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Why I Live Here: The Smoky Mountains

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Do adults get to live where they want, or do their life circumstances dictate their geographic circle? It is almost as if we have no input on where we live because what’s going on in our lives will determine that for us.


Fortunately for me, I grew up in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee taking everything for granted and never knowing about how things worked in an urban world. As a teenager, I never longed to leave and find a more interesting future. My friends and I talked about working in our parents’ shadows, and my dance dates were often my third cousins. Yes, it was a very close-knit community. Having a lot of relatives within a twenty-mile radius is not unusual in the Smokies. I am very blessed to have two different photographs, each portraying a very proud set of five generations. I also have an official piece of paper declaring me a member of Tennessee’s First Families.


On the other hand, my husband moved to the Smoky Mountains from Gulf Shores, Alabama, because he needed a complete circle for business rather than the half-circle being on a shoreline afforded him. I’m so glad that he figured that out and we met and we got married and he wants to live in my home area. He loves the distinct four seasons here, and when he stated this, I realized that I did, too. There is nothing like that one week in April when everything is a defiant lime green. He loves the hustle and bustle of tourism (he writes vacation rental software), and I realized that I did, too.


When my children complain about the heavy traffic, I remind them it’s our bread and butter. My husband loves the interesting characters who live in the Smokies, and I realized that my kinfolk partly make up the cast of characters. I appreciate him showing me how not to take it all for granted.

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