Monday, August 08, 2011

Thelma and Louise on the road again

Several weeks ago I read two novels in a row that were set in Appalachia. I enjoyed the characters and customs of the region so much that I promptly ordered and read two more books set in the same part of the country. In fact, I sort of went on an Appalachian binge for a couple of weeks. I Googled Appalachian images and checked out Appalachian videos and music on YouTube.

On the heels of that, my sister, who lives in Texas, called me one day on her lunch break. She said she has vacation time she needs to use, her husband can't get away from work anytime soon, and she'd really enjoy a change of scenery. She asked if I'd be interested in going somewhere with her. "My mind isn't made up about any particular place," she said, "but I've been thinking about Tennessee."

My head started spinning. Was her invitation a timely coincidence, or was there really something to this whole law-of-attraction thing?

It took me less than two minutes to say an enthusiastic, if conditional, yes. Of course, I'd have to check with Kim to see if she'd be available to stay here with Butch and Kadi. And I didn't want to cramp my sister's style by not being able to keep up with her, but I am walking much better these days and should be able to maintain a decent pace for a couple of hours at a time. I have budgetary issues, too, but if we travel as economically as we comfortably can, I'll be much happier about dipping into my savings for a vacation than I was about spending money on that last dental crown.

After several more phone calls and a handful of e-mails, it's all working out. We're totally together in our thoughts about what we want and what we don't want on this trip. Our route is planned, hotel reservations have been made, and I don't know about my sister, but I've already started hanging vacation clothes together in one section of my closet so I can see at a glance if there's anything else I need.

At the end of this month we're going to the Smoky Mountains, and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!


  1. The scenery is breath-taking in the Smoky Mountains. True, some of the tourist areas (Cherokee, N.C. and Gatlinburg, Tn) are a bit tacky, but on the whole you should have a great time. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.

  2. Oh Wow!!! your trip sounds exciting!!!

    And I'm sure Kim will have her hands full!!!

  3. Yay! You deserve a vacation and you will love the Smoky Mountains. It was over 50 years ago that I was there but I loved it. I went in October when the leaves were changing and was captivated..Have a great time!

  4. Lucylocket, I can handle tacky when it comes along with breath-taking scenery. The things I'm most excited about are the scenery and the quality time with my sister.

    Holly, Kim will have her hands full, but she'll be fine. I have all four dogs this week while she's in Sturgis, and they're getting along great. Levi doesn't get into stuff when he has his hero, Oliver, to follow around.

    Nan16, we're going a little too early for the fall foliage, but I grew up with those colors in the Ozarks, so I'll be able to mentally "paint the mountains." My only exposure to the Smoky mountains was a quick trip through the Blue Ridge area when we moved from New York to Georgia in the late '70s. I still have a beautiful picture of those mountains in my head and have always wanted to go back and stay awhile.

  5. Oh how wonderful! I am hearing Ronnie Milsap's "Smoky Mountain Rain" in my mind as I think about your trip!

    Also? You must be excited because you wrote that you had to check with Kim to see if she could stay with, "Butch and Kadi"... which is sweet. Kadi will actually make this trip as she lives on in your heart!

  6. Woo Hoo! Take lots of photos and post lots of details.

  7. I noticed the "Kadi" too, I guess you're so used to ButchandKadi that it'll take time to break that habit. Be sure you bring back T-shirts for the boys that say "My mommy went to Dollywood and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!".

  8. Duly Inspired and Janet, Janet is right: saying "Butch and Kadi" feels natural to me. The editor in me thinks I should correct this by changing the "Kadi" to "Levi," but the doggy mom in me won't do it. As much as I love Levi and want to include him, I've lost Kadi once and can't bring myself to delete her again with just a few keystrokes.

  9. Annette, I don't plan to leave the hotel room without my camera around my neck, so I should have plenty of photos to post when I get back.


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