The Night The Earth Shook

Earthquakes and Dollywood’s Christmas In The Smokies!

By Rachelle Siegrist

dollywood smoky mountain christmas3
Some of the beautiful lights at Dollywood

I was awakened during the night this past week, by loud creaking sounds in the house. I laid there listening for a few seconds, and not sure what it was, I roused Wes from his sleep by asking him “Did you hear that?”  He said “No“, but got up to go to the restroom.  A few seconds later, sitting propped up on my elbows while listening to more creaking noises, the bed suddenly started trembling, as if a giant had grabbed it by two of the legs and was fiercely shaking it!   After that Wes emerged from the bathroom and I asked him if he had been jumping up and down for some reason.  He replied of course not, asking why in the world would he do such a thing.  Laying back I started thinking maybe it was an earth tremor or something, and the first thing Wes told me the next morning was that we had experienced a 4.4 earthquake during the night!  I laughed at my thinking Wes had actually caused an earthquake by jumping up and down in the bathroom, and was very excited that I had been awake to experience such a bizarre feeling and sensation!

rachelle & wes siegrist dollywood smoky mountain christmas
3 Happy Gingerbreads ~ Wes, Barb and me

Recently one evening, dear friends Fred and Barb took us out for a treat!  We went to Dollywood to see the vast Christmas lights on display there.   It was freezing cold with a strong, crisp breeze, and we laughed at almost being able to hear out teeth chatter while riding the tram to the entrance.  Upon first arriving the lights barely showed in the daylight, but after returning to the outdoors after watching a Christmas show in one of the theaters, darkness had fell, and the world was alive with thousands of lights in all colors of the rainbow!

Dollywoods glacier ridge
Wes and I love standing on our tip toes when being photographed by Barb . . . hee hee!

We walked by numerous Christmas trees decked out in every imaginable color, causing the night sky to glow around them, soon reaching the Glacier Ridge area of the park.  I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights, and thus quickly decided this may be the closest I ever get to experiencing them, as we walked through a tunnel with long lights streaming down from the tree tops way above.  The lights slowly changed colors and the sounds of peaceful music filled the air, as we slowly meandered along the path below, exclaiming many times over how beautiful it was.

dollywood smoky mountain christmas5
Dollywood’s version of the Northern Lights

Every turn in the path brought more lights and lovely Christmas displays!

dollywood glacier ridge rachelle & wes siegrist
The closest we’v ever been to a Polar Bear

Later we watched as a very tall Christmas tree changed colors and patterns, all set to music, with snow filling the air toward the end, as it was being blown from machines.  I got several great photos and videos of it all, but phone trouble this past week caused me to lose them, so thanks to Fred, I have these few photos I’m able to share with you.

The changing lights on the big Christmas tree

We ended our fun evening with a visit to Mel’s Diner, where we all enjoyed eating  delicious sundaes, that were more fresh whipped cream than anything, making them even better!  Because what do you do when you’ve been freezing for hours? . . . why eat ice cream of course . . . Ha Ha!

rachelle & wes siegrist
YUM . . . I just spotted the chocolate in there!

We’ve had a record number of gray rainy days here in the Smokies this month, but I think I’ve finally found a way to get through them, via a station I recenlty found on Pandora called Tropical Holidays.  So with steel drum bands joyful pounding out their Caribbean sounding of Silent Night and such, and paint brush in hand, my toes are snug in sun drenched white sands, and waves are lapping at my ankles, with calls of Seagulls filling the air, and for awhile, all is well with the world!

Speaking of paint brushes, I’m putting the finishing touches on my wee songbirds, and will be sharing the set of 6 completed miniature paintings on silk with you next week.

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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