June 27, 2017
I was recently asked this question. It’s not a simple answer.
If I say I’m from Union City TN, what does that tell you? What do you know about Union City TN, my hometown? You may know a lot about Tennessee or, your part of Tennessee and, from the link I’ve provided above, you can learn some things about my hometown but, what does that tell you about me? Have I spent my entire life here? Have I ever traveled outside the USA? What can you gather from me about this place? Does it tell you my experiences? My knowledge? It only tells you my geographical location for most of my life. You can learn about Union City TN but, Union City TN doesn’t tell you about me. It doesn’t tell you what kind of person I am. It doesn’t give you my experiences. It doesn’t give you my views. It doesn’t give you my passions. I can also tell you more about my hometown than the link above!
Technically I live 0.8 miles over the state line into Kentucky now. I say I’m “bi-state-ual” or that I live in “Tenne-tucky”. Around here businesses use “Ken-Tenn” but I say Tenne-tucky because Tennessee will always be first in my heart and loyalty.
We didn’t intend to plant here but we found a beautiful place. Acreage, stocked pond, hills, and bottom land. It’s beautiful here. It’s very peaceful. Quiet but with protective neighbors. Not much goes unnoticed in what I dub the “deer-muda triangle”. We also have owls, coyotes, fox, raccoon, opossum, turkey, skunk, squirrel, and that’s just what usually stalks around on our place. We’ve so many different types of birds that it sounds like a symphony in the day time. It’s always sounds so beautiful. So many different types of frogs at night that it is symphonic as well. The frogs just sing in a different key and a different type of song. Crickets constantly warming up for their brief orchestral pieces blend beautifully with the frogs. Owls come in for the chorus and then sometimes the hecklers, the coyotes, break the air, break the music, and you wonder what’s going down; a calf, a deer, a fawn.
All these things happen in Tennessee as well and was the first place I experienced all of this and more. In our little corner, we don’t have mountains but we have hills, hollers (hollows for the non-country folk), the Mississippi River, watersheds, lakes, ponds, creeks, spring water pumped into the house for drinking, lots of mud, 4-wheelers, kids growing up playing in the woods, lots of struggles to make ends meet, Land Between the Lakes, Reelfoot Lake, hunting, and all kinds of fishing.
In both places, I’ve experienced the stars, the beautiful misty fog drifting out of the trees towards the sky, smoke on the water in the early mornings,
the adorning of the sky with clouds, jewel colored sunsets, and the beautiful rainfalls.
(The picture above is an extreme zoom. Our neighbors aren’t nearly this close.)
We’ve got most of what other country folk here in Tennessee have. I do have to say on my recent trips to Georgia and over into far middle Tennessee, I’ve been captivated by Rocky Top. The farther I travel into East Tennessee the more I become enchanted. The Smoky Mountains call to me, “Come, live on top and take in the views and the ways of East Tennessee life.” Pictures cannot do it justice.
Since my return from the west last year through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, I have a hunger that wants to put down roots there as well.
It’s a feeling of being pulled in half.
Then there’s my beloved Gulf of Mexico. Okay, that puts me in a state of tertiary longing.
I always come home though. People and emotion bind us to a particular place. We can always leave and we can always come home again.
So, more about my hometown is coming, and more about me. Let me know about you. What keeps you where you are? What’s a cool thing about where you live? Why did you move, if you did?
You’d have to tell me because geographical location can say something but doesn’t always and it doesn’t tell much about the person.
©Lynn Baker Ferrell 2017