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I picked up my rental car at the Knoxville airport on Friday afternoon for my drive to Memphis on Saturday morning.  Since this was a one-way rental, there were, unfortunately, no closer options.  I was half-way across the crazy Knoxville traffic, before I realized the automobile I’d rented did not have cruise control!  With fibromyalgia, my muscles would be screaming by the time I arrived in Memphis, but I wasn’t driving back to the airport to pick up another vehicle.

Jeanine’s Mom was driving Jeanine and the girls to Atlanta where they would visit with one of her brothers and then board their initial flight to Peru.  It wasn’t easy saying goodbye, knowing it would, most likely, be a year before I would see them again.  Sarah had lost her two front teeth this visit…next year she’d have her two front permanent teeth.   All the little changes I’m missing with these precious grandchildren aren’t easy for a grandmother.  I know, in my heart, they’re in Peru because that’s where they feel God called them to be.  God has used them in amazing ways there, and I’m proud of them.  I just miss them.

The drive from the Knoxville area is a beautiful one…the winding roads through the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains.  Each mile brought back memories of a lifetime spent mostly in Tennessee.  Bill and I had camped alone and with our family in the Great Smokey Mountains many times.  Driving through the Cumberland Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau of Middle Tennessee, I remembered the trip for my family history quest we’d taken…and remembered that I need to finish that journey and write the book. 

Driving across Nashville brought back memories of the four years my older son had spent at Vanderbilt.  I also remembered all the fun we’d had at the Opryland amusement park before they changed it to the Opryland Hotel…which we’d also stayed at on several occasions.  I couldn’t help it…the tears were falling by the time I crossed the beautiful Tennessee River.  I stopped at a rest area and walked for a while, trying to work out the cramps in my legs.  Cruise control is a great invention for those long stretches of highway without lots of traffic, and I was missing it.

Somewhere before I reached Jackson, Tennessee, where I’d once entertained the thought of accepting a scholarship to Union University, I stopped for a very late lunch at the Cracker Barrel…which doesn’t exist in the Pacific Northwest.  I was wanting sweet tea (which was delicious) and a vegetable plate (which was disappointing and chilly).  Nevermind, I’d have fresh Southern vegetables at my sister’s house that would be far better than Cracker Barrel’s… 

I was spending the first week of my three-week visit with my niece, Sharon.  She and her husband (who loves golf) had recently moved to a lovely golf community about 45 minutes outside Memphis.  Sharon is two and a half years younger than I, and we grew up together like sisters.   With beautiful, big blue eyes and an amazing smile, Sharon is an artist, an interior decorator extraordinaire and a prayer warrior.  She’s also a natural born comic with a great sense of humor.  If they’d only film her rendition of the first time she played golf with her husband, it would be syndicated and they’d be set for life!

Yep, it was definitely going to be a wonderful three weeks and I was looking forward to every minute of it…

Dianne and Sharon on Mamie Road in the 1950’s…

The three-week visit home and all the fun times to be continued…

4 Responses to Driving to Memphis…

  • Janet says:

    Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip. I didn’t know you had fibromyalgia. How long have you had it? Too bad your lunch at Cracker Barrel was disappointing. I’ve never had a bad meal at Cracker Barrel!

  • Dianne says:

    Thanks, Janet! I’ve had FM about 10 years or so…try not to let it slow me down too much though. I usually enjoy Cracker Barrel, but I’d looked forward to Southern vegetables for so long, I guess my expectations were too high. Sharon’s and my sisters’ Southern cooking were fantastic though!

  • spuddawg says:

    Welcome back , Ms.Dianne ! I knew you had to be on vacation. Try to check the blogs I read the most and you’ve been missed ! Cracker Barrel is one of our favorite resturants as well. Nothing like a delicious biscuit ! Memories of our grandmother ! She was quite the southern cook ! Have your hens started laying ? Anyway….. Have a Great Day !

  • Dianne says:

    Thanks, Spuddawg, I appreciate the kind words!
    The hens, I think, are getting ready to lay some eggs for us. They’ve made “nests” out of the straw I’ve put in their boxes. I’ll let you know when the big day happens!

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My Southern Heart...the Stories blog is about my life growing up in the South in the fifties and sixties. It was an amazing time...a time of falling in love, getting married, having a family. A time of history in the making, political unrest, rock and roll. Come along on my life's journey. It's a chronological story, so be sure to start at the beginning. It will make a whole lot more sense that way. Check out: My Southern Heart...the Stories