The past week was war with the invasion of poltergeists who moved into farm world as we were closing down on the time for us to leave the farm, and sunny south, for our late summer yearly escape from home and heat. First off, our neighbor, who so graciously removes the tall grass from our front field twice a summer, accidentally ran over the main junction of all of the various plumbing lines that go to various barns, and then onto the house. The first clue of a broken pipe disaster was a geyser springing forth under the tire tracks of the monster sized tractor that had swept thru my field with its cutting attachment.
Sputtering utterances of incoherent profanities, Mark fixed the pipes, after I had bailed the spring out, only later to have the sudden drop in water pressure reveal that the fix had not been a success. This scene repeated itself five times over the next three days, and with the sixth repair, holding our fingers crossed, it would hopefully be the last.
Then the hot tub motor died. Then the pool pump died. The hot wire fence system was kaput. It was looking for a moment there that getting away on my birthday was not going to be in the cards. We simply could not leave a non functioning farm system to someone who was to care for animals and such in our absence, with no water for the critters and, the thoughts of returning to a pool standing for a summer week with no chlorine gave visions of swimming in primordial soup an undesirable thought. Stuff had to be fixed or there was no leaving. That, is life on the farm.
In order to get out of town, it would take an extra day, no getting away on my birthday, fix things we would, and leave on the next day. My birthday was a work day. All details of maintenance and repair that could be done to maintain function were finally done. I had picked up some major lobsters to console my disappointment at not being in the mountains for my birthday. A bottle of Brut poolside, birthday suit on, then steamed lobsters, and life was getting back to tolerable again. The next morning we were out of there, despite the looks of betrayal from Heidi, the shepherd, who had known we were up to no good very early on and gave strong disapproval at our notion of escaping without her. Jack, had no idea of our abandoning the pack, and looked fairly happy despite his being covered with some sticky seed pod, like a cockle burr, but not as prickely. It just made him look fairly ridiculous and will require a good dose of scissor use to clean him up, when, I return.
It actually turned into a mid day escape. We tossed an imaginary coin to decide which route to head north east with. Taking the interstate for the bulk of the hot part, we headed towards Chattanooga, and once there, after waiting in a parking lot on the interstate after they cleaned a wreck up the road some six miles ahead, we opted for the side roads, the road less traveled. Once off, everything changed. It was finally time to relax and take in the scenery.
Flat land finally gave way to long sweeps of rolling hills and off in the distance to the north east we could see the Smokies outline, blue shadows against a purple evening sky. We headed straight towards an almost full moon, just rising above these hills. Restaurants were at a shortage on this road we took, and it was getting late when we finally found a road side dinner that had lots of folks and old cars in the lot.
The cars in the lot were of varying vintages from general restored antiques to souped up jalopies, their proud owners in their air brushed t shirts standing by each of their chariots, each car a work of love and time spent on a quest of a romantic dream.
We went into the tiny diner, sat at a floral plastic covered table and we asked the few remaining waiters and waitresses what was good. The hamburger was, we were told. We ordered ours with cheese, and mixed our sides of fries and tater tots. Our choices of drink was coke, or coke. Not wanting a sugar buzz, we pled for water and waited on our culinary experience to begin.
I looked around the room and took in the decorating, tin car tags from all over the US, most from the 70’s adorned the walls. An ancient coke box stood against one wall, and a large man in the kitchen was busy flipping our burgers while young waitresses in bad t-shirts that revealed an ample girth line over tightly waisted low cut jeans, excelling in the form of the classic muffin top, cleaned the tables for the night, and checked their tips for their evenings work. The hamburgers and tots were simple and wonderful. Our entire dinner was less than twelve bucks, and was high on the satisfaction meter.
We rolled on to the hotel of our improvised destination and called it a night. Tomorrow we will adventure into the park where we will check out Cades Cove and Clingman’s Dome, in no particular order of precedence with no particular goal in mind. We are just floating through, the beginning of a vacation.