Cumberland River and LP Field, August 2010 (Photo by me)
A lot of out of town friends ask me how Nashville is faring after the May flood.
On the surface things may appear to be back to normal, but there is still a considerable amount of reconstruction and disruption to everyday lives as many are still displaced from their homes. This weekend a neighbor sent an email to organize a group to help an elderly man in our neighborhood who is just now moving back into his home four months after a natural disaster the likes none of us who have grown up in Middle Tennessee have ever witnessed. It was a flood that turned ordinary suburban streets, streets I travel on a regular basis to my girls’ school and to pick up groceries, into a river navigable only by boat. It’s business as usual for the most part downtown, though, and Opryland Hotel is set to reopen in November.
If your family is like mine, you live in the suburbs and going downtown, especially on a Saturday night, is a big deal. Of course I grew up in a little Southern town just north of Nashville where cruising McDonald’s was the social yee haw of the weekend.
After the hubby and girls picked me up a few weeks ago at the airport, we decided to stop downtown for a quick dinner. Instead of heading straight home after our meal we decided to soak up the beautiful summer evening. Not five minutes into our walk we met up with a joyous wedding party in all their finery strutting down the Shelby Street pedestrian bridge, accompanied by a Dixieland band playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Honestly if it was as if the city herself was saying, “Welcome ya’ll! Let’s have a good time!”
We wandered around the tourist shops on lower 2nd Avenue. I summoned my inner redneck and tried on cowgirl hats. We discovered the Charlie Daniels Museum and watched a group of Mennonites sing old time hymns on the corner of Commerce and 2nd, their old fashioned clothing in stark contrast to the bustling city streets. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of our city. And I wondered why we don’t do that more often.
Speaking of Nashville, how ’bout them Titans!