The Dentist and the Tax Collector……

Forgive me if I don’t seem overjoyed about departing the beautiful, 82 degree, sun-soaked weather of Florida to head back north to Kentucky and “polar-vortex 3.0!”  But that’s exactly what I did a few days ago!  There are 2 people you should never ignore, the dentist and the tax collector.  Everyone knows if you ignore the dentist, it can eventually lead to a pain in your tooth…. and, if you ignore the tax-collector, it can eventually lead to a pain in your butt!  Not wanting to suffer pain in either location, I returned to Kentucky for a few weeks!  In early December I broke a tooth on a frozen piece of carmel candy.  I saw the dentist before departing for Florida a few months ago, but the crown would not be ready before my Florida departure.  Now the crown is ready and I can repair my chom-pers.  I also need to assemble all my income-tax documents and send them to the accountant, so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone….. or should I say… one trip!  I had a wonderful time in Florida, and I avoided a bitterly cold mid-west winter so far this year.  But before my celebration begins, I see that “polar-vortex numero 3” is about to descend on the northern United States over the next few days!  Oh joy!

I took a slightly different route from Florida to Kentucky this trip.  The easiest and fastest route is highway 75 almost all the way, from door to door…. but, I wanted to see a few new sights and took highway 127 from near Chattanooga to central Kentucky.  Highway 127 is a 2 lane road almost all the way and passes through some pretty interesting little towns….. like….

– the hometown of Mark Twain’s parents….
– the hometown of WWI hero, Sergeant Alvin York….
– the Wolf Creek Damn and Lake Cumberland,
  to name a few……..

It was a beautifully sunny day for the entire trip, that is until less than 20 minutes from home…. when the wind and rain conspired to greet me!  Welcome back to Kentucky they laughed….!
Anyone who has traveled the backroads of Kentucky and Tennessee, knows that it is a “feast” for the eyes… maybe not a Pacific Coast Highway type “feast of beauty,” but an interesting “feast” of a drive nonetheless!  Small towns with Norman Rockwell type town squares, rolling hills with limestone rock cliffs, horse farms, Amish buggies and drive-through liquor stores next-door to Baptist churches are just some of the sights you can feast your eyes upon.  I stopped at a few places along the way… and of course, met some interesting characters… at a small convenience store, a middle-aged, bearded man introduced himself, told me I was “saved” and gave me 3 small stones with the word “Jesus” written on them.  He told me Jesus was the rock and now I was free to do as I wished with the stones.  I thanked him and took the stones with me.  What else could I have done?  At another stop, I met an 85 year-old gentlemen on the front porch of a country store, carving wooden sticks?  He was friendly and said the wooden indian statues were almost as old as he was.  He looked like he was taking a break from filming an episode of the “Andy Griffith Show.”  Then there was the guy that just needed $1.27 cents more to get a gallon of gas for his stranded car… he even had a small gas can in tow, to make his tragedy look so much more believable…. and there was the nice young waitress who recognized I was not from Tennessee by my “accent” ?  I have the accent… oh ok….. if you say so…. oh and throw some more “matters” on my “sam-itch” while you’re at it young lady!
Wandering off the normal paths can be a lot of fun!

The grave of Sergeant Alvin York in Pall Mall, Tn.
The home, now museum, of Sergeant Alvin York.
The Mill where Sergeant York worked before and after the war.
A triple-decker in rural Kentucky.
London has double-deckers, we have triple-deckers in Kentucky!
A few silent indians greet customers at the Country Store.
The Wood Carver, making shavings?
I stopped for fuel at the wrong place!
The only service I got was from an angry bird who made his home in the pump!