Thursday, July 31, 2014

John H Dewell's Elegant Time

There is a hike in the Smoky Mountains called Chimney Tops. It's my favorite hike in the world, one I hope to take again some time in the next few years. Named for its appear race at the summit: this hike ends at a pair of rocky outcroppings that look like little chimneys from the base of the mountain. I have made the trip several times with several close friends and a few times, solo.

I was thinking about them today while playing my fiddle.  I forgot that inside my fiddle case is a little shrine to those mountains in Tennessee. I never take them out of the case, but if you open it you'll find a vintage poster book from the 1950's and two post cards. I bought all three of these things while living in Knoxville, found at local antique shops. One of the postcards picture the famous black bears of the National Park and the other is a photograph taken at the peak of Chimney Tops.

I turned it over and read the message and address on the back. I was totally shocked, having never noticed where it was mailed to. It was addressed to Greenwich, New York. Greenwich is the town seven miles away from where I live right now. Besides being a wonderful coincidence it means that somehow this postcard found its way back to Tennessee from New York, and that makes me very happy. I'll find my way back again, too.

I left Tennessee of my own volition. I wanted to travel, see America, drive cross country and live in the Pacific Time Zone.   People don't realize just how west Idaho is, or how North. I was a five hour drive from Seattle in Sandpoint, Idaho. Our local Amtrak would take you right into the city, or Portland Oregon. If you go back to the beginning of this blog it takes place when Made From Scratch, my first book, was being written.

After Idaho I moved here to Veryork. I've been here ever since and this farm in Jackson is the longest I have slept in one bed since I left my parent's house at 18. I adore Washington County. It is the place I belong right now and have no plans to leave it. As much as I idolize the Volunteer State I will never forget the real reason I left. It was too warm in the winter. That may seem silly but to a gal raised in the wild Northeast, born around mountains and snow— an 82-degree day in October was soul sucking. Autumn to me is not just about color and pumpkins in the garden. It is about seeing your breath in September,  needing to wear sweatshirts and jeans, bundling up with blankets at football games, and smelling woodsmoke in the morning and evening. October in Tennessee was just too warm and it felt like I was in a foreign place, far from correct.

My biggest fault is my loyalty. Tennessee, I love you. I'll always love you. You are "the one" - but October had me first. He is far better than I imagined he could be and we are having an elegant time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a moment like this. I bought a book at a library book sale. Brought it home to read and found an envelope inside that was addressed to my sister Marie who had passed away not long before.

July 31, 2014 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger KirstenJL said...

Me too. Went with my boyfriend to the state fair in Columbus, Ohio where he was from. We were going through a box of old postcards from Ohio. Picked up the only postcard from my own hometown near Cleveland. It was from one of his relatives sent in the 1940s I think. I got chills.

August 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM  

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