It all started during a conversation with a friend. The words southern, genteel, and charming captured my attention. I think I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “Right, every woman’s dream.” But I have to admit that I was curious, though her description seemed just too good to be true. My friend continued to gush with the enthusiasm of a teenager experiencing her first crush. Despite my best intentions I was intrigued. And tempted. By Franklin. Even the name was appealing.
I wish I could tell you that I resisted the temptation and cast all imaginations regarding Franklin out of my mind. But I didn’t. I did a Google search instead. Yes, I became a stalker. I searched to find pictures. I was so curious to see this paragon. I tried to deny my ever-increasing desire to learn more. See more. Experience more. It was a losing battle.
After flirting over the internet for several months I finally convinced my husband that we needed to travel to Tennessee; the state that Franklin calls home. I needed a face-to-face meeting. I was hoping that Franklin wouldn’t live up to the dream picture that I had built up in my mind. If reality didn’t match fantasy, then I could stop my furtive longing for something more.
We flew into Nashville late one evening and began the short drive south. My pulse rate increased the closer we got. Then, the time that I had anticipated finally arrived. Franklin. It was dark, but I wasn’t disappointed. I saw old Southern charm mixed with a youthful vitality. I was afraid though. Afraid that Franklin would change in the light of day and I would be crushed. Or, maybe I was afraid that Franklin would prove to be all that I’d hoped and dreamed. I would then have to make a decision. Was I willing to take that chance and come to the place of having to choose between an old love and a new love? Yes I was.
The following morning I asked my husband to take a walk with me. I said I needed the exercise after a day of plane travel. I confess, I can be devious at times. Exercise wasn’t the only thing on my mind. Franklin was.
What can I say about Franklin that I haven’t already said? Plenty. I was immediately struck by the appearance of old money prestige enhanced by the influx of new money. I was also impressed by the fact that Franklin was in great shape. Great bones and good breeding, I guess. Also pride, but not the stuck up kind. It was love at first sight. Seriously. I never believed in its existence, but I was wrong. Oh, how wrong!
My husband could tell by my face that I was captivated. I couldn’t hide it, especially from the man that knows me better than any other human being. He knew immediately that he had competition. A new love in my life. To his credit, though, he didn’t belittle me or sneer at me. In fact, he wasn’t upset at all. I could see that he, too, was succumbing to the power of Franklin.
Franklin, Tennessee that is. Population 65,000+. What? Did you think I was talking about something other than a city? Don’t be silly. Ken is the absolute love of my life, but I think Franklin will rank up there in the top 10!
I spent a glorious week walking up and down the main street in old historic Franklin named, Main Street, what else? Every day we stopped at Starbucks (located at the convergence of five streets appropriately titled, Five Points) and found ourselves engaged in conversations with strangers, who after walking away, seemed like old friends. We loved the old restored theatre, the cute shops, and the wonderful array of restaurants.
We had our choice every day of good old fashioned country food at Puckett’s Grocery, Merridee’s Breadbasket, and Franklin Mercantile Deli. We also had upscale choices from chef-owned restaurants such as Red Pony, Cork and Cow, and 55 South.
My friend, Melinda Knight, is the dessert chef for Red Pony. One word to describe her desserts? Delicioso!!
I haven’t yet begun to describe the beautiful countryside to the west, south, and east! There are green, rolling, tree-covered hills in every direction. It looked to me like homesteader’s heaven!
It is no wonder that I found myself praying that the Lord would allow us to move to the Franklin area some day. I sure would like to. If it were completely up to me. But it isn’t completely up to me. I want God’s will for me. For Ken. For my family, kids and grandkids. You see, I want to be relevant in my grandkid’s lives, which is hard to do if I live far away from all of them! So, I am praying, dreaming, and dreaming some more. California was my first love, I was born here. But the tug on my heart from the moment I first learned about Franklin is something I’ve never experienced. I’m ready to make the switch. My heart and imagination have been captured.
(Note: I am NOT affiliated in any way with the city of Franklin or the restaurants or stores sited or shown, but I’d LOVE to be! Hey, Franklin Chamber of Commerce, you should hire me!!!!!)