When I see that large road sign on I-24 East bound, I know I am exactly seventy-three miles and one hour away from 5009 Stillwood Drive.
This July, it will be five and a half years since the Volunteer State has been my place of permanent residence, two of the years in a barren, mid-western wasteland called, "Kansas." But that drought is about to end.
Late yesterday afternoon it looked as if we were headed to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Wake Forrest for Liz's Neurology Residency and another three years of a semi-nomadic lifestyle. A phone call from Vanderbilt University at 5:00 p.m. changed all of that, as Liz was deservingly offered a spot in their prestigious program. She has earned any opportunities and accolades she receives. We are very, very proud of her.
As of this morning, it's official.....We're coming home!!!
It may only be temporary, but I have wanted to be back with friends and family so badly for so long that our newly minted plans seem surreal in the best way imaginable. My daughters will get a chance to grow up around family, and that is an asset that does not have an estimable value.
The brilliant fall colors, nights around the fire, and time with family isn't just for vacations anymore, they're a way of life. A good one; and in my opinion, a superior one to that of the impersonal and self-absorbed rat race of the foreign territories.
Pour some Jack, light a cigar, and play some Rocky Top, Fellas, because this Tennessee boy is coming home!