If we’d thought of it, it might have been fun to count CEMETERIES as we passed them, since many seem to be located in the outskirts where we ride. In the southernmost states, we could spot them from miles away by the profusion of color, which turned out to be bouquets of plastic flowers on what appeared to be every grave. (Judging by the plastic decorations we noticed elsewhere, both inside and outdoors in these same states, we figure that Michaels and Joannes must be doing landslide business) Later in our journey the difference was remarkable…not merely fewer flowers, but perfectly bare tombstones.

BIRD HOUSES: In certain areas of the south, nearly every farm had tall poles with radiating spokes at the top. On each spoke hung several white gourds with holes in them. We were informed that they were for the swallows, which eat the mosquitoes. Farther north we noticed the tall poles again (absent the spokes) with large white houses, pitched roofs, and several holes, like avian apartments. (too bad we didn’t take pictures)

Other unusual sightings (for us) in rural Mississippi, were what looked like open cages next to the road at each and every driveway. The corner posts of the approximately four foot cubes were anchored into the ground, and the sides were made from chicken wire, wrought iron fencing, pickets, and/or siding to match the houses. Once again, as we got farther north, the GARBAGE and RECYCLE BINS began to look just like ours.

We fully expected that much of the food south of the Mason Dixon Line would be deep fried, and that was a given, so no surprises there. However, in Parsons, Tennessee we sampled CHOCOLATE GRAVY, which is like runny chocolate pudding, but not quite as sweet. Additionally, we were introduced to GOETTA at Dave and Gina’s in Cincinnati, which is made from pork and pin oats and served like breakfast sausage.

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