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May 22, 2013

Tennessee – Wednesday, May 15

I stayed in Murfreesboro last night because I wanted to get a little walking in at the Stones River National Battlefield. It was close to where I stayed, so I stopped at the visitor center, and got a map and set off on the 2 1/2 mile loop trail. The ranger suggested sticking to the paved path instead of the dirt path due to recent rains, and that was fine with me. This was a smaller battlefield than some of them, but it made for a nice walk on a warm morning – except for all the mosquitoes! I’ve been lucky – this is the first time mosquitoes have been a problem. They were out for blood, and they got mine! There were a few memorial plaques at the park, and one honored the soldiers from Michigan.

Then I drove to Franklin, where my old friend Linda and I had agreed to meet at a grocery store. Linda and I met when we were 9 years old in 4th grade, and were best pals all through school until her family moved away to Florida when we were in 11th grade. But we stayed in touch over the many years, and have seen each other once in a while, although it had been a really long time since we last together. My donation today was going to Graceworks Ministries in Franklin, which runs several different programs, and the one I was going to shop for was the Fuel Bag Program. This program benefits school children who get food assistance during the week at school, but may not have enough to eat during the weekend, so every Friday the teachers discreetly put a bag of food into the backpacks of the kids who need a little help. There are 550 students who get these “fuel bags” every Friday, and they are always in need of individual serving type snacks. I had called in the morning to make sure the critically-needed list on their website was current, and it was, and that’s what I was going to shop for, and Linda met up with me at the store. The years fell away, and we quickly fell back into our old friendship, and Linda decided to match me item for item with my food donation, so the Fuel Bag program is got double what they were expecting! We shopped with their wish list and ended up with tuna and chicken salad packs with crackers, raisins, fruit snacks, pudding cups, applesauce, Jif To Go (individual peanut butter containers), peanut butter crackers, vienna sausages and granola bars.

Then we drove over to Graceworks and dropped off the food. This is the first time someone has shopped with me and matched my donation πŸ™‚ They were happy to get the food, and it was just kind of surprising that in what appears to be a relatively affluent area, there are still 550 students who need some extra food for the weekend so they can eat. One just never can predict where families are struggling. By then Linda and I were hungry, so we got some salads for a late lunch, then went to the town of Franklin to do some walking. Franklin was a fun town for walking, and we covered 4 miles all through the town and out into a couple of the adjoining neighborhoods. Then we stopped for frozen yogurt.

It was getting to be early evening, so it was time to head north to Nashville, where Jim and Linda live, and I was going to be staying with them for a couple days. On the way back, we got on the Natchez Trace, which I had first encountered in Mississippi – everything is so beautiful and green. It makes me want to drive the whole thing from end to end! There was a spectacular bridge along the trace, which was partially designed by one of Linda’s former Florida classmates. Once we got to their house, Linda showed me around, and also showed me the professional-looking home brewery that Jim has in the basement – it’s quite a set-up! Linda had made a chicken casserole ahead of time (the sort of thing I never get on the road – yum!) and we enjoyed a home brew while we waited for her sister and dad to arrive – it had literally been 40 years since I had last seen them! That hardly seems possible! It was fun to reminisce a bit.

It was kind of late when everyone was gone, and I was going to do a little computer work before turning in. When I turned my computer on, I got a pop-up message telling me (again) that it was time to renew my Norton Anti-Virus program, and I made a comment about that to Linda. Apparently “Norton Anti-Virus” is a dirty word in their household, and their son Christopher, who is a wonderful computer genius, came out to tell me that there were better anti-virus programs. He then sat down to look at my computer which has been very sluggish lately, and there were also the major problems in the Pacific territories, and dozens of pop-ups show up all the time, and it needed some major TLC. Christopher told me he could install a new hard drive (one with no moving parts, which means nothing to me, but is apparently the way to go), clean up bad files and other problems, install a Microsoft version of anti-virus, and he ultimately installed Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista which I had. He told me he could take care of those problems, and get my laptop running the way it should – all for a very reasonable price. I took him up on it! Most computer talk goes right over my head, and it was no different now, but it’s nice to be able to trust someone to do what was necessary for the laptop to get it running efficiently again.











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One Comment
  1. lindacompson permalink

    I really enjoyed having you (and Tula) stay with us! It was wonderful to see you and to hear about your expedition — and to take part in it for a few days!
    Don’t wait so long to come back to Tennessee πŸ™‚

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