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23rd of February

Monticello Beauty: a hometown meditation


Things which captivate me still, regarding my hometown, Monticello, Kentucky:

 

Blackberries growing along the edge of Sally Burnett Road

Cheeseburgers simmering on Main Street’s Pool Hall grill

Turtles stepping on one another to get pellets at Conley Bottom Resort

Shane Blevins shooting a 3-pointer, the subsequent swish

Cornbread recipes shared at Mill Springs Mill

The word ‘Pull!’ being shouted in a field, followed by shotgun blasts

Horses swimming in an open pond in summer

Church bells ringing at Elk Ridge Baptist Church

Harold Turpin preaching 1 Corinthians 13

Baptism with six friends in a creek one, crisp October

Dennis Wheeler leading a choir on Sundays

Cardinal couples darting from branch to branch at the park

A skier dropping a ski between New Fall and White Oak Creeks

Lake Cumberland reaching into the trees after a rain

Losing a teammate to that same pool one year

Kelda Stringer sharing the Wayne County Outlook with all

The doughboy looking on

Dad driving like Steve McQueen between Delta and Hwy 92

The roar of a Chevy Nova getting me to Bell Elementary

Grandma’s suppers on Tuesday nights

Family reunions at the Memorial Park shelter house

Bus rides to and from Cave Street with Ingrid Coffey

Basketball double headers on Fridays

Kickball tournaments in the Miniard auditorium

 Veteran’s Day parades and our pride in hometown heroes

Open lunch at South Creek Mini Mart

Paul Stringer reading Harper Lee aloud

Jimmy Cooper obsessing over his desk

Mountain View Camp and Chrysalis – God’s very movement

Menville Dishman on our family doorstep, inviting us back to church one more time

 

 

(*image by Mitchell McGuire, Art Deco rendering/design)

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14th of November

Home is more than an address


cfiles39070

I think about home a lot.

Especially since moving away.

 

Home –

“the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.”

 

I like this definition better than some of the others online; it includes that one word, the adverb ‘permanently’.

The image seems truer somehow, even if it’s not the reality you (or I) experienced.

If you’re like me, the word home seems more distant now than it ever has.

 

If you’re from southern Kentucky (specifically Wayne County), you know exactly what Monticello-born author, Harriette Simpson Arnow meant when she said this about her mom’s view of home:

… she (Mama) knew most of the families … in Wayne County. If Mama didn’t know at least who their grandparents were, she considered them strangers. Because she’d grown up that way with the Denneys. There was Denney’s Gap and a Denney post office and two Denney graveyards, and Denney’s Store. And she’d grown up surrounded by her Denny kin. I don’t think she ever felt at home after leaving Wayne County and her close relatives.

 

The sentiments ring true for me. They make the world so much smaller. In my head I think, I’m from where she’s from, my grandparents still live in Denney’s Gap, I know where those graveyards are and that store. I feel what she felt.

denneysgapsign_72

Have you connected with a place like that before?

A place that makes the world suddenly smaller, more intimate?

Do you travel home as much as you’d like?

Is it home like you remembered? Or, do you find yourself longing for another home?

Something C.S. Lewis once surmised, saying, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

It clicks in my head and my heart, as I write this blog in Tennessee. The world isn’t too large to make the trip back, but the miles seem endless staring at this electronic screen. The years busier, and the friends older. While I might not be able to stop time and make my hometown exactly as I remember it, I smile when I think of that one word, and the notion of eternity for all of us.

Not here in Chattanooga. Not there in Monticello. But, another world – permanently.

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Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis