Sharp day

It’s Day 368 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are healthy, relaxed and happy.

To tell the truth, I have no idea what the mask “rules” are here in Tennessee. Ditto the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where we spent a night. Since leaving Ohio behind, however, I’ve noticed that the masking deal is a whole lot more voluntary.

None of the campgrounds where we’ve stayed have required masks, even indoors. They leave the decision to the individual.

As it should be.

We did some shopping today, sticking to a cluster of stores and outlets in the town we’re visiting. In the massive Smoky Mountain Knife Works store, all the staff and maybe 25% of the customers were wearing masks. At Bud’s Gun Shop, all the employees and virtually all of the customers went maskless. Both SMKW and Bud’s are independent businesses.

The Lodge Cast Iron and Coleman corporate factory outlets were a different story. There was conspicuous signage on the doors and throughout the stores. Everyone (else) was wearing a mask.

It seems to me that this isn’t so much political as it is cultural — and personal. Liberty either asserts itself or it doesn’t. We’re grateful to be spending time in places where it’s honored.

Like I said, we dropped in on Smoky Mountain Knife Works this afternoon. I first did business with the company back in the 1980s when I had to fill out a form, mail it in and wait patiently for my order to arrive. Seeing the place in person has been on my bucket list for decades, and today it didn’t disappoint.

For knife knuts like Deb and me, it’s a veritable wonderland. We lost ourselves in the three-story store for over two hours. At one point I wandered down to the lower level and had a staffer re-set the edge on my EDC folder. (Two bucks cash, tax included.) And yes, we bought knives — every one of them, including a few that’ll be given as gifts, was made in America.

Even though today’s shopping trip checks a box for me, I have to say that it’s gonna be hard not to go back for another visit before we leave here.

Our reward for riding out last night’s storms was another clear and warm day, perfect for getting out and exploring our surroundings. We did some laundry and a little more puttering in the coach, too. Chicken sandwiches for dinner.

Around sunset we leashed the dogs and took a walk around this small RV park. We had a nice chat with a couple from Pennsylvania and shared experiences. While we were talking, we looked across the river and spotted a herd of whitetail deer, ten of ’em, grazing on the hillside.

At this moment, in this new chapter of our American Life, we are at peace.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath