I LAUGHED–out loud–when Marnie posted the topic for this week’s Fun Monday theme. I thought, "How can I write about ‘Why I love where I live’ when I don’t love where I live…ha! It’s no secret we’d love to be back in God’s Country. After 3 1/2 years in Tennessee, we finally heard the perfect characterization of how we feel: "It’s a great place to visit…but it’s just not HOME." Now, Tennessee IS home to a whole lot of people, and I’m quite sure they feel the same about their Mother State as I do about the place I was born (Georgia), and the place I grew into adulthood (South Carolina).
But…….here’s the BEAUTIFUL thing. Marnie’s theme-du-semaine got me to thinking… reflecting… contemplating…FOCUSING on the GOOD things about our lives here. So here’s my Tennessee-livin’ in-and-lovin’ it omphaloskepsis. This was a GREAT exercise in attitude is everthing…!
TEN REASONS I LOVE WHERE I LIVE ~ in random order
10) Fantastic hiking is minutes away. We don’t do this often, but thinking about our last time sends me to wondering "Why not?". It’s a great family outing, it feeds body and soul. When it gets a bit warmer, I’m packing a picnic and off we go!
9) I could hang glide if I wanted to. Really, they make it easy. Will someone PUHLEASE slip me a mickey, strap me in, and push me off the side of the cliff? I think once I woke up, I would really, truly love it (after I was resuscitated following my heart attack).
8) Coolidge Park. Situated on the Tennessee River, Coolidge Park is a gem! It’s a "must-see" if you’re in the area, particularly if you have children. The central feature is a beautifully-restored carousel, itself a work of art; but there’s also a climbing wall, interactive fountain, plenty of areas for picnicking and running wild…..and nearby shopping and dining.
7) I like to eat. If you’re ever within an hour of Chattanooga, you MUST make plans to eat at Canyon Grill. You MUST. And you MUST order the "Slash and Burn" catfish. Trust me on this one…you will send me gifts of appreciation following your meal (which also MUST end with their coconut cake, even if you HATE coconut cake. You’ll change your mind). Southside Grill is a nice runner-up, it is there I first enjoyed an amuse-bouche. Any place that has one of those HAS to be good! If you want romance and upscale dining, you MUST visit St. John’s–sophisticated, amazing architecture, and food that dances on your tongue. If you click this link, click EVERY link within their site, and you’ll begin to get a picture of their artistry in food. In this case you CAN judge a book by it’s cover.
Oh, my, just thinking about #7 has me loving Tennessee 23% more RIGHT NOW!
6) We LOVE our kids’ school. Can’t supply the links, but it was our first "happy place" when we moved here.
5) The amazing creek, literally in our back yard. The first summer we were here, we couldn’t get enough of it. Now, with the tree swing broken, and our kids a bit older, we haven’t enjoyed it like those first months, but it’s still an adventure in the waiting.
4) My Wednesday girls’ group. We’ve been together almost two years now…they’ve challenged me, inspired me, and loved me through the ups and downs of this thing called l i f e. This is a group from my church…and I used to think when we met it had to be "religious" in nature–that we had to DO something spiritual (Bible study, book study, pray, etc.). Finally…FINALLY I realized our raison d’etre–simply this…and it’s perfect in all its imperfections.
3) My children have had several "first" experiences–Stephen discovered he loves to fish and he’s good at it, Thomas played football and loved it, and Rachel learned to pole bend, barrel race and tie goats. I don’t think I’ll be doing much of ANY of the above.
Rachel @ rodeo camp–the one that "got away"….
2) We have made some WONDERFUL new friends here….
1) "What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger." ~
Maybe that’s extreme, but there were times after we moved here I had to tell myself "right foot, left foot, breathe in, breathe out". Just having celebrated my 40th birthday, there were definite times of crisis. It’s all so far removed now, it’s hard to remember the pain. But I wouldn’t trade it, "pain" is a wonderful teacher. I understand so much more now, I "get" middle age clichés now…they aren’t so cliché when you’ve lived them. I truly believe this "low season" was a gift from God; He used it to break me and build me from the ground up, and my faith has never been more fully REAL…ALIVE…POWERFUL. And I think Nietzsche‘s words are redeemed in Romans 8:28.
Yep, there’s much to love about livin’ in the Tennessee Valley–there are mountain tops all around ;).
Click HERE for a list of Fun Monday participants!
That creek looks a fantastic place to play, my children would love it.
Looks like this post made you like it a little bit more. I think the realisation for most of us is that it is the people that we live with that are more important than where we live.
I love 10-A-C! It is a magnificently beautiful place. My Mom and Dad grew up in the north eastern part of the state and almost ALL of my relatives live there. I loved your pictures and commentary. I giggled at your “friends” photo – you’re in the middle, aren’t you?
SO TRUE; attitude is EVERYTHING. And although, it’s not “home” at least for now, it sounds like you have a very full life and are surrounded by many things wonderful. 🙂
Love the #1 reason!
The hiking looks great and so many fun activities for all the family. Love the quote (weds group).
Love it! It looks beautiful…even if it’s not “home”.
The creek looks like a blast. So, see – Tennessee isn’t so bad after all. Of course, I’m not the one living there either.
Those seem like pretty good reasons. Great pics btw.
You forgot Graceland! And the blues! And the Grand Ol’ Oprey!
I love the blues. Never been to Graceland, though. Not much on C&W, either.
Okay, I like your list better than mine. Except for the blues. I love the blues.
Oh my, where you used to live must have been paradise because your description of where you live now is impressive. I love this post, which is complete with a Nietzsche quote and scripture. You have a fabulous, entertaining, and informative style of writing.
What a terrific post for a place that you don’t really care for. I think your environment is really beautiful and so is your attitude.
Beccy, your comment made me think “Home is where the heart is”, a lovely thought :).
Susan, your recognized my backside, eh? Must’ve been the “cabinet” shot I posted the other day ;). This view was a hattip to Heather (L’Chaim)–she’s an avid backside-picture-taker.
Kevin, well now, I’m glad you dropped in 🙂 and for sharing your thoughts. Don’tcha just love the half-full glass?
Bethany, welcome to you, too, and even though this post was random (and I thought of a bunch more things to love AFTER I posted it–in a hurry :/), the #1 is the #1 reason.
Chris, the trail was BEAUTIFUL that day! My kids didn’t even complain once, which is saying a lot…it was pretty steep at times (but fun).
Jenny, everywhere you look, there’s beauty; I just don’t take enough pictures (cussing our cameras–both of them–right now :/).
Karmyn, the creek is a child’s backyard fantasy…but sadly, we forget it’s there sometimes (take it for granted). Jammin’ and Buttercup would go NUTS! There are some very shallow parts that are great for wading.
Willowtree, they were the first thoughts that popped in my head (I was in a hurry to get this thing posted :/), and I thought of others later. That’s a GOOD thing–that there were other GOOD reasons to love this place :).
Carol, I went to Graceland last year and it’s soooo “plain”. With today’s “mega-mansions”, Graceland is just a nice, old plain brick run-of-the-mill mansion. Memphis is home of the Blues, eh?
MJD, I have to smile at your initials alone, they match one of my favorite relatives…:) Welcome to the Pensieve! Thank you for your kind words, that’s what I call some serious air up my skirt!
Min, thank you once, twice, three times…I’m headed over to the Mamas when I’m done here–first things first, you know :).
GREAT POST! 10 things? Now I think I would have failed that test…it was hard for me as well to be positive.
Love the top 3 – gives real perspective, which we all could use, from time to time!
You talked me into loving the place…
do you have a guest room?
I was in Chattanooga once…I so wanted to visit Ruby Falls but they were already closed for the day! That area was beautiful.
Robin, you really mustn’t be afraid of flying!! It’s crashing that you need to be afraid of!!
Heehee! Seriously though . . if you ever overcome your fear, we will gladly welcome you and put you up! England is well worth a visit!!
I’m ready to visit Tennessee. Visit. 😉 Thanks for sharing!