One for the Road

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We’re almost home now. Currently parked at a Walmart in Salem, VA. Temperature is 84 degrees and it’s sunny. We’re going to soak up as much warmth as we can before heading into New England. From here, we have one more Walmart in northern VA and a Cracker Barrel parking lot in PA. I’m sure the restaurant is closed, maybe just filling take-out orders. We’re doing our best to stay safe as we head toward Ground Zero. And I say that because I’ve been keeping an eye on the New York Times’ map of the virus in the US. It is not lost on me, by the way, that the NYTimes map and my map of this winter’s route resemble each other.

We left Crossville, TN, an spent two nights parked in the driveway of a lovely couple in the small town of Fall Branch, TN, in the northeastern corner of the state. Such beautiful countryside! They’ve had a ton of rain lately, so the hills were lush and green, with fruit and redbud trees in full bloom. Just gorgeous! Our original plan was to hang out here for a few days to explore the area. Corona didn’t totally demolish our plans — we did a little driving tour of the area and only got out of the car once to walk through the absolutely lovely town of Jonesborough. Wow! Now here is a town that made it to our short list of possible places to move. The downtown is beautiful, just big enough to host a few shops, restaurants, a post office, a park, a bike trail and some live music. Also, there are a couple of neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown that we just loved. We’ll be back next fall to do a little more scouting.

Downtown Jonesborough, TN
Downtown Jonesborough, TN

The people who hosted us, Jack and Pat, are 78 years old and have a great story. Of course, we heard the story at a distance of more than 6 feet, because the current climate prevented us from sharing wine and conversation. Jack and Pat were childhood sweethearts. Jack was a grade older than Pat in high school, and he joined the navy after graduation. He and Pat were married one month before she graduated high school. They were married several years and had a couple of kids before divorcing. Subsequently, they each remarried and, unfortunately, buried their spouses. And then, the reconnected … and reunited! Here they are, living the dream in a beautiful home with a gorgeous view in eastern Tennessee!

Tessa enjoyed the location because there were horses next door. She’s had a great time on this trip meeting all kinds of animals … horses and cattle in Amish country, geckos and gopher tortoises in Florida, more cows in north Florida, and horses again in Tennessee. This dog has quite a life, not that she realizes that!

Three more sleeps, as I would have told my girls, and then we’ll be home! Looking forward to seeing everyone after the danger has passed!

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