In the thick of it…and that’s a GOOD thing!

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Ya’ll haven’t heard a peep from me since May 24th, 2017.  Where does the time go?  Since my last blog, we’ve had 2 major holidays, that being Memorial Day and Independence Day.  The statement, in the “thick of it”, tends to be a negative statement, but I mean it as a positive.  Here at the lake, we are in the thick of it with regards to all things Norris Lake, and that’s a GOOD thing!  The water temperature finally warmed up.  It was a little chilly through the majority of the month of June.  Now, it is quite welcoming, and it feels AWESOME to JUMP in!!!  There were several rather cool and rainy days in June.  The upside to that is the lake levels have remained HIGH!  July has seen warmer temps.  We are now in mid-July and are having temps soaring into the mid 90’s.  Hot, humid…you know, the best kind of lake weather!!!  All the lake’s awesome marinas are in full swing, offering snacks, ice, good food,music, beer and various other adult beverages.

I have been blessed with an increased occupancy at my cabins this year.  Norris Lake is fast becoming many people’s favorite lake vacation destination.  Our three cabins are located approx. 10 minutes off the interstate, exit 134, offering a GREAT place to “do the lake” from.  This year, we have added 3 kayaks and an additional pontoon that is pet-friendly.  Don’t have a boat?  Let me know, as I have two pontoons available for reservation.  Want to go out on a kayak?  I have a tandem, a sit-on-top style solo and a sit-in style solo available as well.  Very inviting to “do the lake” from a kayak.

Enjoy the photos below.  I had the privilege of hosting a gal-pal week end.  Kayaks were enjoyed!  Also, check out the photos of the updated pontoon, now pet-friendly.  We call this boat the “Ol Gray Mare”.  It’s a great boat for getting out on the lake….not being in a hurry to get anywhere, but just to explore, pull into a cove and swim, fish, or just hang out on the pristine water that has made Norris Lake a favorite place for so many people.  I invite you to reserve your next vacation time through us and get out there on the lake using our kayaks or pontoons!!!  You will NOT be disappointed!

Newly updated to a pet-friendly pontoon. Check out this “Ol Gray Mare”!



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I find it hard to believe that this will be the 11th year for offering “ONAWIM” as a lake place. It truly has been an amazing journey this past decade + !  My husband and I have had the pleasure of meeting HUNDREDS of amazing people, many of whom have not only become great friends, but now live here full time!  It adds so much flavor to life!!!  Lake people are fun folks! None of this would have happened had Gary and I said no to the “unknown”.  A huge, big, heart-felt thank you to each and every one of you for choosing “ONAWIM” to hang out.   I look forward to seeing some of you return this summer and to all the new guests who will be spending their precious time here.  It’s a GREAT place to enjoy the lake from, have fun, and create awesome memories.  Enjoy the photos below….this is what is awaiting your arrival!!!

“ONAWIM” perches very close to the lake, offering awesome views from all the windows and decks.

Wow. What an inviting place to have a cup of java or a glass of wine! To view the moon, gaze at the stars, listen to the sounds of nature.

“Tanker” loves, loves, LOVES it here. He says to let you know “ONAWIM” is a pet-friendly place.

The lake is FULL!

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As a result of heavy rain for two straight days on April 21st and 22nd, the lake went up several feet, to just below the 1028 mark. (feet above sea level).   What does that mean?  Well, being that Norris Lake levels are controlled by the dam, the water levels go way down in the fall and winter, making way for the spring rains, which brings the lake level back up to the traditional 1020 mark . The lake level typically drops to below 1000 feet, so we are talking 30 plus feet it went up! Last year, the level never reached full summer pool, and for those of you who frequent the lake, you were very much aware of that.  There was a heavy rain in the later part of the winter last year which brought the lake level way up, so TVA dumped a lot of water to make way for the eventual spring rains, which never came.  There was a drought last summer.  Coupled with day after day of 90 degree plus weather, it was a recipe for low lake levels and devastating fires in the Gatlinburg area.  This year, however, it is a different story.  There has been plenty of rainfall, so I think this summer season we will enjoy a full pool!  That is good news for all you lake lovers out there.

It was a new experience, having the lake level at 1028. I have been coming to Norris lake for over 10 years and have never seen it this high.  With the three rental cabins and the one I and my husband, Gary, reside in, we have four docks that we steward.  2 of the docks ran out of cable and the high lake levels brought the docks into the trees.  It was quite interesting.  But, all is well, and the waters are slowly receding.

Please enjoy the images below that were taken by my son, Jason, in the early mornings while adjusting the docks.

Looking towards Indian River Marina from the dock at “Onawim” cabin.

The lakeside deck at “Onawim” cabin. The water was almost to the top of it!

This is the dock at “Seas the Day” cabin. You can tell the lake levels are high by the trees that are sticking out of the water. One good thing, not as many steps to get to the lake!

View of the dock at “Suite Spot”.

Mile marker 8 almost submerged.

The weather has me confused!

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Oh yeah, it is January, 2017.  Earlier this month, it was cold here at Norris Lake in Tennessee.  The furnaces were running.  Wood stoves were throwing out heat.  The flip flops were stored away.  Sweaters and jackets were the order of the day. Businesses were closed, meetings canceled, Norris Lake area schools declared a snow day due to the snow and ice.  Today, it is going to hit 70 degrees. The birds are singing and bugs are buzzing.  I think I am going to paint the outside door to one of my cabins.  It is on my list of things to do in the spring, but why wait?  I have read articles about the proof of global warming.  I have read articles on the science of global cooling.  I have read articles debunking both lines of thought.  So, what is a person to do?  Well, I am just going to go with the flow and take advantage of the nice day today and get some outside work done!  For those of you who frequent the lake in the summer, enjoy the photos below of when it was winter last week!  My thought is, what if in July, we have temps in the 90’s one day and then snow the next?  That would be strange, but isn’t it crazy to have it change so rapidly inside of a week?  No complaints here!  I welcome the spring like weather in mid-January!  I sort of feel sorry for the birds and the bugs of Norris Lake…they must be very confused!

Norris Lake in the Winter Winter at Norris Lake

No complaints here about the rain!

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Many parts of the southeastern United States have been in a drought, including East Tennessee.  As you can see from the photo below, there is still water in Norris Lake, but it is way down.  The water level was almost 25 feet below normal summer pool, but has come up a wee bit this past week due to the rain.  As it is normal for the lake levels to fluctuate, the level never reached full summer pool this year, which is 1020 feet above sea level.  And, the level of the lake stayed low for the majority of the summer season due to hot temps and little rainfall.  As a result,the fire danger has been extremely high.  There have been numerous fires throughout the region this past month. The devastating fires that recently ripped through Gatlinburg have been headlining the national news this week.  Tragic, tragic stories.  THANKFULLY, rains have been helping to subdue the raging inferno and the winds have died down.  I am thinking the loss of life and property would have been much worse if it hadn’t been for the rains that came.  Please be mindful of those families who are dealing with the sudden loss of their loved ones. Surround them with your thoughts and prayers, and NEVER EVER complain about the rain!


Ssssshhh…In Pursuit of Silence

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I recently came across an article in the Guardian about silence and how the “cult of quiet can change your life”.  The following is a portion of this article:

Once the preserve of monastic retreats and hardcore meditators, simply being quiet is growing in appeal. Whole businesses have sprung up to meet a rising demand for quiet time, from silent weekend getaways to silent dining, silent reading parties and even silent dating. This month sees the release of documentary, ” In Pursuit of Silence,” a “meditative film” about our relationship with noise, promoted with a delicate two-minute trailer in which not a word is uttered.

Silence can, as the film attests, mean different things to different people. It can be a space for quiet reflection or a state fraught with discomfort. There is a certain intimacy inherent in being silent with other people – we usually do so only with those closest to us.”

In ancient writings, Psalm 23 speaks of lying beside green pastures, being led beside quiet waters, restoring our soul.

How does that sound?

Sounds SOOOOO good, doesn’t it?  In today’s world, we have access to news 24/7, much of which focuses our attention on things of a negative nature.  Social media, email, text message, cell phones, etc…all vying for our attention, much of which can be very distracting and disrupting.  The emergence of this new “cult of silence”, I believe, is in response to this non-stop assault on our senses.

The answer?  I think each one of us must make it a priority to “unplug” and define what that means for us.  For me, my cabins are an invitation for you to come, lay aside your responsibilities for a few days at least, this constant barrage of modern day “noise”, and UNPLUG!  Off-season at the lake offers an amazing opportunity to do just that.  I invite you to come and take advantage of it!



Fall is in the air, but summer lingers on.

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What an awesome summer is was here on Norris Lake!  It was hot and sunny day after day through the majority of the season, which was great for lake activities, for sure!  September continues to be hot and sunny as well.  That being said, the number of folks visiting the lake during late summer and early fall decreases significantly!  Planning some lake time is in order if you want the lake virtually to yourself!  It is a special treat to be able to ski with no wakes from other boats.  It is a special treat to be able to fish with little interruption.  It is a special treat to pull into a cove, turn off the boat’s engine and be in almost complete stillness and silence.  How often are we able to experience that?  I invite you to visit Norris Lake in the off season to refresh your soul!



The Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area.

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One of the most underused forests in East Tennessee are the 25,000 acres that comprise the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area. This scenic peninsula between the Powell and Clinch River on the eastern shores of Norris Lake, features miles of gravel roads to explore. In 1934 the Tennessee Valley Authority began acquiring the land in connection with the Norris Dam project. TVA sold the property to the State of Tennessee in 1952 with the understanding that the forest would be developed for multiple uses including recreation and demonstration. This  offers opportunities for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, mountain-biking, caving, and atv’s. There are numerous roads that loop off the Main Forest road with additional trails that head down to the lake and picnic areas. The century-old Mount Olive Baptist church and several old cemeteries, some dating to the early 1800’s (Lost Cr. Cemetery) are highlights of the area. The major roads are named and marked at intersections. Most of the loops are fairly level, although the Big Spring/Oaks Chapel loop has some steep sections. Jointly managed by TWRA and the Tennessee Division of Forestry, the area is seasonally open to hunting so be sure and check TWRA’s hunting schedule before venturing out in the woods. There are 70 miles of shoreline with blueway access for paddlers.

Recently, we explored various parts of the area via an atv.  The attached photos are from our ride that day.  To get detailed information regarding this amazing underused recreational area, google Chuck Swan Wildlife Management area. FYI:  There is a ferry at Union County boat dock that can cut down drive time to the entrance of this park.  Call 865-992-4062 for up-to-date information regarding the running of this ferry. There is a photo below of this ferry.  Pretty cool!


This is the ferry we got at Union County Boat Dock. It is a free service. It shaved off approx 45 minutes of drive time. Plenty of room for the truck and trailer!



Picnic area here at this site. This would be an amazing place to camp for a night or two!

Easy roads

Easy roads


The road followed the lake at times.

A Journey with a happy ending, or is it just a beginning?

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Nothing is more rewarding to me as a realtor than to participate in assisting clients in their search for a property.  These two folks, Duane and Shirley, were a delight to work with and have become dear friends. They come to Norris Lake from Florida where they enjoy the “ocean life” but desired a “lake life” as well.  After several visits to the area and multiple online searches, they were rewarded with a piece of Norris Lake paradise.  With 220 feet of gentle sloping land to the lake, they couldn’t be more happy and that makes me happy too!  Navigating all the nuances of a real estate transaction, especially for folks from out of state, can be a bit challenging.  There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of pieces that have to fall together in the right places. If you are wanting to make lake life happen for you, consider my services as the “lakelifelady”.  Together, as a team, we can make that happen for you!  Then, the picture below can feature your happy face as well!


Lake level dropping…some ways to think about it.

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This year, the lake levels have been way down.  Be sure to be aware of this as you are boating so as not to hit the bottom!  I would advise you not to hug the shoreline but to stay somewhat in the middle…just to be on the safe side.  That being said, how about taking a hike inside the lake?  Well, with the lake levels down, you can do just that!  Some of the shore lines are very rocky, so that can pose a fun challenge for the adventure seeker.  Or, you will find that some coves now reveal sandy areas to beach your boat.  You can get out and explore various shorelines which are usually underwater.  I did just that yesterday.  This cove is around the corner from my cabin rentals, maybe a 10 minute ride.  We “parked” the boat and enjoyed our own private pool!  The slope is gentle into the water but drops off quickly, making it a great area to swim.  The dogs thought so too!  I also discovered that I was not the first human being to find this gem.  There was a ready made fire pit, so later on in the evening, we made a point to visit it again, this time, with the supplies to make a nice campfire and enjoy the moon and a night time swim.  There was also plenty of firewood around to add to the fire as well. It was AWESOME!

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