Tennessee, you’ve been good to me
Yes, I’ve come to believe you’re where I wanna be
You may not be what everybody needs
but Tennessee, you’re good enough for me
The lyrics to Mindy Smith’s “Tennessee” have been echoing around in my heart. I was getting my haircut last week and the gal asked me if I’m from here. How do you answer that question? I mean, no, I was born in Indianapolis and we quickly moved to Michigan for a couple years. I spent my preschool/elementary years in Ohio. So, I guess I’m technically from the North. Which shows in the fact that my family still roots for the Cincinnati Reds and The Ohio State University. I also refuse to call all soft drink products Coke. A Sprite or a Pepsi is not a Coke.
But, the summer before seventh grade we moved to Tennessee. I’d spent time here before. A hallmark of my summers growing up was driving South with my grandparents to spend the time at their house in Arkansas. After a week in Hot Springs, they’d bring us kids to Franklin, TN where my aunt and uncle lived for Fourth of July. My parents would drive down for the holiday, we’d grill out, watch fireworks, and then we’d head back to Ohio. The oppressive heat and humidity defined my summer trips. The beauty of the magnolia trees worked it’s way into my heart.
So, although I was not happy about moving, of all the places I could have moved this is was the lesser of the evils. And I quickly grew to love it here. There’s nothing quite like it. I can be in the thick of Nashville in under twenty minutes. City lights, The Ryman, Hillsboro Village- these are a few of my favorite things. But while I live in the suburbs, in less than ten minutes I can be driving down a country road hollering, “Hello!” to a pasture full of baby cows. And if I want that small town feel, I can head over to downtown Franklin, which may be one of the quaintest places I know. It’s much busier now then it was when I was in high school. How many nights did we walk downtown once the streetlights came on and have only a few others cross our path? It may not be Stars Hollow but it’s close.
There’s such a quiet beauty to this corner of the South. The summer will beat you down but the fireflies and starry skies at night are worth every ounce of sweat. Fall is quickly coming. I can’t wait to watch the leaves change color across our hills. I’ll travel down 840 and Natchez Trace just to drink in all it’s glory. If I have one complaint, it’s we haven’t had a really good snowfall in a few years. I’m not talking about icy roads and a light dusting- I want a really good snowfall. The kind that blankets your whole world for a little while with its magic. But a cold morning fog with frost covering the farmlands is magical in its own way too.
Spring can take your breath away when the trees have flowered and the sky is a brilliant blue. Everything feels fresh and hope is in full bloom.
I think it’s the skies though that I can never get over. Whether it’s a sunrise or sunset, there’s nothing quite like them anywhere I’ve roamed.
I love traveling. I don’t venture out it into the great unknown as often as I’d like. I’m always love discovering other places. But when I see that skyline with the Bat Building peeking out, as I’m flying in or driving back, I feel that word resonate in my heart: Home.
Going back to Nashville, laughing at a bad break
What’s the use in wondering why?
Baby, I’m a storm front blowing through the valley
Tearing up a good July
And it’s safe and warm where nothing ever happens
Would it be so hard to realign a star or two?
Change a southern night for you
Well it’s not quite evening and it’s not New York
There’s a scar in the blue sky by the old airport
And I’m talking crazy on the driver’s side
I will always love you like a long goodbye
Life is funny. It takes you places far and wide. I know I may get pulled to another town, another city, possibly far far away but somehow I know this will always be the place I call home.