Nathan has graciously allowed me to use part of this blog post to tell you a little bit about myself. Most of you know all about the story of how John and I met and ended up married, so even though that is one of the very best things about my coming to work at LeConte, this time I’ll share something different.
I was born in Marietta, Ga., to my parents, Allen and Susan. I’m the oldest child in my family. My “little” brother is 20 and my “baby” sister is one year away from high school.
When I was nearing school age, my parents decided to homeschool me. Being homeschooled allowed me to have more time to focus on things that I really had an interest in, such as music. When I was four, my parents enrolled me in piano lessons and ballet class. I’m a bit of a klutz, so ballet didn’t work out so well, but it seemed I was a natural at piano. I continued playing at a competitive level until I graduated high school and still enjoy playing, although pianos are hard to find up here on the mountain.
During my senior year, I got a job helping teach younger homeschoolers. It was this job that finally helped me decide what I would major in when I did go to college. I found that I loved helping children learn, and, in particular, learn to read. I decided to pursue a degree in elementary education. The next year I entered Kennesaw State University. I graduated in 2006 with my degree and got a job tutoring for homeschooling families and caring for younger children after school.
Four years later, I’d been able to get some traveling under my belt, including a two-month trip to Europe and a month-long roadtrip out West. I realized that even though I loved the kids I worked with, I was ready for a change. It was time to get out of Georgia. I wanted to get to spend more time outside, so I applied for jobs in several national parks, but the one I got came as a surprise. I ran across LeConte Lodge while looking for a hike. I thought it looked interesting and applied for a job. Thankfully, I got it, and being here has been an incredible experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Living here in the Smokies has given me so many opportunities to experience the park and a new appreciation for the area and the people who live here. Thanks for letting me share a little of my life with you!
Now for the weather update. Thursday's high reached 66 degrees while the low fell to 53 degrees, quite a bit milder than some of the nights in the low 40s we saw just a few weeks ago. I was hoping to jinx us into some much needed rain by mentioning on yesterday's update that it hadn't rained much the last 10 days and hanging out some laundry to dry. Sure enough, in less than three hours, we enjoyed a decent little shower totaling 0.10 inches (not much, but a start). The rain and thunderstorm chances have been bumped up a bit in the upcoming forecast (Saturday 50 percent, Sunday 60 percent and Monday 50 percent).