I wish I could explain how different life in a small Southern town really is. I’ll admit it— while in Tennessee I worried and stressed too much. I thought my purpose there was to start my life and find a job in Nashville. Really, looking back on those four months, I realize they were simply a gift. It was a time to reflect, relax and enjoy the little things in life; a time to slow down; a change of pace; new scenery and new experiences. I was a city girl stuck in a small town, so it’s strange to think I miss it. I miss walking the dogs down little streets with pretty houses and taking the shortcuts through backyard alleyways. I miss the tiny mop dog with the funny bark who would run to the street in attempt to scare us away. I miss escaping on roads that brought you back to a different time. Below the trees and in the shadowed streets existed a different world. Looking up at the sky, I could actually see the stars. Silly adventures like hunting for a gravesite due to mother’s obsession with Ancestry dot com. An evening could be spent on a fallen tree trunk in the middle of the park, waiting for deer to pass.

I was consistently surprised at how people just let things go-- houses abandoned, barns caved in, cars covered in grass. The corner store had catfish for lunch on Fridays. The hunting section in Wal-Mart was so large that it included a whole section of pink women’s camouflaged clothing. We attended every holiday parade where I stood in the middle of the square, feeling nearly like a Gilmore girl. In the old pharmacy sits a little table in the back of the store where four old men sit and drink their 10 cent coffee. A third of the store is an ice cream parlor, serving the only real banana split I’ve ever consumed. On days where there was nothing to do, I stood in the cold outside Walgreens, waiting in line to purchase a Redbox DVD. Why they put the machine outside, and not inside, is beyond me.

Days prior to December were spent waiting for Dominic to get out of kindergarten school. Tiffany and I made few random trips to Franklin or Nashville. We walked down Music Row, stopping in cowboy boot shops. We enjoyed Caramel Apple Spices from Starbucks and extravagant cupcakes from the small stand inside the mall. Twice we listened to a free concert at the park. An indie Spanish-speaking band was our fave. In October we carved pumpkins. Dominic dressed as the Dark Knight— complete with rad Converse-- on Halloween. We walked on trails in the park, discovering hidden stairs. We swung on the swing set at the playground. Pictures were snapped as Dominic ran across the creek at Mt. Zion. We walked across the swinging bridge and skipped rocks along the water. In winter I danced in the snow. I'm still in awe at the perfect design of snowflakes. Look close, you can see it. No one the same, but each wonderfully crafted. I admired the trees as they changed from green to orange, yellow, red to nothing but bare limbs.

It all ended as quickly as it began.