After Aleister's birthday party, we headed north for another special experience. Through the Face book medium, we renewed contact with a friend that I served with over thirty years ago. Over time and changing locations on both our parts, we had lost touch. So now we were underway to visit Morris and Bonnie who we had not seen in over three decades.
We found them in, I think it is fair to say, a remote part of northern Tennessee. I am sure you have heard the expression that you cannot get there from here! That almost applies to where they live. Indeed, we would not have been able to take our last motorhome on the approach roads to his home. Another reason we are happy with our new rig. With only a little squeezing, we were able to drive the narrow lanes to land in his wide driveway. Morris left the Coast Guard many years ago because he wanted to return to his roots. He lives on the land that his family has owned for many generations and there is a lot of that land.
Like a number of friendships that form in life, we were able to share what happened in these decades easily and without any discomfort. I have found this is often the case when the personality mixes are just right.
We quickly caught up on how things have been going. They have a great home that Morris designed and mostly built himself. It reflects their interests and you can see how the floor plans of the house reflect the lessons learned from a fire that destroyed the last house he built on the same spot.
It is a perfect place to live the country life with a cattle pond, large lake and many acres of woods. They have a small cattle herd that they insisted were not pets. They are truly happy cows! They are not kept for milking, not slaughtered for meat, or raised for the market. As the herd grows as nature intended, some may be traded or given away. In short, these animals have it made!
When you have plenty of room, you can add extra features to your property that most of us miss out on. For example they have their own expansive paintball battlefield and gun range. They are working on establishing several orchards to feed his hobby of fruit preserves. And, of course, you also get to keep things like the car he had thirty years ago and used in our carpool as an obstacle in his paintball course.
Many of his relatives live in walking distance and the rest are a short drive away.
On a walk of a small portion of the property, we enjoyed the quiet of the woods and the several streams along the way. There was even a cabin in the woods that he allowed a local hunter to built for his annual quest for deer. It is the nicest hunting stand I have ever seen.
As you may have seen in the movies about the prohibition era, Tennessee was fully engaged in the moonshine operations. Near one of the streams there is still metal barrel rings hanging on a tree from a 1930's still. And there are other such history remnants to be found if you know where to look.
Surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful and scenic environment, you can only envy their great lifestyle. It was a great visit and a chance to renew an old friendship. We agreed that we could not wait another 30 years to get together again.