Williams, as they exercised their passions to help protect wild lands from disappearing from America. Suddenly the term old broad seemed more honorific than derogatory.

Recently I’ve added a couple of new adjectives to my own old broad-persona that I feel fit perfectly. I’m a wandering-wondering old broad with passions for writing, travel, birds, books and Mother Nature.

One of my goals for this year is to rewrite my travel book with this voice. It’s too bad I didn’t do it the first time around. I won’t make that mistake this year with my blog. It’s a promise.

And my canine traveling companion, Maggie, who is also an old broad, is my witness.

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