My Summer Vacation

A few weeks ago, I took some time off to visit my family in Tennessee. Around 30 years ago, my Gran and Pop heard from a friend about a rural town in Tennessee that was a great place to live, so they picked up their lives in New Jersey and moved down there. My mom’s two sisters and brother later transplanted as well. They’ve all raised their families there and love the lives they have there. I visit when I can, which unfortunately hasn’t been too frequent lately, but I love the time I spend there enjoying “country life.”

I have so many fun childhood memories about Gran and Pop’s house like searching through Gran’s old costume jewelry with my cousins for dress-up and “performing” on the front lawn while the adults all watched from the porch. And there’s something about how the second floor of the house smells that brings all those memories flooding back every time I visit.

My Pop owns a gun shop that is conveniently located directly next to the house. Inside are all kinds of shooting things and dead things that I don’t much like, so I don’t go in there very often. That old soda machine near the door still works; I remember my brother and I begging our mom for quarters so we could buy sodas (that we weren’t allowed to have very often).

This fish pond is my Gran’s pride and joy; my Uncle Rich built it for her over the past several years. There are tons of giant fish that come blurping to the surface every time someone walks close to the edge. My mom and I spent one night giving the fish really creative names like “Two Spot” and “Goldie.” One was sort of transparent and pink, so I named him “Chicken,” because he looked like raw chicken. Then I realized there were two raw chicken-looking fish so I named the other one “Chicken 2.” What can I say, you gotta make your own entertainment on the farm.

You can also take a little walk down the road and visit the next door neighbors. Can you see them hanging out in the shade under that tree?

Cows. They live on a farm next door. They’re actually kinda creepy because when you walk by, they all watch you with their beady eyes, like a horror movie painting. A horror movie painting of fifty cows. Creepy!

There are lots of animals in the country: Gran’s fish – that pink one might be Chicken. Or Chicken 2; Gran’s orange kitten, Cricket; a stray cat that recently starting showing up that Gran named Sophie; a bobcat. Just kidding, that’s a taxidermied bobcat that lives in Pop’s gun shop with all the body-less deer.

But there were people there too: Uncle Rich and Pop (with their matching bald spots); my “new” Aunt Mary and Gran (Mary and Uncle Rich just got married a few months ago!); my Aunt Joey and my mom; and Pop, posing as “The Thinker.”

It was great to relax for a few days and visit the family down south!

Do you have family who live far away? How do you make the most of your time together?


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7 Responses to My Summer Vacation

  1. What a great post, Kira!! I am so glad you enjoyed your visit to Hickory Valley. Next time, bring Marcus… 🙂

  2. joanne says:

    aw! great pics, kir…except for that one of yer fat aunt and yer mom! love the four pics of the animals!! hahaha too funny! i don’t much like the gun shop either. but that’s okay, it’s not my domain! glad you could come “down south” for a visit! love ya

  3. Lori says:

    Great memories of that trip! Love all the photos!

  4. Franjessica says:

    Kira, I love your pictures, especially the ones of the creepy cows and the cute cats! What a nice way to spend your summer vacation. Tennessee looks so picturesque. I don’t get to see my family in Montreal very often but when we get together, we like to go to the farmers market, and then eat whatever we buy, sometimes on a picnic.

  5. Shellby says:

    I actually think “Two Spot” and “Goldie” are great names, haha. Sounds like a lovely summer trip!

  6. Layla says:

    Um, I’m moving in with your Gran and Pop. I’m already from TN, so I’ll fit right in. They want another grandchild, right?

  7. kjpugs says:

    I’m with Layla… count me in! Sounds like a great place to live, and a really fun place to visit too!


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