Sometime between July 26th and July 28th, I will celebrate my 9th anniversary here in Kentucky.

Nine years.  NINE, y'all!

N. I. N. E. 

Waaaaaay back all those years ago, I wrote this blog.  It was my first day in Kentucky.

Nine years later, I have some observations of those observations I made oh those many years ago.

1.) Low shoulders?  Not a problem!  Seriously, all those roads I used to be scared to drive on?  No biggie.  I zip and zoom through most of them.  I'm careful.  Don't get me wrong.  Still, I'm no longer afraid or phased, even, when it comes "low shoulder" roads. I am a frequent driver of back roads.  In fact, I rather enjoy it.  Bring on the low shoulders and steep drop offs and crazy twists and turns!  I've got this!

2.) I still don't like driving through Indiana.  I just don't.  Next.

3.) We get these crazy, crazy storms here in Kentucky.  I mean, I can't explain it, but they are crazy.  For instance, today!  Nasty, ugly thunderstorm with crazy winds are forecasted not once, not twice, but three different times.  I am still not completely used to the tornado warnings and violence of the thunderstorms, but they are easier to handle than they were 9 years ago.  Furthermore, flash flooding is a thing.  A BIG, DANGEROUS thing.  I have never in my life seen water rise just as quickly as it does here.  Until you see it for yourself, you can not possible imagine how fast flooding happens.

4.) I discussed the enormity of the beetles here.  Ummm...I don't remember why I did this.  Perhaps, I have gotten used to coexisting with the insect life here.  I suppose, once a person finds a snake in her basement, insects are no big thing!

5.) I noted a Mexican restaurant in Versailles, KY.  That restaurant is no longer there.  However, Melissa's Cottage Cafe? It's still there, and it's still amazing!  No need to worry about missing a Mexican restaurant, though.  There are at least six of them here in Frankfort.  Ole!

6.) Kentuckians are STILL the friendliest of people!  Even in the east side of the state, where they can sometimes appear cautious of outsiders, they are the sweetest people.

7.) Yeah ... heed the speed limits on the back road curves.  They'll get ya if you aren't careful.

8.) Yes. I say y'all.  It's a thing down here, and when in Rome ...
Other things I've found myself saying recently:
"I don't guess that is what I will be doing..."
"It's fixin' to come in fast."
"Oh love her heart!"
"Such a hot mess..."
"Oh Lawd!"

I'm missing some, I know it.  But you get the point, no?

9.) The Kentucky River is still brown, and it gets browner with rainier seasons.  And there's stuff that floats in those waters ... stuff besides logs.  Like a washing machine ... not even kidding about that one.  Not one bit kidding.  I've seen a deck float down the river (that one shut down some of the bridges due to the danger of running into and doing damage to those bridges), basketballs (it's Kentucky, after all), garbage cans ... I mean the list is long and varied.  I'm often left wondering where these items were in the first place that they found their way into the river.  Mine is not to wonder, I don't guess (see what I did there?).

Over these nine years, I've learned a lot of stuff ... I've gone a lot of places ... I've enjoyed many firsts ... I've taught roughly 190 students (holy crap, I'm old!!!) ... I've met some of my closest friends ... I've purchased my own home ... I've seen mountains ... I've traveled in hollers ... I've stepped back in time ... I've traveled to old mining camps ... I've dreamed about what old, historic walls might tell me if they could talk ... I've written a lot ... I've worn blue and white (against my better judgement) ... I've had highs ... I've had lows ... I've fallen in love with this state and these people.

Nine years ... it hardly seems possible. I can not wait to see what the next nine years have in store ...


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