Almost three weeks on the road clear to East Tennessee and back. On the way through Oklahoma, we stayed for two days visiting our eldest daughter and her kids. Then on to Knoxville, to visit with our youngest daughter & her family, and our youngest son, who drove down from Ohio with his family, for Thanksgiving. Five days there, then two days up in the tri-cities area of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol exploring the area. The hardest part was getting there and back: four days each way. Our poor dog Schultz has no interest in getting into the car now. I don't blame him. Counting a run down to Phoenix to leave our cat w/ in-laws, we logged 4,588 miles all total.
Tennessee was worth it. Circumstances sort of dictated this as our time to go check it out--the hubs really preferred to go in the spring when the trees are green--but even with so much of the fall color gone, there was so much beauty to enjoy. We hiked, went antiquing, put up our daughter's Christmas tree and decorated it. We saw a Colonial era fort (1757) that the English built during the French-Indian war. Of course we had Thanksgiving dinner--with a noisy houseful! And I got to play in the garden a little, planting a couple of baby trees I'd brought her from AZ. Tennessee dirt is good dirt!
Later we met a nice lady outside of Bristol--and met all ten of her collies, both rough and smooth. Schultz was not impressed, but we were. We did learn that we want smooth collies--I am just not up to that much dog-brushing.
With our kids spread out so far--Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Tennessee--it's hard to see them very often. But two years in a row, we've been able to at least see three of the four. Now we're going to let them come to us!
We've pretty well decided to retire to the Knoxville area--we liked a little town called Maryville (which the locals pronounce as "mur-vel") best of all we saw. How long that will be--who knows. Maybe ten years! But for the first time ever in our years together, we're planning a major move instead of just jumping into action. We've moved sixteen times in our years together, but we really (really, really!) want this one to stick. As in; 'til we're too old to live on our own. And who knows? Maybe this one will really be it. I'm going to keep telling myself that, and imagining how it will be to have those mountains to hike in any time we want.