There's a saying up here on Monteagle Mountain: "It's all downhill from here." Growing up in Nashville, I heard people talk about Monteagle with reverence. Friends who own houses here would say simply, "We're going to the mountain this weekend." Nobody ever asked which mountain. In Monteagle, wealthy enclaves like The Assembly and Clifftops sit cheek-by-jowl with the gun store and the Piggly Wiggly. You see pickup trucks with monster-size Confederate flags mounted in the back.
And, of course, there's Sewanee, The University of the South. In Nashville, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Sewanee alum. I went to the University of Tennessee and those orange-clad folks can't hold a candle to Sewanee when it comes to devotion. Geez, it's like the place is magical or something. Well, it kinda is. The campus is unequalled in beauty, nestled in over 14,000 acres of woodland, with flora and fauna and hikes and breath-taking views. It's a church school that parties hard and reveres writers. (Those last two may be related, no?)
So why leave Nashville when it is booming? I could say that I left it because of heinous traffic, insane real estate prices, and the way development is tearing down just about everything that gave Nashville its soul; it is becoming charm-free. I no longer recognize my home town. But that's not it. In the last six years, an epic flood, my mother's death, the death of a man who was a father to me, a traumatic injury that has left me slightly disabled, and the end of a 33-year marriage left me massively depressed. So, I started dating. I mean, who wouldn't want to hook up with someone with my sunny disposition?
Thanks to Lexapro and a little thing called the internet, I met the love of a lifetime. And I joined her on the mountain. We cook, we garden, and we have two hilarious little doggies who keep us entertained. Our yard, which was part of a dairy farm, benefits from all that free fertilizer; two tomato plants turned out over 50 lbs. of fruit this summer. We have spectacular neighbors and we look out for each other. And, we turned a tiny house out back into a studio for me. Thus the name of my business; it covers more of what I really do.
This will be my first winter on the mountain. It will be warm and cozy in my tiny house, as I do my art in peace and quiet, with two dogs on the big pillow beside me. I will sketch and dream and make plans for the spring. Life on the mountain is grand; come see.
It's all downhill from here. And I'm so grateful.
Kim Phillips | Tiny House Creative
©2016 Kim Phillips