Amber waves of grain

Tizzy might be the right word for the past few days. Through New York (thanks, Dad!), a night in Jersey with lots of laundry and re-packing (thanks, Mom!), and a one-day drive down the East Coast, and then, hello Tennessee! There's not time to tell of how amazing it is to see the girls, and everyone here at the Ranch right now, but we're back in one of my favorite places ever. We wake up each morning in our cute cabin, and I spend the days in my old haunts.

What I wanted to write about days ago was the drive. As I grabbed an extra coat, I said to my mom, ‘I love roadtrips! You can bring whatever you want’. Amen to that. With bags of oatmeal and hiking boots, we pulled out of the driveway in the morning, and pulled onto the red clay road of the Ranch around midnight. In between was a moving diorama of ridge upon ridge of navy blue mountains in Virginia, hay-bale dotted hills of Pennsylvania, and thousands of road signs. (You realize this when you’re taking photos and can’t take a photo without a road sign. All these photos were taken in a moving car, so excuse the quality, and enjoy the grit and grain.)


Holiday Inn Expresses and Cracker Barrels take the cake for most spotted ads. Americans seem to have a nack for the over-the-top. Quadruple-decker billboard? Ginormous cross? No prob, Bob.


What a beautiful land.


There was a town called Groseclose, a speeding MRI truck, and my favorite stop: we wanted some Christian music, and it happened at the exit for our Cracker Barrel was a LifeWay Christian Store. As we browsed music, I heard a mom yell to the back of the store Are you outta that ark? Get back in the ark! at her children. Hello, Bible belt!


Relaxed hills, bundles of cows, yellow school-buses, red barns. America, the beautiful!


We rocked out to Brad Paisley and Chris Tomlin, talked about gun control, ate lots of fried chicken and baked potatoes, remarked on the high sky, and marveled at the wide roads, passed amber waves of grain and purplish mountains and a lot, lot, lot of cattle.


And a lot, lot, lot of industrialization.


And my favorite spotting of the day.


We're here, and, wanting to be present, blog posts will be few, hugs many, and laughter continuous. There's a big ole pot of nostalgia and joy brewing here this sunny morning in the mountains. It smells delish.