I’ll be the first to admit when I am wrong. Well, maybe not the first. But EVENTUALLY, I will admit it. Sometimes.
Anyways, I wrote this piece a few months after the move about not missing much and just getting on with what was now in front of me. While I tend to still generally agree with the article’s intent, I must say that it was a pretty weak article, and I would like to amend my thoughts this week.
I’ve learned it’s okay to miss things. I miss going to Panthers games (although not today’s, damn). I missed eating brunswick stew at the annual Unionville BBQ earlier this month. And OH MY did I miss running this year’s NYC Marathon. But most importantly, I miss a ton of people. This journey can be isolating at times.
Sitting on the porch a few weeks ago, my mobility limited by plantar fasciitis in my right foot, I noticed something profound. The cool air had blown in, so it FELT like fall. But looking at the bayou, river, gulf, pines, palms, and oaks, it still LOOKED exactly like June.
This posed a massive problem. Autumn is my favorite. Always has been. Good chance it always will be. I like the chill, the food, and the clothes. But most of all, I like the leaves. I love the leaves. And in southern Mississippi, everything, for the most part, stays green.
I had to get the hell out of there. To fully experience fall, I had to get the hell out of there.
Other than two trips to New Orleans, I had basically lived in a fifteen minute bubble for the past six weeks. It was genius in uptown Charlotte. Here, it was like wearing an 800 square feet straight jacket.
For me, the world is best experienced on the move with endless space, limits, and opportunities on the horizon. It’s certainly why I have fallen in love with the West. So to re-engage my deep imagination, it was time for fall trip 2019. And this year, we knocked it out of the park.
By now, you should know we were not going any place normal. It’s exciting to reinvent the wheel until the wheel doesn’t need reinventing anymore (which, after this place, may be now).
Selfishly, I wanted the following: colorful leaves, cold weather, exposed wood, lots of space, and views. I wanted to feel like I was on a fall vacation. End of story. Everyone seemed to agree.
I’d never heard of Bryant, Alabama. Have you? Anyways, it is essentially where Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama meet, and in early November, it is perfect. We booked it blindly. House looked cool. Area looked cool. Ticked all of the boxes for a good adventure.
The adults visited. The kids played. Everyone let their hair down a little. Normal vacation stuff.
But what stood out? What made it different? What made it abk-worthy? I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking this week. The views. J’s Hole in the Wall. The house. The village’s pool. The cute downtown of neighboring South Pittsburg, TN. Stevarino’s. The Tennessee whiskey. The golf (stay tuned next week). Rosa’s Place. The Purple Daisy. The railway. The fire pit.
After almost three years of extensive traveling, I don’t get surprised much anymore, but this place blew me away. BRYANT, ALABAMA. SOUTH PITTSBURG, TENNESSEE. What a fun little nook to not have a care in the world and yet be fully alive.
The key to moving to Mississippi or vacationing in Bryant, Alabama is the same as with any bold decision we as human beings ever make. We must be able to live with the consequences, whatever they may be.
What if it sucks, you say? Good point. But what if it doesn’t?
Have a great week.-Benj
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