Rural Tennessee

I am sure there are more rural areas than I have visited, but I like what I have seen.  For several days, I have traveled through miles of farm land.  While they seem familiar to me, I know there are differences.  It is much warmer (and humid) here, but there’s more than that.

  • People seem less rushed and less stressed. I can no longer count the number of times that someone pulled out in front of me and then casually got up to speed.  Related to that, travelers in the rural areas came up behind me (they had been going much faster), but they did not take the first (or often any) opportunity to race around me. Of course, as I neared more urban areas, people did race around me even if I was already exceeding the speed limit.
  • Perhaps one reason they are less stress is that they have porches with chairs where they sit in the afternoons and evenings. Yes, they do that. I have seen it repeatedly.  I have been tempted to stop and ask to experience it, but that would be weird.
  • The small of freshly mowed or baled hay here does not bother my allergies.  I am confused a little about how they make hay because there are no bales.  Instead, they have a lot of big rolls of hay. (So, why is is called baling?)  Apparently they don’t put the rolls in the barn (they probably don’t stack well), but instead, they appear to collect the rolls at the edge of the field.  That’s just what I’ve observed, but I really don’t know.  I did see two barns with the rolls inside, and they did not look easy to move.
  • I am impressed that people here create pools for their cows.  I saw a lot of pools that didn’t seem clean enough for human bathing, and then I saw cows soaking in a few ponds.  I first saw this on my way to Chattanooga, and I thought that I was mistaken.  But since then, I have seen cows submerged up to their backs in water in several ponds. Obviously the cows were cooling (or chillin’) in the pools, but I wonder what Temple Grandin would say about pools for cows.
  • I have seen more riding lawn mowers than I thought existed on this planet. I think nearly every family has a riding lawn mower.  I have seen heavy set men, youth, and little old ladies mowing their enormous lawns.  People here seem to take pride in their lawns, and they keep them well groomed.  Many people also have entrances (lions, stones, bricks, angels, etc.) to their residences, and I think that shows pride in their homes.

I enjoyed my journey through Tennessee, and now I hope to see what I can find in Kentucky.


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