Category Archives: follow-up

Five years later

#TBT to 5 years ago this weekend when Nashville flooded.

A photo posted by Denise (@niseag03) on

Last night, I read (and shared on social media) my blog post from May 2010 and the Nashville flood. It was interesting to read my memories from those days of rain, flooding and recovery. Over time, details fade from the memory and sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of those details.

A friend shared her thoughts about the flood and how her life has changed since then, and it really made me think.

Five years ago, my husband and I lived in LaVergne, TN. I can definitely say that in the last five years, my memories of that house went from being mostly negative to now remembering all the good times we had.

If you’d told me in May 2010 I’d move from that house in seven months, I’d have not believed it. I’d certainly have not believed I’d make huge financial decisions at the same time. I’m not sure I’d have even believed I’d start bartending regularly, make big strides in photography, and ultimately buy a house in Gallatin. Heck, I’d have probably laughed at you.

Where I am today versus where I was during the flood are night and day different. Sometimes it’s hard to believe five years have passed since the flood. Other times, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been longer.

Nashville… Nashville has changed a lot. I think the flood gave the city something of a rebirth. Many buildings that needed to be remodeled got the much-needed upgrades. Efforts to avoid future floods have been made. And all of us who lived through the flood continue to have something of a bond. Nashville definitely can be said to have a “Before Flood” era and “After Recovery” era.

I think the recovery possibly paved the way for the fast paced building going on here. The way the city bonded together turned heads, and perhaps that helped turn us into an “It City.” We’re facing a different kind of flood these days: a flood of newcomers and condos.

Yes, five years later, Nashville looks a lot different. All of us do. I’m curious what we’ll see in another five years. I suppose we have to just stay tuned…

Memorial Day Ride

Yesterday, I took the day off. My husband and I got up and hit the road on the motorcycle, finally taking in the Natchez Trace Parkway. We driven parts of it in the truck before, but this was our first ride on bike.

We kicked it off with snacks at the Loveless Cafe (along with a whole lot of other bikers!)…

 Loveless Cafe Stop

We were on no time schedule, so we sat for a long time at a picnic table just people watching. Lots of travelers! We talked for awhile with a woman from Florida. We watched a family take photos, documenting their vacation. We cracked ourselves and the cashier up at our sheer determination NOT to break a $20, paying with quarters and pennies. She told us it was, “Impressive.”


We hit the road, and we were treated to amazing views and lots of wildlife. We watched a doe and little fawn race across the highway in front of us. Later, another deer crossed in front of us… close enough that we had to slow down a little, though we weren’t in any danger.

We saw lots of wild turkey and had a buzzard fly over us so close we could have reached up and touched it. We even passed a groundhog just chillin’ in the shade. (I half expect him to go, “Allen! Allen!”)

One of my favorite moments was when we discovered an 1812 Memorial… perfect for Memorial Day. It reads:

Natchez Trace: 1812 Memorial“This Monument memorializes war of 1812 soldiers buried along the Old Natchez Trace, and it honors the service of all brave volunteers who marched on the Natchez Trace during the War of 1812 to help establish American Independence. The Natchez Trace served as an important route to move troops for the defense of the Gulf Coast Region. Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry under leadership of Andrew Jackson marched down the Natchez Tract to Natchez in January 1813. Gen. Jackson marched with his soldiers on their return April 1813. Soldier detachments under Jackson’s command again marched on the Natchez Trace in 1814, and following the victory at the Battle of New Orleans, most of the Americans who fought the Battle returned on the Trace. Volunteers marched hundreds of miles often in severe weather with little food and inadequate equipment. Natchez Trace Inns served as hospitals, soldiers who did not survive the marches are buried in unmarked graves along the Trace. On Gen. Jackson’s return near this point. He proclaimed his view of the significance of the victory earned by the soldiers sacrifices. “Our rights will henceforth be respected.””

The sun started to fade on us after awhile, and we were getting hungry. We made one more stop, at Water Valley Overlook… stretching our legs and plotting our trip back into Nashville.

As we stood taking in the view, the silence was broken by far-off gunshots — something that you don’t blink at that far in the country — and the loud call of an owl in a near-by tree. It was… the perfection of being in the middle of “nowhere.”

199: Natchez Trace: Water Valley Overlook

 We took a lot of small back roads back into town, finishing the trip the best way possible (versus getting into the “rat race” of Interstate travel.) We planned to have dinner at our favorite tavern, but we got there only to find them closed for the holiday.

Our second choice was the Flying Saucer, who was having their pint night. As a bonus, if you purchased certain beers, the money went to Red Cross Oklahoma relief. So we each had one pint to Oklahoma! (My husband also had a beer from his home state of Oregon.. Rogue beer yummies!)

 Rogue Hazelhut

We headed home, both extremely relaxed. After I talked to my Mom for a little while, you couldn’t even count to three and I was OUT. I got the most peaceful, relaxed sleep I’d had in awhile. The day left me with a refreshed soul that you can only get by stepping away from everyday life and remembering… remembering how amazing nature and life is, and by remembering those who gave all for the freedom to enjoy days like yesterday.