Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We had an interesting Thanksgiving weekend.  Nana had been planning a family get-together for quite a long time.  The seed had been sown at our niece's wedding back in April.  Everyone was on board except for the youngest sister who called in October to let us know that she wouldn't be able to come due to her finances.  We understand. After a lot of preparation, the day to depart arrived.

On Wednesday morning We got up early enough to leave in time to make lunch time in Pigeon Forge at the Old Mill Restaurant.  Unfortunately, we and, more importantly, two sisters had a rendezvous on I-81 at mile marker 168. 

As we were driving south on I-81 Nana was napping.  I was looking ahead at the next vehicle, a full-sized extended cab pick-up when it suddenly seemed to change lanes and then turn sharply back into and across the right lane, slam into the guard rail and go airborne flipping 360 degrees in two planes to land on top of the guard rail facing back into traffic.  In that flip we could see the driver come out of the truck.  We stopped to assist and I ran back to the vehicle as Nana dialed for help.  In just seconds (it seemed) many more motorists including a nurse and 2 EMTs stopped to render assistance as they "happened" to pass by at that critical time (just what are the odds that this would happen?).  Within 40 minutes the driver, a young lady of about 21 years, was on her way to a hospital.   I don't know what other injuries she may have had but she had a wicked scalp cut that bled for a bit.  We all had checked and there were no other apparent injuries.  When I got to her she was lying face down on the ground with her arms beside her as if she'd been laid there.  She was just 2-3 feet from guardrail (and parallel to it) and on the flattest bit between the guardrail and the bank.  It seemed to us that she had come out of/through her seatbelt but we can't be certain.  I think it was miraculous that her sister/passenger had no apparent injuries.  I'm sure you'll read into this what you will but I think something else was at work here. I'm not shown in the photos because I was in Trooper Price's vehicle giving my witness statement when the victim was evacuated.

I would like to mention that all the fire, rescue and state police who responded were extremely effective and professional.  They're performance was really commendable.  Addendum: Unfortunately, I have discovered that the young lady died of her injuries. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of this young lady.
Victim dies of injuries from Nov. 25 wreck

A woman seriously injured in a wreck in Botetourt County last month has died, according to Virginia State Police.

Amy E. Langford, 21, of Winchester died Wednesday at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital of injuries she suffered in the Nov. 25 wreck, said state police 1st Sgt. John Noel.

Langford was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado south on Interstate 81 when she ran off the left side of the road near mile marker 168, Noel said. She overcorrected and drove across the road, hitting a guardrail and rolling the pickup truck.

Langford was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the truck, Noel said. He did not know what caused her to lose control of the vehicle.

A family member was in the truck with Langford, but Noel said he did not know whether that person was injured.
and her obituary...
Amy Elizabeth Langford, a resident of Winchester, VA and formerly of Dale-ville, AL passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA from injuries sustained in an automobile accident en route to the Alabama/Auburn football game. She was 21. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 in the Sunset Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Roy Stewart officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Park with Robert Byrd directing. The family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Nebraska, 68410. Robert Byrd of Sunset Funeral Home (334) 983-6604, is in charge of arrangements. Please visit Sign the guest book at
Amy's FindAGrave Memorial

We continued on to Pigeon Forge met my sister and brother in law and their spouses and had a wonderful lunch.  We then checked into our cabin at Sherwood Forest and made plans for the rest of the week.  On Thanksgiving (and I gave thanks believe me!) we had dinner at the Old Mill again.  A wonderful spread of turkey, ham, prime-rib, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn fritters, corn chowder, and pumpkin pie was the first course to the day.  Then the ladies went to the craft show and the guys went on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  It is hard to see here but you might just make out the 8-point buck we saw as he was clearly on the trail of a lady deer (click on the pic to enlarge).  This experience emphasized my need for a better camera.  That evening we took the tour of the Gatlinburg Christmas lights.  We capped off the night by playing Apples to Apples until 2 in the morning.  That is some wild living.

On Black Friday the ladies went shopping at the malls.  For details you would have to ask them as the men went to Bass Pro Shop, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, and Golf and Guns before returning to the cabin for a well deserved snack and to watch the Alabama/Auburn game.  That night the ladies returned to join us for dinner and a show at the Smith Family Theater.  The food is delicious and plentiful.  The show was entertaining and enjoyable.  We all had a good time. 

On Saturday we went to the Apple Barn for breakfast.  As always the food was delicious (are you seeing a pattern here?).  Then the ladies left to do some more shopping.  Again the details are sketchy but I did have more stuff to put in the car than when we left home.  The men went to Cades Cove.  We saw maybe 100 or more turkey (LARGE birds) and many deer in many flocks and groups.  Here are just two does who crossed the road in front of us.  We stopped at the Cades Cove Visitor Center and walked around a bit as well.  We then went back to the cabin to watch some more football before going out to, you guessed it, eat dinner.  That night we ate at the Wood Grill.  I am afraid that by this time we were plumb full and couldn't do a buffet justice.  However, we were well fueled to return to the cabin and play Apples to Apples until bedtime.

Today was packing and leaving.  Traffic was so bad on I-81 that we had to leave the interstate in Lexington and drive US-11 the rest of the way home.  As it was, there were several accidents and the normally 6-hour drive took almost 8-hours.  It was great to see the family although we wished Nana's other sister could have come.

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