By Rosie Moore

Roan State Park is in a beautiful, lush mountain area in Carter County, near the little town of Elizabethton, Tennessee. The hills are symmetrically dotted by spruce-fir trees that bedazzle one’s eyes and later become Christmas trees. Also, there are many other varieties of trees. Among this acreage are beautiful rustic cabins built by different owners who were brave enough to move materials up those hills.

Roan Mountain is the highest point of the Roan-Unaka range of the Southern Appalachian mountains. It also includes the largest natural Rhododendron garden of its kind in the world. It is close to the North Carolina border.

The United States Forest Service purchased 7,000 acres atop Roan Mountain and Tennessee acquired 2,000 acres of land that would eventually become Roan Mountain State Park. A 20-room lodge was built atop the mountain, where many occasions are held amidst these beautiful scenic views. There are thirty cabins and many campsites for one’s enjoyment. The cabins may be rented and consist of a front porch with rocking chairs, a fully outfitted kitchen, full bath with tub/shower, wood burning stove and gas/heat. There are no televisions.

One of those occasions was my granddaughter’s wedding. There’s nothing more inspiring or hauntingly beautiful as a wedding. It’s the start of a beautiful lifetime of sharing between two people who love each other. There are so many notices in the newspaper of marriages that lasted fifty, sixty, some even seventy years, and to visualize that time is hard for some of us to imagine. But it can be done, the facts are there for everyone to see.

In this day and age, it is the norm to live together before getting married. I asked one couple why they wanted to go that route and they said, “So we could get to know each other before we marry.” I told them, “but that’s what courtship is for.” Sad to say, many of those couplings do not end up in marriage. Some say, “We don’t need piece of paper to formalize our coupling”. Well, no, you don’t, but what you do need is the ceremony to consolidate your oncoming life together. It makes it so much more meaningful. Pity those who don’t partake in it.

God bless you, Emily and Nick. May your life be one long, loving journey.

Thought for the day:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

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