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…and she was.

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:10 pm by flerly.


We’re on our “annual” trip to my Bluff City hometown, and once again took the route up through the Carolinas and over the mountain. Damn, that is a nice scenic stretch to welcome you home. Someday I’ll actually stop at one of those overlooks and take a picture.

Seems it’s been exactly a year since our last visit, which was unintentional, but just the way things worked out. Likely we’ll be up once more this fall after James’ niece gets relocated from Chattanooga to Johnson City for school. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason she chose ETSU, but I can’t help thinking she’s pulling, well, a me — where there’s a perfectly suitable, affordable college just down the road, but it’s just a tad too close to home. I went the other direction, relocating to Chattanooga. She’s moving from Chattanooga to here, but she’ll be burning up the same asphalt going back and forth for a while that I did. Strange how that trip gets shorter and shorter — note: xmas gift for Rachel, radar detector? =)

Spent a cherished Friday evening with my niece and her facebook hubby, patio Mad Greek, general hanging out, general catching up, then on to random bad-pool at Borderline before we lost them to zombie slayage on the X-box. Strange behavior for me after 20 years of not keeping in touch, I managed to text an old school bud and hang out with him Friday night, too. Not exactly sure how I let myself not do that for so very long. I’m sure it’s a contributing factor to only managing to visit once a year now.

Saturday has been mom day, and overall good. She’s been hovering near the brim of my tolerance on a couple of our usual issues, but I think we’re both managing to keep it reeled in and be on our best behavior with each other. Strangely, it doesn’t seem weird to me that mom and I fight so much, but it would be nice to make it through this visit without one.

She is thinner — and I’m sure it’s her budget/eating habits catching up with her. I can see why Wayne was so freaked. She has a new doctor’s office story, where her BP was actually normal for the very first time, like ever, in my lifetime. This trip we’ve meandered down some back roads and talked about nostalgic things (Johnson City airport, anyone?), made an attempt at finding some new clothes for her thinner frame, and even went out to eat at a place she’d never been. It’s been almost pleasant.

At least until we got home this evening with full-bellies and good-moods, and decided to tackle a little yard-work in the cool evening. When the city recently topped a line of mom’s trees in the front yard they claimed were too near the utility lines, they did such a poor job that she actually went into a pretty deep funk for a while. She devotes so much energy to her yard, that they had might as well have cut her leg off as butchered those trees. We’d only heard tale of them by phone, no pictures, but they were really just as bad as described — so James jumped right in to try to finish the job they city should have done.

That’s when we learned that this yard is actually a cursed, angry beast — it’s hungry, and it wants toes. Mom just about cut her big-toe off a couple months ago doing yard work, and still hungry, tonight the yard tried for James’. It drew blood, but we don’t think anything is broken. With  me in my vulnerable flip-flops, toes just asking to be eaten, and the light fading,  we all decided to retreat to the safety of the house.

Don’t know what tomorrow’s plans are — besides the long drive home. Perhaps we’ll do research on cleansing rituals to help ensure the safety of future toes on the lawn here, or perhaps we’ll just make a trip to buy actual shoes suitable for yard-work. Definitely another lesson for Mom in how to use her new cellphone. Maybe one last attempt at a different store to find mom some pants that fit.

I did discover there’s something called Jake Legg’s Lost State Bus Tours around Johnson City that sound interesting — though I don’t know if they’re really currently operating. It’s a crazy bus that’s been converted to living room seating and tables, offering a couple-hour, humorous “Lost State of Franklin” tour and is BYOB. We also talked about Bristol Caverns, because I haven’t been there since I was a kid, but it occurred to me that I’ve never actually been into nearby Appalachian Caverns, which opened in 1991 after I’d already moved away. If not this visit, maybe later in the fall on the next trip. Definitely want to think about bringing appropriate attire for a wild-cave tour or some hiking next trip, as well. Yay for actually having things to look forward to for a return trip!



Johnson City Airport pics for Joyce & Angela. I cannot believe how much time we spent in the summers in that little room that looks like it was awkwardly set onto the top of the building. I think this was the first time I’ve ever been there since I was old enough to make the drive myself.

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