The fact that Lindsey is currently living in Knoxville, Tennessee is still a bit surreal and hard for me to wrap my spinning head around. I am not sure if it were anyone else would I find myself in an upgraded pimped out white Chrysler rental car headed down interstate 75, reliving the bittersweet skid marked miles on the way to hang out in my own personal ghost town.
I am glad to know the beauty when you hit the top of Jellico Mountain and Rarity Ridge is still as stunning as ever, and that the bible belt is keeping up its reputation for doing God’s work via the giant white metal cross erected right next to the porn superstore off the interstate …still there, letting me know I am getting close to the city, and reminding me that dirty movies are 3 for $25 on clearance.
There is a drowsy calm in the south, the green is lush and abundant, no one is in much of a hurry to go any faster than the slow drawl that escapes their mouth. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t miss it here, because I do. The memories wash over me in a numbing melancholy as I make my way down the route I know so well. Passing exit 122 I wonder if the Golden Girls restaurant still makes the best lemon meringue pies in the world, or if there is a rowing regatta happening on Melton Lake. It all lingers, dancing around me and I can’t help it, in spite of everything the thoughts of time spent here in my past often leave me with smile lines.
The reason I made it through this trip is the same reason I was able to lose the weight I have, complete a 5k, then a 10k, and it’s the same reason I started to see myself as more than just a hopeless obese bystander but rather a strong and capable woman who posses the power to change. It is having unconditional friendships, safe places where it’s effortless and the hard stuff is simply understood with no need for explanations or words when there are none.
Linds and I spent the weekend catching up, eating awesome food, snuggling with Oscar & Hannah her two dogs that I adore, walking on the Greenway in the stinking gross humidity, taking a private tour of UT’s football mecca and lots of lazy time on the couch just relaxing and perhaps getting *someone* very addicted to “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix, though I don’t think I was really supposed to write about that part. It was the perfect visit, it felt good to make new memories and it didn’t take long for me to volunteer to come back in the next month or so for a football game… GO VOLS (did this Kentucky girl just write that?!)