They want what has been mine since birth. They seem to yearn for space and a connection to their neighbors that is deeper than a casual hello in the Starbucks line
I-65 was completed in 1973. It’s one of the major North- South interstates in the southeast. We lived just west of exit 112. No matter how far I have gone Exit 112 has been the last leg of the trip home.
My Grandparents bough this tractor somewhere off Long Hollow Pike in Goodlettesville before the interstate was officially opened. They drove up the ridge on the interstate when they brought it home. It wasn’t a very big tractor but the addition to our little farm was important.
My Granddaddy used scrap metal to make a box that fastened to the 3 point hitch on the back. His design was way ahead of his time. It’s wasn’t complicated but it was very useful. It was a UTV before there was even a word for it. We used it for cutting wood, picking up rocks and cleaning out horse stalls. Most all of my young memories of working include this little tractor one way or another.
I learned to drive it across the hay field before my legs where long enough to reach the breaks. When we where picking up hay they would put it in granny low. My job was pretty simple, don’t run over the bails. If by chance things were getting dicey someone would climb off the hay wagon and help me straighten things out.
I learned the art of a good dog cussing sitting in that seat. My family has always been a little hot headed to say the least. I was witness to more then one all out family brawl in the field while sitting in that seat.
My Beamama worked harder than most men. She took care of everything and everyone while my Granddaddy was working on some pipeline job in another state. She farmed. She mothered.
Later in her life she got her real estate license. It must have been in the late 80s or early 90s. They had Polaroid house photos on a cork boards, lists of houses that where faxed from one office to another and desk with phones and note pads.
Almost every field from Long Hollow Pike to exit 112 is a subdivision now or will be real soon. The names of subdivisions and their streets remind me of the folks that once called that ground home.
They are widening the interstate now. On the way home from Nashville the other day I missed the exit. There has been so much change and growth that it’s almost unrecognizable.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what “Home” means. There are so many folks moving to Tennessee that are looking for a home. I talk to them daily.
They want what has been mine since birth. They seem to yearn for space and a connection to their neighbors that is deeper than a casual hello in the Starbucks line.
The only way to preserve that sense of community or to create a life with meaning is to slow down and listen. You will never be able to spend enough money on things, buy a bigger piece of land or move into peace with out first finding your own heart.
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