I was chatting with a California friend on Facebook the other day when suddenly in the middle of the conversation she asked me, “Where are you?” To which I replied, “In my house”. She asked again, “No, where are you, geographically?” I told her Tennessee, more specifically Clarksville, on the Kentucky border. She then asked how I got here, what I was doing and when was I coming back.
Good Question and one I have pondered for many years. The best answer I can give is one shared by many of the other inhabitants here; the military. For one reason or another we come to the Mecca that is Fort Campbell and then never leave. Sure we venture out occasionally but somehow like a space travelers trying to time travel, we round the sun and slingshot back here and land in the same spot with the eerie impression that nothing has changed since we left if we really left at all. We transplants talk a big game about leaving, but know it is just that a game. Especially if you have been out of the military longer than six months and are still here. And if you reproduced here or had family relocate the odds against your getting out just went up exponentially.
I came here to visit my mom in the Fall of 1989, I had big plans back in L.A. and was not going to let anything stop me from following through with those plans. When we rode out of Nashville proper and I saw cows I panicked. When we rolled into Clarksville and I saw the cows and the corn fields... and honey we had quite few more then, than we do now, I felt a sinking feeling we weren’t in a major metropolitan area anymore. When I saw what constituted a mall, Two Rivers (the locals get it) I vowed to get back to the Glendale Galleria at any cost.
I said I would never become one of the ladies who lunch. You know the ones; always on the go from one place to another with kids, flowers, food or animals. Always planning for the next thing which is always around the corner, belonging to some organization that needs volunteers and donations, ending each holiday by starting plans for the next one. Having cookie dough premade in freezer and a gift closet just in case. The ladies that can’t wait to meet her friends for lunch because that is where they can say what they really think about anything and everyone. The ladies who are always starting a diet but live for butter and refuse to exercise but hate their ever expanding bottoms. The ladies in sororities and some kind of "League" and who say honey, sweetie and sugar allot.
Most importantly I was not going to be here long, if I was here for six months it would be a miracle.
That was 21 years ago and we are still here. Sure, there have been a few excursions to other places as a token gestures to our freedom, but we always come back here. I have married divorced and remarried here. I have given birth here and helped raise an assortment of nieces, nephews and Godchildren here. My father died here, my mother lives here as does one sister and all of my transplanted in-laws. Yes all of them.. (haha Michell I love you!)
We own a home, in a subdivision in a cornfield. I love cows, hate the mall and read Southern Living like it is the gospel. I am beyond pleasantly plump and belong to too many organizations to count. Most of my free time is spent driving with kids, food flowers or animals to the next thing. I have cookie dough in the freezer and a Suzy’s Zoo emergency gift box in the gift closet. Most importantly I love my friends and it is true no matter what the letter we are all Greek, and we do so love our lunches. I am always supposed to be on a diet, exercise when I remember and am always looking for the money and the courage to get it all sucked out tucked in. I live to cook and cook so that others waistlines may live large. I yearn to return to the coast but am not sure what I would do there. Oh yeah and the longer we live here, the crazier we get and the more we begin to feel as if have always been here. But now back to that original questions.
Where am I, hopelessly landlocked with friends and family I would not trade for the world.
What am I doing, going crazy from the lack of an ocean view and salt water, but holding it together till I get my new Paula Deen cookbook. Then you are going to get a care package that will make you see heaven and a few more pounds on the scale.
When am I coming back, probably never, I don’t think I make the weight requirement for that state, but please feel free to come see me. The food is great, the people are polite and for you folks living in a concrete paradise that remains a steady 75 degrees, we have nature and seasons. Maybe if you are here on the right day you can meet some of my ladies for lunch.
What is this blog about.. it is about me then and me now. About me becoming more here, than there and how as time passes I try to blend the two. More often than not it will be about how we live here landlocked and crazy and love it....