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Boundaries

December 28, 2008

We went to Knoxville Tennessee this weekend. A road trip to see Jules sister. It was nice. I had a lot of time to think while driving and come to some conclusions. My thoughts:

I am completely fascinated by hills and mountains. They just amaze me. But part of this amazement is the childish imprinting of what the outdoors is ‘supposed’ to look like. I.e. The earth is brown and flat. Not hilly, or red or some such thing.  Mountains, for example, do not belong to the normal order of things, so they are fascinating. I remember going to both coasts as an adult! and being amazed that the ocean was just lying around where anyone could see it and get to it.  Perhaps the best example of my childish imprinting of geography, happened in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Walking around Fort Jackson, I was always looking down at the ground, the not right greyish grass, and the inexplicable sand.  I finally asked a native of SoCarolina WHY did they bring all the sand into the army base?? My minds eye picturing huge dump trucks coveing the acres. Probably the stupidest thing I have ever said out loud. The girl looked at me like a mental patient and said. “It grow here like that”.

… oh. ..right..

Anyway, knoxville is lovely. Really beautiful. I had nothing at all to complain about, despite being hyper aware of the whole ‘southness’ of it., and despite my bloody minded hatred of all things Southern. Everyone I met was congenial.    I guess travel is really about challenging assumptions.  I had a great time.

 I did however arrive at some conclusions that I will not challenge. I will detail herein:

1. i touch people, esp Julie a lot without thinking about it. Just a hand on the arm, a quick bump of the head. I became very aware of resisting taking her hand in public.  It feels safe here- at least inside the outerbelt- but it does not feel safe there on the average street.  At least to me.

2. I am not a fan of bears.  Megan told of camping where they REALLY had to hang their food in the tree because of bears, not raccoons. They. Knew. Bears. Were. There. and. went. camping. anyway.  What?? A real bear, not in the zoo type bear-  right over there somewhere??? Suddenly as we drive I scanning the woods for bears lurking on the hillside.  It seems to me that the whole of human civilization evolved to keep away from real bears.

3. I am STILL scared of kudzu. Um yeah, the plant. I read a scary story about the vine from hell when I was a preteen and it makes me shudder. ANother camping issue,- I could not camp within a hundred yards of kudzu without a handgun and a goat. I would keep watch all night if it crept closer I would either shoot it or have my goat eat it.

4. I am too old to be comfortable with people discussing my ass. We stopped at a restaurant where my butt was proounced badonk a donk a donkadonka donkadonkadonakdonkadonkadonkadonka  – for like 10 minutes of ‘donkas’ So if a big butt is a *badonkadonk, how big is that??…..Yeah, guys- I get it! Enough with the DONKAS.   

5. I love watching TV, and I really really ‘want a head set that turns odrinary hearing into extraordinary hearing’

To hear the bears and kudzu coming before they hear me.

Happy day, I am home to the land of flatness, brown dirt and my bed.

 

*mom, this is a slang word meaning big butt

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2008 10:31 am

    My grandmother lives in Knoxville. And I agree with the mountains – not that they’re strange, but that they’re entirely delightful. (And I’m slightly paranoid about a bear crossing the freeway in the mountains.) 🙂

  2. December 29, 2008 1:40 pm

    Let me take your bear fear card, and raise you a Grizzley. Ya want fear, try taking a walk in the woods and finding a bear track whose ONE CLAW was big enough to put my WHOLE HAND in, and I couldn’t reach the end of the claw. Then, on the way OUT (rapidly) of the woods, come across Puma tracks as well. DO NOT go for a walk in the woods in the Canadian Rockies. I’ll take Ohio where nothing can have you for lunch during a walk in the woods.

    I didn’t read a scary story about vines, but Kudzu still creeps me out.

    Oh and thanks for the vocabulary lesson.

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