This past weekend, Ruth Ann and I got to spend the weekend up in the mountains at Fulbright Manor (sounds fancy, huh?).  Our friend Sara's family has land and the great house you see above just outside of Lake Junaluska.  Sara's grandfather built this house back in the day.  With his hands.  It's a great house and there's all kinds of family history and you could say that it's...pretty cool.  She, Mike and Ben invited us, Nathan and Stephanie, and Anthony, Thea and Alice up for some R&R.  We've been lucky enough to spend some great times at this house and this trip didn't disappoint, but it was a little different.  More on that later...

But first, what kind of mountain trip do you have without a good ol' mountain tale?  I mean, if you look the right way, you can see THE Cold Mountain from the house (although there were no sightings of Renee Zellweger).  We spent a lot of our time this weekend talking about Utah mountain, which is also nearby, and the story of Nance Dude.  The way the story goes, back in the early 1900s while under hard times (and at the age of 65), Nance took her two-year-old granddaughter into a cave on Utah Mountain, barricaded the entrance and left her there, where she died.  Nance was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to 30 years of hard labor.  She was released after 15 years, and returned to live out the rest of her days mostly alone until she died at 104 (!).

Here's Nance:

The book is a "based on true events" novel - gleaned from historical records and mountain legend, so it's not exactly non-fiction, but it's truthful enough.  Of course with all the mystery and such a wild story, we talked most of the weekend about finding the infamous cave.  A couple brave souls actually ventured out to find it (not me, I was napping).  Mike supposedly knew the way, but there was some debate as to whether he'd even get out of the truck if they found it, and alas the explorers came back unsuccessful.  I think on our next trip we may put a little more effort into the mission.

So what did we do when we weren't chasing legends?  We chased kids.  Or more specifically, the parents of the group chased kids and we just assisted.  Since we'll join their ranks pretty soon, I feel like I was a little more observant than normal and I've just gotta  Ben is almost three and Alice is one and change, and it was pretty impressive to see our friends in full-blown effective parenting mode.  Those kids are both super cool, but man are they busy.  And patience?  Let me just say that they take it to the next level - kudos, M&S and A&T.  A little kid time was just another reminder that Team Timmons needs to get ready to step our game up!