North Knox Mini Vaca


Knoxville is gray and cool today, but not cold and snowy like what we flew away from. Sam lives in North Knoxville now, a neighborhood that straddles a hill between First and Second Creeks.  The streets are lined with historic houses in Folk Victorian, Queen Anne, Eastlake and Craftsman Bungalow styles, front porches set up to be three season rooms, with homes at every level of repair and restoration and dilapidation represented.  It’s an interesting area for walking, and a far departure from our usual few miles down Canterbury Road and into the woods at home.

Though this certainly isn’t a tropical beach relaxation retreat, this is a vacation, even if mini. We’re away from our ordinary routines, which opens up the days to exploration and enjoyment of the neighborhood, the fantastically-serious-about-it-all-and-getting-it-just-right K Brew coffee shop two blocks away, our books, my poetry, David’s sketching and painting, studying maps to find hikes and then hiking, yoga with a teacher who can transition from downward dog to easy seated pose by jumping and swinging her legs under her body and through her arms as she crosses her ankles in front before lowering to her sitz bones, and downtown lights glittering last night across the river from Sam’s friend’s condo on a bluff.

Now muted sunlight is making shadows on the hardwood floors of the apartment.  Time for another walk.


About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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