Its the middle of nowhere, and yet I’d confidently say it is the most important PLACE in my family.
Roan Mountain is a part of Tennessee you probably wouldn’t have heard of unless you were from the area, and there’s nothing extraordinary that would draw the average tourist to itt, but this little corner on Shell Creek holds more history and memories for my family than any other place in the world. This is the house that my grandpa grew up in, and now he and my grandma have remodeled it and still live there today. My mom and my aunts grew up going to visit Daddy and Mommy Ellis (their grandparents) here, and even though I was lucky enough to have my grandparents in Virginia close to me for the first part of my life, we always made a few trips to Tennessee throughout the year to visit the rest of our family there. If you live there all the time maybe you feel differently, but for most of my family, this place is an escape. A quiet place when the rest of the world won’t stop moving. Fresh air and the space to breathe. A place where “remember when’s” flow constantly and a good book and porch swing are all you need to get through the day.
Middle of nowhere for some, and a little piece of heaven on earth to others. Creaky wood floors… running from bats in the old barn… driving Grandpa’s tractor… chasing fainting goats… only having a bathtub, no shower… 4th of July celebrations… long walks up the creek… swinging on the tree swing across the street… “surprise” party my cousins and i planned and insisted on having it in the cellar… setting up pretend farmers markets… spending hours looking through things piled in the old garage… fireflies and summer nights… rummy and taboo games that make me ache from laughing so hard… fishing in the creek… eating all. day. LONG… riding down the hill in the front yard in the wagon over and over and over again… Laura and I sleeping outside in the tent and talking all night long… Grandpa and his grill, and his truck, and his tractor… using the flower beds outside the front door as my personal balance beam… and without fail every time, seeing my grandma sitting on the front porch in the sun with a big smile on her face just waiting for us to pull into the driveway.
It might be the middle of nowhere to you, but this is the house that built me.