A Big Orange Thanksgiving

If anyone had told me that I'd ever again spend a holiday in Appalachia, I'd have laughed outloud at the improbability. I should have known something was up when, on our first date (lo these many months) my now spouse, proudly proclaiming his undergraduate degree was from UT, said, "If you cut my finger, I bleed orange," and I opted to find his devotion charming. It's been a whirlwind trip, which fits the whirlwind romance that caused me to be here and, well, my usual whirlwind life in general. From Atlanta to Chattanooga to visit my grandpa (almost 97 and probably destined to outlive us all) then on to Knoxville with the inlaws and my new nephew (he's 7, but he's relatively new to me). For the actual Turkey consuming, we're heading over to Lake Junaluska, North Carolina to my honey's aunt's house. If all that's not a whole heapin' helpin' of southern holiday, I don't know what is.

As I ride through the curving roads of The Great Smokey Mountains, I am forced to admit that it is stunningly beautiful here. The Smokies don't have the wow factor of the Rockies' sheer size. The did once upon a time, but only Jurassic creatures could have been doing the jaw dropping. Time and weather have worn them down to comparative nubs from what they once were, but their forms and colors are spectacular, particularly in the fall. It's enough to make this cynical southerner feel brimming with holiday warmth. That is until we make a pit stop for the kids, and I hear the accents. It is those times I'm glad the back bumper of our car remains unadorned and neutral even if our politics most certainly does not. The clan with which I spend this day might be even more liberal than I am, but the other accents I hear outside our cars can only ever conjure up the sound of dueling banjos running through my head. Yikes, Toto, we're not in Obama country any more! Quick! Get me back to a major city!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

No comments: