Author: Gina Stafford

  • Twenty-five years since the unthinkable

    One year after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University with a double major in English and journalism, I was working as a reporter for the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Four years later, I was covering the story of my reporter life: A young family gunned down for their car. The story came to me as […]

  • Is this still Music City?

    Is this still Music City?

    I grew up 90 minutes from Nashville, and I’ve been to concerts and shows in every kind of venue there, many times. Except for one–the one, the Ryman Auditorium. I’d never set foot in that hallowed hall until this week, when I had a date with Bob Dylan. I know plenty of people have a […]

  • Only Two Years?

    Only Two Years?

    COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic two years ago today, give or take. Or so they say. It was a lifetime ago, from where I sit. So much has happened, I thought I’d catch you up. For me, the start of the pandemic will always be punctuated by my father’s death in February 2020. Just […]

  • Hello and Welcome!

    Hello and Welcome!

    Thank you for stopping by. Whether you’re new here or a return visitor, my apologies up front for the long amount of time since I last wrote a new post. That one was at the beginning of 2020…followed in just a few weeks by the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Responding to the […]

  • 2020 Resolved

    2020 Resolved

    If New Year’s resolutions are actual, binding commitments, then no, I would say I’m not inclined to make them. To the extent the close of one year is a time of reflection on the 12 months just ended with thoughts on goals or what I could do better in the 12 months ahead, then yes, I […]

  • Auld Lang Syne to the Good Times

    Auld Lang Syne to the Good Times

    In a few hours and with a flip of the calendar, it’ll be 2020. Just like that, we’re already closing the door on the first 20 years of the 21st century. And don’t look now, but here comes a leap year, an Olympics year and another election year. I won’t necessarily leap; I definitely won’t […]

  • Happy birthday, Jack

    Happy birthday, Jack

    On this date a few decades ago, I got a two-fer: a baby brother who grew up to be one of my favorite friends. Jack is the only person in the world who calls me “Sis,” and today is his birthday. I am four and a half years older than Jack, so I can only […]

  • ‘Twas the Night After Christmas

    ‘Twas the Night After Christmas

    We’ve had ourselves a merry little Christmas. Just the right size after another fast-paced, busy year. Not to mention we just celebrated Christmas with my family on Sunday, and three weeks earlier, we did Thanksgiving up right. Here at home. We went to our first Christmas Eve church service here in Chattanooga last night. It […]

  • Déja Vu All Oven Again

    Déja Vu All Oven Again

    I can’t remember the last time before this year that Bill and I hosted for Thanksgiving. But I’ll never forget the first time. We’d been married just a little more than two years; we’d rented a table and some extra chairs to accommodate the 15 who were coming; and we were both registered to run […]

  • Mount Cammerer: It’s Time to Climb

    Mount Cammerer: It’s Time to Climb

    Ascending Mount Cammerer is one of my very favorite hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s also one of the hardest. My first ascent was in 2010 with Bill and my brother, Jack, along. I’ve gone back at least four more times prior to this year. In 2012, Bill, Jack and I were part […]

  • Fair Enough

    Fair Enough

    If you grew up in Tennessee and, certainly if you grew up with Tennessee 4H, you more than likely have been to a county fair more than once. I don’t know exactly how many times I have been to a county fair, but the number would have been at least 12 or so by the […]

  • Hiker College

    Hiker College

    Lookout Mountain. Signal Mountain. Raccoon Mountain. Chattanooga rests in the laps of multiple mountains, so why would hikers in Chattanooga go out of state looking for a mountain to climb? In the case of a hike Bill and I recently took with the Chattanooga Hiking Club, which has members living as far as 50 to […]