Always A Warm Reception In A Cold Climate
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
While I live in California now, I was raised Knoxville, a mid-sized city in East Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Valley Authority (where my dad worked) and the University of Tennessee (where I did not attend).
It’s always nice to be back with the family – mom, dad, their dog, my sister, her husband and sons, as well as their wild dog and lurking cat, along with a few their cows tho I have zero interest in encountering the bull – as well as get back to the town where I lived from a small child through high school.
Now I know what you are thinking: The first thing I do after dropping the bags is charge out of the house and meet up with all my high school friends and only return home to eat and get my laundry. Yes, when I was in college but not today.
For one, this is about the only time of the year I get to see my family. It’s too far to hop in the car and go for a weekend or even fly in for an event such as a family reunion. And other than Facebook, I’ve lost track of most of my high school friends. We may get together once during my nine-day stay but mostly I’ll be hanging at home.
Plus, my parents no longer live in the house where I was through high school. They are now outside of town in an area known as Tellico Village. It’s right on a lake and very nice, but it’s not exactly here in Hermosa Beach. So other than go to the fantastic Sweetwater Farms cheese shop, there’s not a lot of big activities here.
I will do something I don’t do enough of in California, and that is go to church. Going to church is very big in the South. You can tell just by driving around – nearly every block has either a church. Or a school. In Hermosa Beach, we have liquor stores on street corners.
There’s another adjustment I have to make when I’m home. The weather.
It’s cold in Knoxville. My dad likes to watch the weather on TV and – inside where it’s nice and warm – comment on how cold it’s going to drop to that night. Sometimes it’s 15 degrees, or lower. Days are either sunny or cold (highs can be in the 20s or 30s) or wet and cold.
In California, our “winter chill” requires us to put on a sweatshirt and maybe long pants.
I have, tho, brought the California warmth to East Tennessee on occasion; either last year or the previous year it was in the 70s for a couple of days.
It’s always warm inside and with the family and spending Christmas at home is something I treasure each and every year.