About Me

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Tennessee, United States
Retired teacher living in East Tennessee, adjusting to life in the land of round door knobs. Photographer for our local animal shelter and foster of many dogs and kitties. Don't ask me how many dogs I have, but my son got me one of those "I'm the crazy dog lady" sweatshirts.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Color Me Home

The last two years of teaching were incredibly stressful and fall-into-bed-exhausted time intensive for me. I'm not sure if there were fewer hours in the day and more to do, or the fact that I'm not as young as I used to be just made it seem that way, but there you have it. I sacrificed writing on this blog for writing with students on a class blog and getting our house ready to sell.

Transitioning from Germany to the USA was tough for the first couple of months. We were also just as busy trying to set up our house here as we had been closing out our house in Germany. I think I should have gone on vacation first.

I also went through the whole grieving process: denial, anger, regret, and finally acceptance. I'm sure I missed a few of the steps, but it was one whole itchy-angsty period.  I think there was guilt in there, too. I'm not feeling it so much now. It seems the more mornings I sleep in, rise late, drink coffee while I read the news and check out my Facebook and Twitter feeds without worrying about a daily lesson plan, the less guilt I feel.

I miss the close friendships. The first couple of months in Tennessee was like being in the Witness Protection program. We only knew a couple of people when we moved here, if you don't count the lady who managed our property. But, it's getting better. Tennessee natives are naturally friendly. It's easy to start a conversation with a neighbor or the waitress serving our lunch.

We love the weather here, and the beautiful mountain views. Sure, it was hot during July and August, but we still enjoyed many pleasant hours out on our deck, and since September, the weather has been cool enough to be refreshing, while still warm enough to enjoy. We live close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and yesterday we drove Rich Mountain Road, a gravel road which climbs and winds from Cades Cove over the hill to Townsend. We were back home by noon-thirty. The autumn colors are perfect, and I'm so glad I am here to see them.

Hello, Tennessee. Color me home.