We are spending our Spring Break in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and since this blog is leading up to Lent, I thought I would share a timely Tennessee law, just in case this affects your upcoming plans: “No Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.” I didn’t drive on the almost 9-hour ride down here because it is also “illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.” Although that’s only in Memphis, we didn’t want to take any chances given my recent car-related run-ins with the law. And though I’m fairly sure I saw evidence of this law being broken, it is a laudable one nonetheless: “You may not have more than five inoperable vehicles on a piece of property.” Finally, while we ourselves certainly did provide evidence of the following Tennessean legal assertion at various points during the drive: “the definition of ‘dumb animal’ includes every living creature,” I can assure you that we were not alone.
Below is a collection of signage we observed on our drive. I would have stopped to photograph some of these, except that I had to stay on guard to make sure that Martin didn’t break this TN law: “Driving is not to be done while asleep.”
- “Dollar Store. You Pay Only 89¢.”
- “All Employees Must Wash Your Hands Before Returning to Work. Thankyou.”
- “We Carry Beer!”
- “Affordable Law Firm. Bankruptcy $599. Divorce $299.”
- “Do It Write Tax Service.”
- Outside a motel: “Old But Clean.”
- Outside a cemetery: “Give the Gift of Life on Preplan.”
- On a wayside pulpit: “God Hates Noone. Loves Everyone.”
Inside our car: Me: “Look, the name of that street is ‘Whites School Road.'” Noah: “Welcome to Tennessee.”
Jacob: “Is that our cabin?” Gabe: “Actually, cabbage is food.”
Gabe: “When I drive this long I want to explode my head.”
Funny, Gabe, when I drive that long I want to explode someone else’s head.
Run for your life if your hear banjo music! Otherwise enjoy the south, it is a whole different animal.
My favorite sign at a Tennessee roadside stand advertised, “Home groan tomatoes”.
As someone who lives in Knoxville, near Gatlinburg, I hope you enjoy
your visit to this stunningly beautiful part of the country. You are a little
too early to experience the peak of nature’s joyous explosion of spring color,
but hopefully, you will see enough to appreciate this area. Did you know it boasts one of the greatest diversity of flora to be found on the planet? Also, I know you will be impressed by the friendliness of the people who live in East Tennessee. When I was planning to move here from the midwest, nearly 15 years ago, I was warned about being un-accepted as a “yankee” moving “down south.” Every sort of negative preconception about the area was tossed at me. In truth, however, I have found an abundance of warm -hearted, generous souls in this, the Volunteeer state! And, not a day goes by, any time of the year, when I do not feel a leap of joy in my heart at the natural beauty surrounding me. I do believe this area is surely a piece of paradise! Happy travels to you and your family!
I sometimes think that I would like to live in Tennessee if only because it snowed on the first full day of Spring in Maine. Also, because John Haitt lives in Tennessee and so many cool people live in Nashville. I am a big fan of the Carters and the Cashs. Mostly, I just like the warmth; I lived in Virginia as a child and disliked the South, could not wait to get up North again and now I wonder, “What was I thinking??” Driving in Oregon with my daughter, we saw a sign that said, “Family Fun Packs of Beer sold here!”