Isn't tax day fun? Hurrah! When we feel the civic pride of taking part in our nation's functionality. I personally love to pay for the following:
* Roads with potholes. BIG potholes.
* Mail that never gets delivered, or gets delivered 2 months late. Especially handknit birthday presents, thank you very much.
* The department of labor. Because nothing's better than losing your job and then listening to someone tell you for 3 hours about helpful interview tips like "don't chew gum." Even though your ex-job had been teaching people interview skills. Love that.
However. There are things to be seriously grateful for:
* The U.S. Highway system, because we spent a lot of time on it this past year, and even though it is riddled with potholes in places (Louisiana, I'm looking at you) it still is quite efficient and the numbering system is the best in the world. No really, it is.
* National parks. Especially ones with hiking trails and wetlands.
* Public libraries. LOVE you!
I've been thinking the last few days about how pretty it is here in Tennessee, and how it feels different from a lot of the other places we've traveled. They were also pretty, but...different somehow, and I think I finally put my finger on it.
This part of the world is very Elemental. There are waterfalls and creeks and rivers flowing all over the place. The air smells so good (except for the skunks, but they're so cute you have to overlook the stench - or try to). There are beautiful green fields with stark gray rocks sticking out of them, which reminds me a lot of Scotland and Ireland (and may be why so many immigrants from those countries settled here). There are a huge variety of trees, which is so refreshing after Georgia. I loved Georgia's cypress trees and live oaks, but everything else was basically planted pine. Here we have (wild) pines, but also magnolias, oaks, maples, and so many types of gorgeous fruit trees. The rocks all have moss growing on them. It feels as if there's so much life here, that if people stopped mowing and cutting and clearing and caring for 2 weeks, nature would somehow take over again.
Of course, it would only take about 27 hours for the kudzu to swallow the entire city of Knoxville.
And somehow, I find that very comforting.