Something in the air…

I don’t know what it is about the seasons changing that ignites my wanderlust, but every spring and fall I start itching to make a change.

Maybe it’s all those years I toured with Russ and the band, and we always went on our longest runs in the fall and spring. Or maybe it’s some latent instinct that every season change means that another year has come and gone, and I don’t have an infinite number of them left. Or, it could just be allergies. I dunno. At any rate, this year is no exception, but instead of planning a bunch of weekend trips out into the countryside of Tennessee to search out those obscure small town festivals I love so much (Leiper’s Fork Chili Cook-off, anyone?), I have kind of set my sights on something bigger– I am really thinking about moving.  (And by “I”, I actually mean “we”– Russ and the girls are in on this, too!) Nothing huge, like relocating to the Faroe Islands or anything, but maybe moving a little farther out of town, to a place with some land. Not a real working farm or anything, because while I enjoy the *idea* of gazing out a farmhouse window at placid black and white cows peacefully grazing in the back 40, the reality of having livestock is kind of, well, ewww. (I would not, however, be opposed to living NEXT DOOR to a farm so I could occasionally pet somebody else’s large smelly animals.)

Here’s the deal: for 21 years, we lived right smack in the middle of Nashville, around the Vanderbilt area, close to the action with all of the conveniences that come with that lifestyle. Loved it, but didn’t miss it one bit when we moved out (a little) to the suburbs. We’ve now spent almost 6 years in the beautiful ‘Brentwood bubble,’ as they call it around here– lovely developments with a little more space, beautiful green hills surrounding us, with the added bonus of being able to drive past picturesque horse farms with the occasional grazing herds of cattle on our way to the mall. Russ and I figure we are probably about one move away from heading back towards Nashville with its convenient access to everything (like assisted living!), and we are kind of hankering for something we haven’t done yet. Since I’m a writer I can work from anywhere, and since Charlotte goes to a tutorial prep school she only has to be there two days a week, so our only real consideration is Russ’ access to the airport. We know lots of artists who also travel on a weekly basis but live out of town– Mike English, David Phelps and Bonnie Keen respectively live in Spring Hill, Culleoka and Thompsons Station– and the general consensus is that the perks far outweigh the drawbacks.

And if I’m being totally honest here? Having Madi Rose in college has definitely gotten us thinking of the not–too-distant future in which Russ and I will have an empty nest (although as all of my friends and family with older kids have assured me,  just because they leave for college doesn’t mean they won’t still end up moving back in on down the line!) I think maybe I am subconsciously protecting myself from living in this same house but with a big empty space where the girls used to be… Taking on a new place and a new town and a new adventure kind of seems like a good idea right about now! At any rate, we may change our minds and we’re a long way from calling the movers, but who knows? It could happen!

So, how about you guys? Do you get restless when the seasons change? Are you a city person or a country person? Can you picture ME in a rural setting?


19 Responses

  1. Gramma Jac

    First, I keep picturing your face on the face of “Lisa Douglas”! Too funny. But you cook WAY better than her–remember her hotcakes?!?

    If your wanderlust is due to allergies remember “I get allergic smelling hay” in the theme song!

    My husband and I were both raised on farms and have lived in this (small) city for close to 30 years. YES, I would LOVE some acres around us! But we also remember where we work, the fact that we live in WI so would have a lane to plow,…but maybe one of these days we’ll just do it!! Sure would be loved by the grandboys!! (Our resident teen tho’ would probably NOT be impressed although she goes to an online charter school, so big whoop!) But our empty nest days are less than a year away!

  2. Gramma Jac

    Wait, there are coyotes in Wisconsin too!!! :-P

  3. Gramma Jac

    I did NOT make a happy face after that but a sticking out my tongue face!

  4. tori

    Gramma Jac–Yeah, I thought you looked a little too happy about coyotes there for a minute! And I bet your grandboys WOULD love some land to run around on… Even if the resident teenager wouldn’t!

  5. swerchon

    There is definitely something in the air. Also this time of the year I always want to go back to school. I love the fall/Autumn it is my favourite time of the year hands down.

    I have been to Tennessee a few times and I can honestly say that it is the prettiest state I have seen (now remember I’m from Canada and I haven’t really seen all of your states, but I have seen a lot of them and Tennessee is so pretty).

    I so can see you living deeper in the country, less stress, less noise, more coyotes and other critters. Oh how about a huge garden to tinker in – that would be awesome. Why drive to these festivals, you may even have one of your own and folks will flock to yours instead with all of your great baked goods YUM !!!

    If you do move you will have to find a name for your new home, like Green acres or Southfork Ranch (from Dallas tv program) – would love to hear what you would come up with.

    Also great environment to write, peace and quiet no interruptions when the Lord sends down His ideas, you will be the only one there to catch them and then develop them. How cool would that be to live in the country. Think of the night sky with all those stars.

    As for me, I am soooo ready to move, I have been living in the same house for 30 years. Parents died, older sister moved out west, other sister got married, so I am still here. I keep thinking of moving but end up staying only because I don’t know where I should hang my hat. Especially now, I just recently lost my job so I am staying put until “I have to sell” in order to live.

  6. Phyllis S

    We live in the “country”, about 12 miles to the nearest WalMart, we do have local grocery (rather large), restaurant, and post office. BUT the bestest (and yes I did say bestest) is that we live next to a family that raises bucking bulls, we get to see each new calf, watch them grow and enjoy them with out the hassle.
    We have deer feeders in the back and get to watch the deer regularly, this really outways the fact that I drive 59 miles to work one way.
    Go for it, do not wake up one morning and say where did the time go, try it.
    Oh by the way, we are planning a trip to the smokies for Thanksgiving, with a stop in Bell Buckle….OH YEA! Love that place…

  7. jennybradmon

    We moved to the country from the city about 6 years ago. I wasn’t sure about giving up being able to just pop over to a store, restaurant, etc…

    But we jumped at the chance to buy a house that was built in 1900 and needed to be completely renovated. (I know call me crazy, it’s ok, my mother did…several times.)

    But now, even with all the craziness involved in renovations, I don’t regret it in the least. My kids love being able to run around outside. I love going out on the deck in the mornings and watching families of turkeys and deer pass through my back yard.

    It is quiet and less hectic where we live. I wouldn’t trade it for anything…

    Good luck with the house hunt and with the move.

  8. Bill Strebler

    I miss my ranch so much! And I miss the ocean. I’m in the city now, with no legal place for a horse. Oh, and chickens. I miss my chickens. In Mexico I would raise them until nearly grown then take them to an orphanage nearby. I could have chicks there, but it wasn’t the chickens all over the roof kind of neighborhood.

    Maybe you could get a farm, maybe 10-20 head of black angus, a small flock of buf orpingtons to supply you and maybe a few friends some eggs, and a couple of horses. That wouldn’t be hard to care for. Get guest quarters and you could probably charge people to work your farm for you. I’ll stop by for consultation about four weeks per year.

  9. jennybradmon

    @Gramma Jac I know many families in WI who do the online charter school. Both of my children use one here in PA. Small world. :)

  10. jcolquette


    The idea and reality are very different, as you know:D We live in rural Alaska, and by that I mean we are 3 hours away from the closest city. We moved from Fairbanks, the big city, 7 years ago, to our little piece of Paradise in a small community of about 1400 people, Tok. It is a very different lifestyle, much more back to the basics and the land, but I get reminded every time that we travel to Fairbanks, as we did on Friday, why we live where we do~ We are surrounded by the mountains, beautiful landscape and animals, but more importantly, the people and lifestyle are authentic. It can be a land of survival in the winter, but also the Land of the Biggest Hearts~
    I am learning every day and year that I get older, that with God, there is ALWAYS a NEW journey and adventure for us to explore with Him~ I say GO FOR IT:D

    In Jesus,

  11. rachelbaker

    You’d have space for a small(ish) English family to come stay wouldn’t you?

    Hey, maybe you’d have space for an entire Bloomr re/union.

    Personally, I love the countryside, but at this point in my life at least, the convenience of town and having everything on my doorstep is just so much easier. You live in a different world to us anyway – everything is already so much more spacious over there. I DO like the idea of writing in that sort of environment though.

    Whatever you decide, I know it will be a great adventure, and I’m looking forward to living it with you all through your writing.

    On a totally unrelated matter – did you ever notice how ‘runaway mum’ weekends actually start to work their magic a few days BEFORE they happen? Its like the anticipation and expectation of what is to come ushers in the relaxation and joy in advance.

  12. ginnh

    Well, since we put our house on the market and threw some things in a suitcase and drove to Kentucky from New Hampshire a couple days ago, I think I can relate. We have fallen in love with eastern Kentucky. Headed back home now but we are hoping the house sells and we will be headed back as soon as we can.

    It’s never to late for another big adventure.

  13. Cynthia

    I was going to remind you of the Coyote; and all that but everyone has beaten me to it. You only go though this life once; and this isn’t a dress rehearsal. I lived in the country side of South Eastern KY. for several years; and wouldn’t trade it for anything. So all I can say is go for guys!

  14. jonny

    Sorry about the job loss, swerchon = /

    OK, gonna check YouTube for some GA episodes now !! = )

  15. jonny

    OK, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch Eva in this role now without picturing Tori in her place !! Thanks guys = /

  16. jonny
  17. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Tori, I think it sounds wonderful….but just think, it will feel like heaven walking that long driveway in the spring, summer and fall….but not so heavenly shoveling the snow in the winter. Oh dear, what am I talking about? I can see Russ now sitting on a plow going down that road, and with ear muffs on. Then plowing your 4-acre garden in the springtime with a long piece of hay firmly in place between his front teeth. And, how adorable, that big ‘ole straw hat. Ooops, maybe that was Tori adorably sitting on that tractor. Life is just more fun when we have dreams…..and sometmes they even come true. Start packing, sweet pea.

  18. tori

    swerchon: TN is beautiful, isn’t it? Thanks for your encouragement– and you are so right, we totally have to come up with a name for a new place!

    Phyllis S: I have to admit, ready access to a GOOD grocery store is an absolute must for me! Have fun in Bell Buckle, and if you eat at Bell Buckle Cafe (and why wouldn’t you?!) save room for the chocolate cobbler ala mode– you can thank me later!

    jennybradmon: You’re my hero! Circa 1900 houses are my absolute favorites– we’ve even looked at a couple of historic properties… Until I slapped myself and remembered that I am married to a singer NOT a handyman, and renovating an old house is really out of our league. Would love to, though…

    Bill Strebler: You had a ranch? Where?! And yeah, I’ll probably NEED those consultations!

    jcolquette: Thanks for those good wishes. And I totally understand why you live where you do– Alaska is like a whole country unto itself! I don’t think I quite have your rugged pioneer spirit, but I do admire it so. Good for you!

    rachelbaker: PLENTY of room for a small(ish) English family! And yes, I completely agree about the anticipation part– Russ always says I get my money’s worth out of a vacation before we ever leave home!

    ginnh: Bravo! That is going to be my new mantra– “It’s never too late for another big adventure!” (You’re going to LOVE Kentucky! And where exactly are you in NH?)

    Cynthia: Yeah, maybe I’ll get so jaded living out in the country that a coyote sighting will only rate a yawn instead of blog post!

    small j: Yeah, there are some uncanny similarities, right?! And Eb totally rocked!

    Momma Lloyd: I can always count on you for sweet encouragement! And Russ is already a little starry-eyed talking about a tractor…

  19. Bill Strebler

    My ranch was outside Waco, TX. We almost bought a couple of ranches in Mexico, and, well, we’re in Arlington, TX now. I’m about ready to search the internet for mute chickens I can hide in my back yard. This is a nice neighborhood and all, but I really, really, REALLY miss the country! I don’t have an Eb for you, but if you get horses I have a daughter that would gladly live in the loft of your barn and take care of the place for you. She is great with horses, just don’t depend on getting more than Eb-type results if you ask her to fix anything.

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