Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tennesscenes....

If you no longer live where you were raised, you'll likely know what I mean when I say this about going home....



Sometimes, when you're visiting, you can't wait to get out of there, and back to your new life. Other times, you wonder why you ever took a different path...



It is when you feel the latter that you have the best time, obviously, and feel the warmest about your home. That's how I felt last week down in East Tennessee.

It isn't always that way. I'm not proud of it, but sometimes, I get above my raisin' when I roll into my hometown. I see everything through the eyes of a Washingtonian, and become someone who thinks she's a little more cosmopolitain than those who've never lived in a bigger, faster place.   I know I'm not the only person whose homecoming has left them feeling a little puffed-up, but I'm just 'fessing up to it.


I should also confess that I didn't truly love and certainly never fully appreciated where I grew up 'til I left it. Now, I often fall short of the words to describe what it is I actually even miss, which at times is everything and sometimes nothing but the people I love who are there still.


I can't even really put into words what it is that makes it so much different from or more special than living in D.C. or Maryland, where for ten years I've lived, but when asked, still say I'm from Tennessee.

It's been hard for me to bridge the gap from where I'm from, to where I choose to live now.

I was shopping last week in Knoxville and heard a sweet little lady twanging so hard, I swear, I couldn't make out what she was saying. Such a scene is not unlike when I'm shopping around Washington and someone is speaking a different language, only last week, in Tennessee,  I felt a tad like the foreigner, and that made me a little sad.

Home is where your heart is, so it's said, but most of my nearest and dearest are still in Tennessee...



I have more friends than I can count between Northern Virgnia and Pennsylvania, but my oldest (and even some of my newest) friends are all down South.



I've learned to love blue crab, and even Old Bay, but nothing tasted better to me than the Grainger County tomato sandwiches I ate last week....

sitting on my mom's back porch.


I may never live down South again, and sometimes I wonder if I did live there, would I love it as much as I do now because I don't live there?


I celebrate the South for all its cliched fame (Football! Sweet Tea! BBQ! Y'all!) but there are bad things about it that can't be ignored. As a native I will defend the region like a daughter should, though I am as guilty as many for having empty pride for just being born Southern.




Until I live there again and certainly if I never move back, I'm sure I'll keep romanticing Dixie like some ex-boyfriend who really is better as a memory. Still, I know what keeps a little bit of my heart there really is bigger than a bumper sticker. I know it takes more than simple geography to make a place special, which is what I keep reminding myself as I slip back into the life I have here...just below the Mason-Dixon...while missing, still, a life lived at a Southern pace. 

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10 comments:

Dee Stephens said...

GREAT post! Love all the pictures! I too heart the South!! Bumper stickers and all! :)

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I love this and can completely relate (Rural NC to Atlanta burbs) I usually get super sentimental when I'm back there.

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

Beautiful, reminds me of my home in Kentucky.

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

Lovely pictures...what a great trip! I live in Maryland and I love crabs and Old Bay! xx

Hines-Sight said...

This was a lovely post. I really liked it. Well done! I so can related, and miss those times.

southerninspiration said...

Ooooohhhh, such lovely pics!! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment! it's nice to "meet" you! I know what you mean about leaving smallville and moving to the city......it's a different life, isn't it?
Take care!
Suzanne

Sarah Beth - Dixie Gator Gal said...

I think you would love it just as much if you still lived there, I know I feel that way about Florida! I've been living off tomato sandwiches this summer, going to miss it when there aren't plenty of heirlooms at the farmers market.

TM said...

I love this :)

Cherish @ Southern Soul Mates said...

I can somewhat relate to this post. I moved from rural North Georgia to rural South Georgia, which are totally different, yet so much alike in some senses. Though I absolutely love where I grew up and I love going home, I'm not quite ready to move back home and I'm not sure if I ever will. It's like I'm free down here in a strange way. Free from everything and everyone for once in my life. It's kind of nice.

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

Thank you for coming by! Yes, east Tn. is quite an adjustment in living! After years of living in Atlanta and south Florida (and being a born Yankee!) coming here was culture shock! But we have come to love it. Most people say to me, "You ain't from around here, are ya?" My non-existent southern twang is a tell-tale clue that I was not raised here in the mountains!
Hope your day is lovely!
xo, misha

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