Getting these opportunities - very rare for me. And yesterday became - bottom line - pure necessity - for the sake of the last thread of sanity my soul possesses right now.
And yesterday unfolded as a day that almost gave me a challenge from the get-go. In fact - first thought was to turn around and go back home. Second thought was about how long it’s been since I’ve been turned out of my pen - all alone - to go run- and be totally free - for a few hours.
Truth be told - Me and my Putt-Putt always take the back roads. I mean - the girl is showing her age. And - I respect my elders. I’m afraid all the excitement on the freeways just might be enough to kill the old fart. Ya’ know?
Little does she know this, but - I’m ridin’ her all the way - to her own funeral.
Yeah - I know. I’m goin’ ta’ Hell.
We made it all the way to the dividing line between Loudon and Lenoir City - just before they make you hit your brakes and switch to a measly 30mph through the old main drag - so you can get a really good look at all the dilapidated houses run down by renters - and slum lords who only care that they get their rent money.
The only thing that keeps the area from being considered skid row is the fact that the county has been dry forever! ( For all you 20-somethings and such - that means no booze sold in the county. ) But there‘s a flood comin‘, y‘all. They voted the booze in - kids. And all the Grammaw’s living in the county are justa spittin’ about that!
Huh? Oh - yeah. Anyway - we reached that point and were blocked by a really nasty crash. It was such a mangled mess that I couldn’t count how many vehicles were involved. And in the middle was - no surprise - a bobtail tanker truck. The tanker looked like it was spared - even though it sat catty-wonked across lanes going in both directions. But the cab - looked like somebody slammed head-on into the face of the poor thing. It was crushed - wheels twisted and bent in half. Tires blown - of course. As far as I could count - four ambulances. There were two cars involved - that I could see - on my side of the crash. And it looked like there could have been one or two more on the other side. Just lights and chaos - everywhere. And I could only stare up at the gray interior upholstery on the top of my Putt-Putt - and pray - pray that nobody was seriously hurt - or even worse.
Do we go - or go home?
Fortunately - there was a horse-shoe driveway of a closed down business - just before the accident. Us girls ( my Putt-Putt and me ) had to park there for a moment and discuss the situation to find a compromise!
And that’s when it was okay to get on my cell phone. ’Cuz I don’t talk on my cell phone when I’m driving my vehicles. And - I don’t even need to take the Oprah Pledge. I’m an individual - with brains - and common sense - not a sheep.
I called Dwayne - for just a tad bit of advice - ‘cuz I really don’t know my way around all these other roads in this area. And - there’s an unspoken rule in this region. You don’t travel down a lot of the dirt roads in this area - unless you’re invited. ;) Hey - Popcorn Sutton wasn’t the only Moon-shiner in the country. And if you think all that ended after they gave up Prohibition - you need more schoolin’!
I ended up going back to a road that led me to I-75 and followed through with my part of the deal in the compromise. My Putt-Putt and me drove 65mph to the Lenoir City exit - cruised the main drag ( Hwy. 321 ) at 40mph down to catch Hwy. 11 from there - and headed on to Turkey Creek.
That short flight down I-75 was a real work-out for my Putt-Putt! But she seemed to feel like she had a little more energy after that little run. I was tickled!
Turkey Creek is usually identified - in short form for those not living around this region - as being located in Knoxville. Truth be told - the proper location would be Farragut. But ask any woman around here. We really don’t care. We’re just more than happy to enjoy this God-given miracle!
And for a ‘Countrified Rural Convert’ like me - it’s like seeing angels with trumpets drop out of the sky! It’s like - landing on the planet of Metropolis! You name it. They thought of it. They built it. And they’re just getting started! Ten times better than driving through - even the largest - neighborhoods insanely decorated for Christmas!
You can’t love civilization enough - until you move away from everything!
And it can be a problem for Libra women like me. “ I can’t decide. I can’t make up my mind! Don’t make me choose - please! “ And then you get home and - “ Oh, crap! I forgot that I wanted to go to Cook’s Corner! “ - or one of the other millionth fantastic stores in that secret garden! No - not Olive Garden. I said - secret garden. But they do have one - of course. And of course - I don’t go there. Ohhhhh…. No. Nope. I go to Johhny Carino’s!
But - I didn’t go to Johnny Carino’s yesterday. I leave that adventure to my husband - to spring on me for a surprise! No - I went Stir-Fry - instead! Dwayne doesn’t like oriental food. “ You’re stuffed in no time at all. But you’re hungry - again - an hour later! “
Yeah - “ Me Time “ days mean getting to go out and eat the kind of food my husband never wants to eat! And putting my blinders on. “ Cuz - there’s so much fun - and so little time! " I have to be choosy. So - my eyes only land on racks and shelves with signs screaming “On Sale!” - or - “Clearance!”
And ohhhhhh, boy…. Did I get lucky yesterday!
Moral of the story - " Never leave home without your camera. "