My Home Town

Here’s a fun fact: it gets hot in Mexico during the summer.  We have planned on staying aboard Galapagos the last two summers but when push comes to shove, we head north.

So to escape the hot Mexican sun for a few weeks, Melissa and I put Galapagos into a slip at Marina Real in San Carlos, Sonora  and have jumped into the proverbial frying pan that is beautiful Martin Tennessee.

I grew up in Martin and almost all of my family still lives here or in nearby Dyer. It has been eight years since I last came in for a visit.  Unfortunately Mexico has nothing on Tennessee for hot summer weather.  As an added bonus, the humidity is generally higher than the temperature.  Melissa and I were excited to be in a small town where we could walk everywhere and get some exercise.  But unless you get up at five in the morning, it’s too blessed hot and muggy to do much outside.

Our Bed and Breakfast in Martin. Fran and Dale are great hosts.

We found a beautiful home on AirBnB to stay while we are in town. Our hosts, Fran, Dale and their dog Gigi are making us feel right to home. Since Fran is a local girl, she knows everybody and is a great resource for reconnecting with the community. Although I grew up in Martin, I haven’t lived here in over forty years. It is fun talking with Fran about people and families that we both know.

My mother’s house. Like a boat, there are always projects and repairs that must be tended to. We put in some time each day to take care of the place.

Our AirBnb is just a short walk to my mother’s house. Melissa and I spend a fair bit of time making repairs and small improvements to the house and garden. Of course we spend even more time visiting with family and eating. We are enjoying all the artery clogging delights that west Tennessee has to offer; fried catfish, hushpuppies, and great barbecue pork.  I managed to sneak in some vegetables one day when I visited the farmers market and brought back garden grown green beans, tomatoes and fresh corn.

Although there is a state university here, Martin is still a  farming community.  Agriculture dominates the economy and the fields were lush this time of year.  While corn seems to be the biggest crop these days,  soybeans and cotton are still seen in many fields. The agricultural corporations are changing the area, buying up the land and storage facilities.

Soybeans are a dominant crop in this part of Tennessee and by all accounts the Soybean festival is a big deal in Martin.

When we aren’t busy with Honey Do’s, visiting or eating barbecue, I like to drive around the area and check out my old haunts.

My grandparent’s old farm. I spent a lot of time here. All the fields I used to roam in have been covered with houses.

A street name is the only reminder of my grandparent’s farm.

Downtown Martin. This photo was taken on a Sunday. During the week there is a little more traffic.

The Martin Library. My favorite building in town.

This is the old downtown that runs along the railroad.

Martin’s scenic grain silos and feed mill. Still an important part of this farming community.

We are enjoying our time here despite the heat. As Melissa and I enter our third year of cruising we have learned to be flexible in our plans.  Visiting exotic locales like west Tennessee is part of what keeps our sailing adventures interesting.

4 thoughts on “My Home Town

  1. That is so meaningful to visit your roots and still have your people there. It looks idyllic except hearing about the heat and humidity.

  2. For us, going back ‘home’ after so many years away is like an adventure to a new place. So much changes over time. It is like exploring a new place. We are glad you are enjoying you adventure in Tennessee. One of the most beautiful states in the USA.

    • We feel the same way. Visiting the old country feels like an anthropological expedition. I have been away from the culture for so long, it is like visiting a foreign country. We are pretty sure they don’t speak any kind of English we are familiar with. My accent has been diluted over the decades by living in the Pacific Northwest. It has been fun to hear my family’s accents again.

  3. Micheal, it is nice of you to share your hometown with us, thank you.

    I am sure you don’t remember me. I was fortunate enough to have been introduced to you by my wife, Paméla just a few days before your retirement. We meet at the Tacoma Dome station.

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