Mike in Greeneville

Greeneville is different. How different? In lots of ways on paper.

(I love Wolfram Alpha).

There are more mountains and fewer cotton fields. More driving vertically and less horizontally. And at night, when the storms pass overhead and the thunder rolls off the mountains and hits a mid-century townhouse built on the side of a big hill. It feels like the hammer of Thor.

It’s quiet, too, except for Wednesday mornings at 5:45 when they come to empty the dumpster. Again, Mjǫllnir, right outside the window. I don’t know who does the job and am grateful that they do it. But they bat that thing around the parking lot like a cat toy and it keeps getting further away.

There are lots of kids and Max and Rozzy have made some fast friends. That’s great.

I’ve snarked a bit about the move and I really shouldn’t have. The other day Rozzy read to me from a book about her family she had written for class. In it, she described each of us. When she got to me, she said “My dad works at home. He hates living in a small town.”

So we talked about that and I apologized for giving her that impression. This isn’t London vs. Essex, its Middle vs. East Tennessee.

It doesn’t feel like home yet, but it will soon enough.

Here is the thing: I lived in Murfreesboro for more than two decades and when I drive to the end of my block, I will still ask Dollie which is the best way to go to get somewhere.

Now I’m in a new town and I don’t know where anything is. I can get to Wal-Mart, the kid’s schools and The Doak House Museum. I’m going to be asking for directions for the rest of my life.

In Murfreesboro, I was up first and out on the road for a 35-mile commute each morning. Here, I’m still up first and after I take Max to school, I’m home all day. I’ve made the same half-tank of gas I had when I arrived in Greeneville last two weeks.

I set my own hours and work in comfort. It takes some getting used to.

We’re still moving our stuff from the old place to the new. So, I ventured to the laundromat for the first time since graduating college. The prices have gone up, but at least there was free wifi. The TV in the place was tuned to Cartoon Network, which was great right up until “Chowder” came on. If you have kids, you are familiar with most of the children’s’ programming out there, I’m sure. My kids love “Chowder.” I want to gouge out my eyes and ears when it’s on.

“Chowder” turned out to be too much for the boho couple rinsing out their Ed Hardy shirts. So the dude switched it to some channel that was showing “The Verminators” a reality show about exterminators in California.

As I was folding my sheets, I got to hear about a bedbug infestation that had driven the homeowners out of the house.

Creepy. Top priority for the next trip to Murfreesboro: bring back the washer/dryer.