LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Some things you don't see coming

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By Terri Likens, Editor

You can be plodding along in the routine of life and never see a week like the  past one happen.

Killer storms swirled all around us, but in Roane County, most of us escaped the worst of the harm.

Then a blissfully beautiful Saturday unfolded.

My plans involved hiking at Big South Fork, but I soon expanded my itinerary to include one night of camping.

I was with an amiable bunch as we explored the massive rock crevice known as Maude’s Crack, climbed steep hills, forded creeks and clambered over and under the Twin Arches.

Go, if you ever get the chance. This is beautiful country.

The weather was perfect, and the hikes were just long enough to give us a good workout but not leave us so drained that we couldn’t enjoy our evening.

At the campground, one of the hikers had volunteered to make dinner — a Low Country boil of shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes and onions all cooked together in one pot. We teased good naturedly around the campfire as we waited for dinner to come together.

While at the campground, I got a message on my cell phone to call my guy in Soddy Daisy. He said his cousin and his cousin’s fiancé were visiting, having been driven out of Huntsville, Ala., by the  storms that slammed the South. My guy asked me to join them Sunday.

I crawled into my tent around 10:30 and slept comfortably, then managed to get packed up and hit the road before rain came through the Big South Fork area early Sunday morning.

In Soddy Daisy, I got to hear firsthand reports of some of the worst of the damage to Alabama. But we’d all had enough of that stress, so we grilled burgers, then sat out around a small fire in the backyard and talked and laughed as fireflies winked.

The next morning, we woke to huge news: Osama bin Laden had been killed in his plain-sight compound in Pakistan.

I still haven’t had time to process my feelings on bin Laden, the tornadoes and other events from last week.

Whew. I need a breather.

How about you?