Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Keeping the Distance in Knoxville

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.

Charles Lindbergh

Challenging us this week with the theme of distance, Tina planted the idea of looking more closely at social distancing in Knoxville just as we were contemplating a drive around town to see what we could see.

We took that drive, and here’s a glimpse of what we found.

On Ebenezer Road in West Knoxville, someone or some group installed balloon columns sporting words that inspire happiness in these troubled times — Happy, Faith, Believe, Gratitude, Joy, etc. — making distancing a bit more tolerable knowing we’re all in this together.

Businesses, too, have made signs a priority. Most signs inform that a business is closed, but others, like Ham ‘n Goodys lessen the distance a bit. At this hometown institution, you can still order and take out Ham ‘n Goodys’ famous lemon cookies or maybe even a homemade cake (if you’re still celebrating something). And, get this: they ship!

Bearden Elemetary School, with frontage on a major thoroughfare — Kingston Pike — offered not one but two signs of the times: A date (that could change, of course) and a motto for today — Not Showing Up Is Half the Battle . . .

and the other side with a message about grandparents whose distance from grandkids is oh, so painful to bear!

In Sequoyah Hills, runners seemed to be cognizant of the six-feet apart rule . . .

but not so much at Lakeshore Park where groups, couples, and families walked the paths — sometimes alone, sometimes together.

If you’re driving through Knoxville, don’t miss the campus of the University of Tennessee, although you might not even recognize it if you’ve been here before. The whole campus is quiet, bare, empty. No worries about keeping collegiates an appropriate distance apart — there aren’t any collegiates around. UT called off classes about three weeks ago for the remainder of the semester with completion of work to be done online. So streets on campus that are normally filled with students, professors, and traffic jams are now eerily empty.

A shot taken from our car since we’re trying to keep our distance!

But it wasn’t so quiet at the UT Gardens. Couples strolled, families took pictures, and singles (like the girl in the picture at the top of this post) found something to do in the great outdoors.

A couple walks the labyrinth at UT Gardens
Tulips avoid social distancing at UT Gardens

Mother Nature, as we noted, had little to do with distancing, social or otherwise. Spring blooms were literally bursting out all over, mostly in bunches just as they were planted. Here and there, of course, a single tulip or member of the onion family might be a stand-alone, but for the most part, nature is almost as gregarious as we are.

Downtown, Cruze Farm Ice Cream was open for business — we just couldn’t go inside. Customers now stand at the door, place an order, scan their own credit card into a Square machine (no cash allowed), and wait as one of the famous Cruze Farm girls hands you a swirled ice cream in her matchy matchy mask. Who knew battling coronavirus could be so fashionable?

Finally, it was the Bijou Theatre‘s two-sided marquee that left us with a takeaway image. On the front side, the hope that we’ll all make it to the “other side” and . . .

on the back, the hope and assurance we all need.

So, please, love our city of Knoxville, but keep your distance.

We’re working hard to make life better here, even if social distancing is making us all a little bit crazy.

Rusha and Bert

Check out more posts on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90: Distance at Tina’s Travels and Trifles.

24 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Keeping the Distance in Knoxville

  1. Pingback: Discover Prompt 18: New – Oh, the Places We See . . .

  2. Markus + Micah

    What a beautiful tree! And those flowers are lovely. The community quarantine is strict here and we cannot go out for the third week now. But seeing posts like yours take us outside and we really appreciate it.

  3. Green Global Trek

    Love your flower photos. Glorious. Some very funny signs there…. ! I like the photo of the gal in the white and red checkered mask to match her uniform. I have been to Knoxville actually, when I lived in Cincinnati many decades ago. Nice city.


  4. JohnRH

    Excellent series and commentary. Well done. We’ve done curbside pickup twice recently at our local Italian restaurant. every little bit helps, I hope.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      This is the prettiest time to come. We even have a festival — The Dogwood Arts Festival — every spring, but I don’t know how much will be happening this year. One thing is for sure: the dogwoods aren’t waiting to find a cure for coronavirus. They’re already blooming beautifully!

  5. Tina Schell

    Such a FUN post Rusha! It really made my heart happy in the midst of this mess. Loved the signs and of course the matchymatchy mask😊. Thanks for sharing your home base; terrific job

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks for the sweet comments. I, too, loved those masks. The girls who work there are so pretty and they’re made to wear those red and white checked dresses — and all the customers love them. But when I saw the mask, I knew I had to take that picture! Thanks for inspiration this week.

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