National parks have been called America’s best idea. My family loves them, having been to several of the great Western parks in the past couple of years. So when Carrie suggested Great Smoky Mountains NP for fall break I was intrigued. When she told me we would be glamping I knew I might have a blog post. When she told me we were spending the last day at Dollywood I almost called the whole thing off.
I have never understood why anybody would want to go to a supposed regional theme park named after . . . Dolly Parton? Really? To cut right to the chase, I was a hater. This did not sound like a great plan for fall break 2019 - our first ever fall break trip as a family with kids - and I wasn’t having it, not on my watch.
. . .
It’s football season.
Last season did not go very well for Carolina, but this season was supposed to be different.
The offense has a new, highly anticipated running back from the Upstate who was Mr. Football in high school. The first game was scheduled away from home against a beatable North Carolina-based state university that plays in the ACC. The defense has talent. New uniforms. The opener is nationally televised on ESPN on the Saturday before Labor Day. But the win slips through our fingers, and the Gamecocks start the season 0-1 and leave their fans searching for answers. Looking down the schedule, the harder games are still to come.
And, a hurricane is threatening the coast of both Carolinas.
Think I am talking about 2019?
I’m talking about 1999.
The first week of school is behind us and many teachers have already handed out the first writing assignment of the year. Of course I am talking about the famous “write about something you did over the summer” assignment. Since I am on a third grade reading level, I thought this would be a great lesson to tackle myself.
Just typing the word makes me uncomfortable. Now, imagine how I felt when my wife told me that I would need to be a chaperone on my son’s third grade school trip to the State House and State Museum. I tried to remind her that I still have not recovered from the time 20 years ago when a buddy called me to see if I wanted to tag along and help him chaperone a group of first-week high school seniors at Cherry Grove. Nevermind we were only three years older than the group of whom we were supposed to be in charge of their well-being. “It will be a free week at the beach,” said my buddy. Mentally, I am still paying the price today from what that week did to my soul.
When Dabo Swinney was hired, he told us to dream big. But who dreams this big?