This week a crew from school will be heading to Tennessee to complete in the DI (Destination Imagination) Global competition. I’ve been trying to think of fun things for them to do, and it has made me long for the day that I get to share East Tennessee with my family.
Someday, I am going to take my girls to the Knoxville Zoo. I can’t wait to pay for those overpriced day tickets. I will watch with delight as they squeal with glee over the gorillas and the bears. I will shiver as they discover snakes through the windows of the reptile observatory. And I will shell out the big bucks for zoo treats and souvenirs that will I will one day regret buying when I pick it up off the floor.
Someday, I am going to wake my husband up early and stop for coffee at an all-night Pilot service station as we drive up to the Smokies to watch the sun rise. I won’t know where we are going, but my “map” will be the road. Up will always be the choice–until we reach the perfect place to park the car and see the sun peek out over the trees as the hills come to life. (I will probably end up singing some cheesy song from a musical or recite “Tennessee Sunrise” much to his dismay.)
Someday, we are going to be tourists in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We are going to play mini-golf, and ride all the rides at Dollywood. We are going to spend way too much money on those tickets, unless some niece or nephew happens to be working there at the time… (hint hint) We are going to eat funnel cakes and sing along to all my favorite Dolly songs. I am going to tell my family all about Dolly, and how she is my hero for never forgetting where she came from after she left (but more importantly, for all her work with the Imagination Library… #literacystartsyoung, afterall…)
Someday, we are going to drive down to Cardins and eat hotdogs, cheeseburgers, and drink milkshakes. I am going to tell stories about my Mamaw, and how we would buy hotdogs on the way home from Wednesday night bible study. We will fill up on fries AND onion rings, because if you are going to “do Cardins,” you might as well live it up.
Someday, we will go watch a drive-in double feature. We will stock up on treats at the gas station, then back in to a spot so that we can sit in the back of the truck together on piles of blankets. We will let the girls go to sleep late that night, and will surely regret it the next day.
Someday in Tennessee, we will get together with our friends on Fourth of July, eat tacos, and shoot fireworks. We will swat hands that sneak black olives, and will tease each other over how much eating has happened, and we will watch the new generation of kids catch fireflies before dark.
Someday, we will sit on the porch in a summer thunderstorm and watch the waterfall created by the warm rain. We will read aloud something appropriate for summer storms–something that will make us giggle with delight.
Someday, we will pack up a cooler, and take off for the lake. We will slather on sunscreen and squish our toes into some Tennessee mud. Then we will drink sweet tea with our friends as we reminisce about when we were young while enjoying all the babies playing together.
Someday in Tennessee, my sisters and I will stay up late and snuggle together on the couches. We will laugh and tickle each other like we did when we were young. We will inevitably ruin that fun time by fighting over something stupid. Then, we will make up by singing old hymns together at the piano while mama cries because her “babies” are together in harmony.
Someday, we will load up the kids and the bikes and head up to Cades Cove. We will take lots of water and a picnic lunch to share. After 11 miles of hilly countryside and kids complaining, we will head back down the mountain to sleepy snores in the backseat.
Some Saturday morning, Mama and I will get up earlier than everyone else and make biscuits and gravy. We will work together to fry up enough sausage and bologna to feed a small army. She will make the lightest biscuits ever tasted, and I will stir together some gravy–thinking about Mamaw and her methods. We will slice some Grainger County tomatoes, and fill up glasses with sweet tea. After calling everyone to breakfast, we will bully someone else into doing the dishes (but will probably end up doing them ourselves later…)
Some summer day, we will drive up to the farm stands and buy bushels of tomatoes, peppers, and sweet corn. We will wash and sterilize mason jars that will later be filled with chow-chow, stewed tomatoes, and maybe some strawberry jam. We will listen to the “pops” of success while warning everyone around to leave them alone.
Someday, we will pack up, and drive 20 minutes down the road to convention. We will wake up early and help with breakfast. We will stay up late and drink hot cocoa while eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We will soak in the heavenly rain and fill up on spiritual food–and we will relish in the fellowship with sweet forever friends. We will leave that oasis with new purpose for the next year, and promises to keep in touch that will go forgotten until the next spring.
Someday in Tennessee, we will wake up and check to see if school is out because of the flurries that were predicted. We might get lucky enough to make snow cream and build a snowman. We will regret having not bought a sled, but we will improvise with garbage bags and clothes-baskets. We will eat too much, sleep too much, and play until we are frozen solid. Then we will sit in front of the fire, and thaw out with soggy socks and gloves all around us.
Someday, my family and I will enjoy all that I miss about Tennessee. But that day isn’t today, this summer, or this year. So until then, I will make my plans for someday…