Bryson City Tales — Settling In (Part 1)

This is from the sixth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Tales. I hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week, and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends to join us.

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SETTLING IN (PART 1)

We arrived in Bryson City in September of the next year. Kate was nearly three, and after the many months Barb and I had devoted to doing physical therapy with her, she could stand and, with the help of special braces, even walk some.

We spent our first weekend moving into our little house by the hospital. One of my first duties was picking a location in which to place our newest possession—a wrought-iron park bench. The three of us sat in it together for the first time, gazing out over the Smoky Mountains.

I put my arm around Barb’s shoulder and she snuggled close, with Kate tucked into the crook of her arm. “It fits the four of us just fine!”

For a second, Barb looked confused, and then she laughed as she rubbed her beautifully enlarged tummy. “Only five more months to go!” Barb was pregnant with our second child. We were excited about becoming parents again—and this child would be the second grandchild on both sides of our families. Kate had been the first.

“You look beautiful,” I whispered, as I pulled my wife close.

“This will be perfect,” she whispered. “Perfect.”

We had expected to spend the weekend alone, just getting moved in, but were in for a delightful surprise. We were both pleasantly astonished and genuinely warmed as person after person dropped by. All day long, on Saturday and on Sunday, hospital employees, board members, a few doctors, local political figures, and the newspaper editor—most of them accompanied by their families—dropped by to greet us, welcome us, and share housewarming gifts. Our root-cellar shelves were rapidly filling with their gifts of canned fruits, vegetables, jams, and stews.

“I’m not sure I’ll ever have to go to the grocery,” exclaimed Barb.

Sunday afternoon, Dr. Bacon was helping Barb organize the shelves in the cellar. “Well, honey, if you do run out, just let some of Walt’s patients know—and they’ll restock it all!” He chuckled. We were soon to realize that he was dead serious.

“Where’s the new doc?” came a call from upstairs.

I bounded up the stairs to see a handsome young man who, when he saw me, stuck out his hand. “Howdy, Doc. I’m Gary Ayers, the morning deejay at WBHN. We’re the local radio station—AM 1590.” He paused. “In fact, we’re not hard to find on the dial. We’re the only radio station that can be heard in these parts,” he observed with a chuckle. “Just wanted to come by and meet you—especially since you guys are a great source of information for the morning news!”

For a moment I thought he might be kidding. But he was not. Gary, as I was to learn, was the source to the county not only for world and national news, but he was also the mouth-piece for most of the better community gossip.

As Gary left, Dr. Bacon and Barb came up from the basement. “Be careful, son,” warned Dr. Bacon. “If he likes ya, he can make life pleasant indeed. If he doesn’t, look out!”

“What about the newspaper editor?” I asked.

“Oh, you mean Pete Lawson?”

“Yep. He was by earlier today.”

“Nope. Not to worry. Pete’s as good a newspaper journalist as there is. Plays his stories straight to the facts. I like Pete. A lot!”

And I liked Dr. Bacon. I asked him if he’d give me a personal tour of his orchard, located between our house and his. “You bet!” he agreed. “Do you want to help with the harvest? I’d be glad to trade a few jars of canned apples, applesauce, and apple cider for your efforts.”

“I’d be delighted.” I smiled as I accompanied him outside, where we strolled through the rows of trees and eventually sat under the large fir tree in front of his house, gazing at the mountains. Dr. Bacon began to share a bit about his past and about the medical history of the county.

(TO BE CONTINUED NEXT FRIDAY)

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© Copyright Walter L. Larimore, M.D. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.