Dyersburg, TN, that is. Not Dallas. Everything in Ripley revolves around Dyersburg. You want to shop? Dyersburg. You want to sit down and eat? Dyersburg. Repairs? Dyersburg. Malls? Dyersburg. You name it and the response is "Dyersburg."
Dyersburg is the county seat for Dyer County, 20 miles north of Ripley (probably south--but you know my sense of direction) and 22 miles away from Reelfoot Lake. Wouldn't you just know that I would pick earthquake country?
Since lampshades are in order (they didn't survive the trip) and my friendly WalMart is lacking the size needed, a trip to Dyersburg is in order. Down the road, Rte. 51, we go. My first trip to this end of Ripley and beyond. Whoa. Ripley is bigger than I thought. There's another industrial center at this end, home of Marvin Windows, and a technological college. UT @ Martin is around here somewhere. I 'spect Big Daddy Choppers and American Greetings are nestled back in there as well. Not ready to wander off the beaten path; we're on a mission. Passed a road with a familiar name--I'd asked to see a home located there. The realtor told me it was in the country but...if I really wanted to see it.... Yep, I had absolutely no business in that neck of the woods. Thanks, Maurine.
Big properties and lots of churches. BIG properties. Don't know whether they are farms, ranches, estates, or what but a lot of land. And, of course, the obligatory trailer parks. Some well kept; some not. Pass the entrance to Gates, a town in Lauderdale County, as well as the entrance to Halls, another town in Lauderdale. Halls adjoins Dyer Country. Has an aviation museum of some note.
Into Dyersburg. Here's the Lowe's. Plenty of strip malls but where are the MALLS? Pass Dyersburg State College. Coming up on the turnoff for Union City, another place people go to shop. Well, looks like we'd better turn around and ask somebody. Pull into a center with Sears as the anchor. Not the Sears we are accustomed to--appliances, electronics, ride-on mowers, etc. No furniture, no clothes. We're directed to Dyersburg Mall which is across the street from, you guessed it, WalMart.
Oh, man! What a disappointment! It is half-empty. Not just of people but has a high vacancy rate for stores, as well. Peebles is the anchor. Used to be one in Bowie, years ago, and is big down south. Directed to the lamp shades. Not happening. We asked for lamp shades; not decorator lamps. Oh, well. No point in going to WalMart's; their stock is not going to differ considerably from the one in Ripley.
Lots of food places to choose from, however. Applebee's and others. We chose Ryan's. Very nice all-you-can-eat type place whose food is actually very good. Their specialty is steak but since this was Friday, seafood is huge on the steam table. Every bit of it was fried. Where are the mussels? Steamed shrimp? Crab legs? Am I asking too much? Probably. You can eat all the fish, fried shrimp, fried clams, and fake crab cakes you want. The veggies were good, steak excellent, and the bread? Home-made and to die for. I love fresh bread and butter.
Back to the "Big Rip." One thing is for sure and two things for certain. Dyersburg is NOT the place to shop unless you're going to Lowe's. I understand that downtown Dyersburg has specialty shops but I can take my car to Covington, on the other side of Ripley, for service just as well. If I want to shop, something I really don't do, I'll mosey on down to Millington or Cordova, where the stores are.
The lawnmower worked just fine for SF. Of course, the water has been replaced by real gasoline. We've reached a compromise on the front porch railings. Rather than try to save the whole shebang, they'll be replaced in time with regular banisters and railings. Perhaps if I get a job (are you praying for me?), I'll be able to purchase decorative spindles rather than the ordinary ones. After all, Serendipity has an elegant though woe-begone look to maintain.
And the shelving? What a hoot! Let's just say that it is going up slowly.