business hours

Rural Life, in Photos

by Beth

Last year, we moved to an unincorporated town in east Tennessee, and we love it. Here are some images to describe what rural life means to us vs. life in the big city.

We can extend even warmer welcomes for guests…

…with explosives. (“Welcome to Tennessee.” BOOM)

We take spontaneous country drives…

supplies to remove skunk smell

…early in the morning to the dollar store for supplies to wash skunk off the dog.

girl washing dog
The secret ingredient is peroxide

The most expensive shoes I’ve bought this year…

LaCrosse rattlesnake boots
…are waterproof AND snake-bite proof.

timber rattlesnake
Our friend, the timber rattler

Our new car…


…looks better at a gravel lot than on a car lot.

The owner of our gym…


…texts before he locks up.

business hours

Front yards are hay…

rolls of hay on a field

…unless they’re kudzu.


Our community pool…


…is filled with trout instead of children. Because it’s honestly too cold to swim in.

When you call 9-1-1…

First Responders crowd around the water heater

…prepare to meet your neighbors. The same guy who answered 9-1-1 when our basement filled with smoke was the first fireman on the scene.

We know that because, when we called 9-1-1 again to say it was just our water heater shorting out, he said he’d swing by anyway because they weren’t busy.

In 30 minutes, 3 fire trucks, 2 pickups, and a water tanker were parked on the yard, and 8 volunteer fire fighters shot the breeze on our back porch for the next half hour.

And on election day…

voted in TN sticker

…you can vote for your neighbors. Our polling place supervisor was the pastor who lives across the street, and the only vote on the ballot besides president was for his cousin, our district house rep, who is also our pest control guy.

I skipped to the front of the line because I was the only person with a valid mailing address.

Sometimes people don’t have mailing addresses…

Wobbliest Staircase in the Cherokee National Forest
Wobbliest Staircase in the Cherokee National Forest

…because a) who cares? and b) hazy permit law and no building codes in our unannexed county. The exterior staircase at our rental house is terrifying.

Our landlord…

landlord riding tractor

…sometimes uses a tractor to fix another tractor.

You don’t want to be suspicious…

country car lot
Um, I’ll take the red one

…but some “car dealerships” out here just seem like fronts.

The roads are narrow…

neighborhood dog standing by the road
Slower traffic to the right

…and the traffic is 4-legged.

Or 3-legged.

Three tails, 11 legs

Nearly every neighbor has 1 or more rescue dogs, and they trade them back and forth, like when a dog takes to another neighbor or fits in better at a different house.

We won’t be trading Clover. She’s a little skunky (she smells like rubber tire) but she’s ours.

We didn’t buy her that bone







  1. I love these updates and I’m so proud of both of you, Christopher and Beth, for how adaptable you are and for all you do. It just amazes me!


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