Show & Tell Tuesday: My Hometown(s)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016



It's been awhile since I have linked up with Momfessionals for a Show and Tell Tuesday.  When I read it was hometowns (I just feel so bachelor'ish saying it like that) I had to jump in because I've had some pretty great hometowns.  I feel like I can officially claim every place I have ever lived (for more than a year) as my hometown....mainly because I've lived in a few places AND I have found something to love in each place.

Batesville, AR

I was born in Little Rock, AR, but my family lived in Batesville (about 1.5 hours NE of Little Rock).  It's Arkansas' second oldest city and is nestled on the White River.  I have some pretty special memories from growing up in that small town.  I lived in Batesville longer than I have lived anywhere else.  It's where I am from, but my family is no longer there so it's no longer home. 

My Mom was a school teacher and my Dad managed the Magic Mart (I mean we're talking old school you've probably never heard the likes...these were pre pre Wal-Mart days).  After Magic Mart it was Alco and then finally we had a Wal-Mart.  And the first Supercenter in Arkansas (I get to have bragging rights).  

When I think about Batesville it's hard not to remember this one lane street downtown.  And Van Atkins?!  Anyone remember Van Atkins!  Ahhhh.....the best clothes this side of Memphis (or so I thought at the time)



And the Melba...where everyone would meet up for a movie (but it now appears to be deserted).


That's where I spent my first 15 years of life.   That's where I grew up.  Where I spent summers playing on the river, making trips to Greers Ferry Lake, and roaming the woods and playing in the creek behind our subdivision with the neighborhood kids (we also played with the hobos on the train tracks...OMG where were our parents??!!  I can't believe they let us out of there sight).  Another lifetime ago.

Pocahontas, AR

So my Dad was with Wal-Mart and moved around a bit.  During that time my parents were divorced (such a long story, but they divorced when I was in second grade and remarried when I was in the 8th, I believe).  I know right?!  It can happen.  And they are still together today!!

During that time, he moved to Memphis and then was transferred to Pocahontas (which was about 1.5 hours NE of Batesville).  When I was in the 8th grade my parents got back together and we moved to Pocahontas.  My Mom and I still drove back and forth to Batesville every day to school for a year and a half.  

I actually hated Pocahontas (ok, those are harsh words) when we moved and for the longest time after.  It's hard on a teenage girl to be moved.  Real hard.  But my parents have lived in the same house for 25 years now so Pocahontas is home.  And the people have been some of my families biggest prayer warriors through the last 5 years.  Pocahontas holds a very special place in my heart.  Pocahontas is home because of my parents, getting to meet up with the cousins, my brother, and they are what make coming back feel like home.


 
One thing about Pokey is that they aren't short on rivers.  Any way you leave town you have to cross one.  Pocahontas sits on the Black River and then you have to cross either the Spring River, the Current River, the 11 Point River or the Strawberry River.  I spent many a days on one of those rivers as a high school kid.  It is said that Pocahontas is the gateway to the Ozarks.  On one side of town it is very delta.  River bottoms and fields for days.  There is a lot of farming in Pocahontas.  Once you cross the river it becomes hilly and there are big beautiful hard-wooded properties.

The old courthouse sits in the traditional town square.  It's had many years of being deserted, but when we were home Christmas there were lots of new little shops popping up around the square.  Makes my heart happy to see small towns booming.

 When I think about Pocahontas I think about all the rivers.  And the fact they have so much floodingThere is a 100 year flood just about every other year.

If you look close you can see the top of my Dad's Wal-Mart.  He's lived through many floods.

 East Tennessee
 I went to college at ASU in Jonesboro for a year before transferring to the U of A in Fayetteville.  I lived in NW Arkansas for 6 years and loved every minute of it.  For the longest time in my life I always felt like John and I would end up back there.  I lived in Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, and Bentonville during that time.  Only town I missed was Rogers.  I love NW Arkansas, but it didn't make my hometown list.

 In 2004, John and I made the move to East Tennessee.  We had stores in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and all 3 of our girls were born in Knoxville.  East Tennessee is also home to me.  

The Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas are home to Dollywood and the Smokey Mountains.  One of the big draws to Gatlinburg, besides the Smokies, is it is within a days drive of over 2/3 of the population of the US making it an easy and family friendly vacation spot.  While a lot of people do make Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge home, we settled on the west end of the area in Sevierville (close to I-40 and Knoxville). 

Gatlinburg

Life in a tourist town is not much different than life in a small town.  Just with more to do. You would almost always find us at the Pottery House for lunch after church on Sunday.  We loved taking advantage of the Pumpkin Patch.  And playing tourists at attractions around town and at Dollywood were on the agenda often.





I never in my wildest dreams thought this Arkansas girl would call Tennessee home.  John and I spent our first few years there trying to figure out the fastest track back to NW Arkansas.  But we fell in love with those mountains, had some of the greatest friends, and an amazing church family.  I still call those Hogs, but Rocky Top you'll  always be home sweet home to me.  I still deeply miss Tennessee and the people.  I'm so thankful my girls were able to be born there and will always be from there.



Branson, USA

So I never in my life thought I would be living in Branson, Missouri.  And while it's not necessarily home it is where my heart beats and where we are currently doing life.

Branson's main draw is the strip, Silver Dollar City, the Landing, Lake Tanycomo, and Table Rock Lake.  It's like a little Vegas (only not) with lots of shows, restaurants, and attractions.  You'll rarely find me even remotely close to the strip during tourist season (unless I think we can make it to Andy's Frozen Custard fairly easy). 


Life in Branson is similar to East Tennessee.  We love to take advantage of all the area has to offer (just not during peak season).  Our favorite time to get out and about to Silver Dollar City and other attractions are during the spring (after spring break and before school is out), the fall, and Christmas!   They have some fierce Christmases here (and in East Tennessee).


Just like with anything it takes time and should we spend the next 20 years here, I'm certain I would say that Branson was home.
That's a wrap on hometowns!  

Enjoy your Tuesday!

XO,

Jackie  


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6 comments

  1. I LOVE Branson!!! I worked at Kanakuk Kamp when I was in college, so spent 2 summers in Branson! So many great memories there :)

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    1. How fun!!!! We love Kanakuk! Both my girls go each summer!

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  2. Love this so much! Really fun to read. I'd like to do a "home" post sometime, although my list would be shorter. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  3. P.S. I also love that you have connections to Little Rock and White River! :) And I love what you said about doing life in Branson but it not truly being "home" yet. I can definitely relate!!

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    1. I know you can, my friend! We'll get there! Lots of love to you!

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