We felt a slight jolt of joy and excitement as our RV rolled across the Tennessee state line: we were getting closer to “home,” or at least whatever version of it we remembered from before our trip. To be honest, I was ready to be in a sticks-and-bricks environment after ten months in the RV. As sweet as our home on wheels was, I had missed hosting friends and family, especially at holiday time—of course, thanks to the pandemic, we couldn’t have done much hosting anyway, so not much lost, I guess. I missed the familiar and I looked forward to returning to Knoxville.
But first, we made a quick stop just outside of Nashville, then we had to find a place to wait one week before our tenants vacated our home.
The place where we landed that last week of April 2020 couldn’t have been more charming: Dumplin Valley Farm RV Park is a family-owned idyllic place in Kodak—25 minutes from Dollywood and 25 minutes from Knoxville.
Even if it was basically a parking spot on a farm, the grounds were warm and welcoming. The fields around us bloomed yellow and purple, cows grazed the fresh grass, and we befriended an old little donkey (some beta carotene bribery might have been involved). The doggies were happy to hang out in the grass instead of dust, and we all enjoyed walking around—bonus: expansive views of the mountains.
The peace and quiet were interrupted momentarily by police looking for a suspect. We were out and about when a shooting happened next door to the farm: a guy apparently shot a woman on the front porch, then someone took off on foot. The word on the street was that the fugitive wasn’t actually the guy who did the deed, but that he was running because he had outstanding warrants. So, there’s that bit of drama….
From our spot on the farm, we drove into Knoxville, where we bought some hand-made masks.
I was hoping to get back into our house in time for my late April birthday, but alas, I had to celebrate it in a more rural and natural setting. It was a beautiful sunny and warm day, and I was in good company, so I can’t really complain. The fortune cookie, as always, gave some good advice: “Accept something that you cannot change, and you will feel better.” Noted.