Summer 2003

We're running a little late in getting our newsletter to you this time, but this has been a busy, busy spring here at The Crosseyed Cricket.

Four mornings a week for 8 weeks the air was tilled with the laughter and squeals of children as they caught a fish, feed the ducks, or tried to go higher on the swings.

Many of the kids caught their very first fish here and it was an experience they will always remember — another Picture snapped for someone's memory book.

Remember the cats we mentioned in our last note? Well, they are still part of our family. Of course, we had to name them—so, the kitten of the group became Lil' Bit, the mother cat became Miss Fluff, and we were really original when we named the black one Blackie (sometimes the old brain just goes on vacation). 

They of course have very definite personalities and we have a different relationship with each of them. Lil' Bit comes to us when she wants something or perceives there might be a problem — but rarely comes just to be with us and enjoy our love for her.

Blackie comes for food and even brought her kittens (yes, we found homes for them) to the place she knew they would be cared for and fed.

She will come in the house and look around but doesn't stay. She wants so badly to be a part of the warmth and care offered, but just can't let go of her independence or fear. 

Then there's Miss Fluff. She knows where the supply is and who the suppliers are, but only comes when it suits her need and then withdraws until she is in need again.

What a parallel that seems to be to many relationships with our Heavenly Father. He otters us love, fellowship, and a supply of His bounty, but we let our independence keep us from enjoying the full life He wants for us.

It seems we are still learning lessons from our animals! 

Sometimes it's hard to remember that our employees do have lives apart from "The Cricket". And very exciting lives at that! Anthony and Tyler are members of a soccer team—and that team, with their help, placed 3rd in the statewide soccer playoffs.

Another of our employees that is sports oriented is Meghan. Her softball team had the honor of taking 4th place in the statewide playoffs.

Andy and Tyler were chosen to represent their school at Boy's State this year — quite an honor!

We also had 3 of our young people graduate from high school. Anthony Smith and Ariel Ellis graduated from Lenoir City High and Kevin Goodson from Roane Co. High.

Now! For news that is totally unrelated to school — stay tuned. Our kitchen manager, Ryan Childs, had the good sense to ask his girlfriend, Marie Alexander, to marry him — and she, of course, said yes!

We are so happy for them and wish them a future together filled with love and joy. At the present time they are planning a spring wedding in 2004 — so stay tuned to this spot for future announcements. 

Memories are very important to us. You can tell by the way we always remind you to make happy memories to pull out and enjoy in the future. Fortunately, we took our own advise. 

Sugar, the "Cricket" dog left us on May 21st. She may be physically gone, but our memories of her and her pleasure in life will last our lifetime.

Sugar was very aptly named, because she was the sweetest dog you would ever hope to know. Her life here at "The Cricket" was the perfect life as far as she was concerned. 

There was work to be done — there were campers to lead to their site, children to play with, ducks to, chase, visiting campground pets to keep company, school groups to supervise on their field trips, the pumpkin and Christmas hay wagons to lead to the correct spots, etc.

However, there was plenty of down time when she wanted it. There were shade trees to lie under to dream doggie dreams, and a lake to wade into whenever she wanted to cool off (of course, the people standing close to her cooled off too when she waded back out and shook).

Sugar was always ready to be petted and loved on and never held a grudge. Our memories are only good ones and in our mind she still leads our car home each evening when we leave work — taking off when she gets to the Christmas tree plantation to chase a rabbit (whether real or in her imagination, we never could figure out).

Pictures of her coming to the side porch to look in our bedroom window so we would know she was patiently waiting to get in and help us get the morning started, eagerly running to where the kittens were sleeping to be sure everyone was just fine, and waiting on the porch at the house in the evening until both of us got home (she would not go in late in the evening unless both of us were home from work).

Almost 12 years of wonderful memories! Our wish for each of you is that at some point in time you did have or do have a Sugar in your life.

Make memories and keep them in your heart forever. That's where Sugar is! 

We are pleased to announce that the new side items on our restaurant menu are a big hit — particularly the marinated vegetable salad and the parmesan mashed potatoes.

The Dessert Barn opened for the season on Memorial Day weekend and will be open through Labor Day weekend. We still have our homemade ice cream on Friday evenings — the fresh peach seems to be the favorite this year so far.

Of course, the "Cricket Delight", hummingbird cake and Italian cream cake are favorites along with all our regular pies and cobblers.

Most people trim their Christmas trees in December; but you know us, we have to be different.

The trees in our Christmas Tree Plantation have to be trimmed in June so you will have a fabulous tree to come cut and take home to trim in December.

This spring has been cooler than usual and that was wonderful for Jim, Bill, Tyler and Dave when they did the pruning. The work is done, and now all we have to do is wait for the Season and let you finish the work when you come cut your tree.

Another opportunity for some of those memories to be made!
Some good friends of ours try to keep us up to date on the neat things happening in our area that we might want to see. Thanks to their call one day, we drove up to Norris to see the water going over the top of the Dam.

What an awesome sight it was! We had never had the opportunity to see this phenomenon before and may never again. The water spilling over the top seemed to turn into a solid sheet of whipped cream on its way to the bottom.

You could just imagine getting a BIG spoon and digging in. The roar it created as it plummeted to the river at the bottom made you very aware that this was not whipped cream! 

Another event they alerted us to was the annual firefly convention that takes place above Elkmont Campground in the Smoky Mountains.

Between June 10th and 15th (or approximately thereabout) fireflies (or lighting bugs, as some of us call them) converge in this area for a spectacular summer lightshow.

We drove to the end narrow one-lane gravel road going up to the Jake's Creek Trail and parked our car to await darkness and the onset of the performance.

When the area was totally dark (or at least as dark as it got with a lovely bright moon peeking through the trees), the stagehands began preparations for the performance as scattered lights began to twinkle around the edges of a small field.

Soon the rest of the fireflies began their dance. Looking into the midnight blackness of the woods, there seem to be a million small white Christmas tree lights flickering all around. 

They would flutter in the trees blinking off and on like lights on a timer. Millions of lights would blink for a few minutes; then, as if on cue they would go off to rest for a little while, returning to continue their performance.

Walking up the trail in the darkness with this exhibition all around us was a fantastic experience. An area on another branch of the road had it's own unique version of the same show.

It was alike in many ways; however, instead of filling the trees and sky with their twinkling light, the fireflies in this area formed a carpet of lights in the velvety blackness of the woods.

Mere words can't describe how beautiful it was! A fireworks display can't compete with God's creation and its' dramatic and beautiful presentation for those fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time.

Thanks to thoughtful friends, we were; and it's a memory we have to hold and take out and enjoy over again. 

Remember, we're looking forward to seeing you soon. The place won't be the same if you don't come. Bob's flowers are putting on an exhibition of their own here at "The Cricket". 

If you let it, time seems to have a way of slowing down a little while you're at The Crosseyed Cricket.

The tranquil lakes with the ducks sailing by, the gentle breeze in the trees, the green grass (that you didn't have to cut) and the swish, swish of the millwheel as it slowly turns combine to take away some of the tension and make life seem just a little better.

That's one of the reasons we're here — to try to make your life more enjoyable and help you make memories to last a lifetime.


"The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork."
Psalms 19:1

Charlie Cricket says, "Come to the Crosseyed Cricket!"