A Franklin Winter Walk

Monday was Martin Luther King Day, and as I reflected on the celebration of all he represented and the fact that our President was being inaugurated again, I got overwhelmed by the depth of it and decided to take a walk.  Tennessee in the winter time is, how shall I put it…cold, yet also warm on some days, quite gray, very rainy, and just plain depressing at times, but every once in a while a sunny day comes along that just knocks your socks off.  That was Monday.

Living less than a mile from town has its perks and this girl loves to walk, so I bundled up and braved the 39 degree chill.  People in the Northeast just made a scoffy snorting sound after reading that.  Whatever, it’s the south, 39 is an arctic chill when it’s cloudy.

West Main Street has some lovely pre and post Civil War homes that look like a picture when they’re strung with Christmas lights, or when the old stately magnolias are blooming.  I never get tired of imagining what it would be like to live in a beautiful old house like that…until I remember the  mid-60s one that I am currently trying to fix up, and it all comes into perspective.  This lovely little gem is for sale.  I wonder what kind of stories the walls in this house could tell…

Every home on this street has so much character.  This one is a holiday icon.  I don’t think I’ve ever not seen the place decked out for a holiday.  I find myself getting all excited when I drive past and see the beginnings of the next decorating spree.  Cupid is upon us with all his hearts and arrows.

This house is a particular favorite of mine, especially when I’m walking home at night.  I completely creep myself out and always think I see a shadowy figure in the darkened upstairs windows.  I’ve had to make a conscious effort not to look at the place when it’s dark and I’m walking past.  During the daytime though, it really is breathtaking.

Heading toward town I pass Sweet Cece’s and literally entertain the thought of getting some fro-yo, but no, that is crazy.

The Franklin Tea Shop was my destination (I didn’t take a picture because I felt a little bit like one of those be-sneakered, fanny pack wearing tourists).  I am always in search of a good almond tea.  Ever since Celestial Seasonings broke my heart and discontinued their Almond Sunset, I have been hopelessly seeking what apparently is the holy grail of teas.  Their website recommends replacing my former addiction with Chai.  They have to be kidding.  I tried the Almond Tisane flavor at the tea shop and was pleasantly surprised, nice mild flavor with lots of natural almond coming through.  I may go back for seconds at some point, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to that cheap $2.49 box of Almond Sunset.  A girlfriend and I are planning a trip to the Celestial Seasonings factory later this year.  I plan to harass them thoroughly on the matter.

I made my way around to the Brownstones to gaze longingly at my favorite fountain in town.  I used to go sit on the benches nearby and listen to the water.  No replacement for the ocean, but it helped.  Apparently the residents didn’t want riff raff like me encroaching upon their courtyard because the fountain is now protected by a locked gate.

Somebody needs to have an intervention with Mother Nature.  It’s January over here…January, not April.

Next view is the old silo or whatever this is.  All I know is I’ve seen it on the backdrop of about ten Christian artists’ album covers.  I wish some billionaire would come in and spruce the place up, turn it into an art gallery or something.

Speaking of art galleries, Gallery 202 totally rocks.  I visited shortly after they opened and was pleasantly shocked when the owner walked me around the place and pointed out a Picasso, two Dali’s, and several Warhol’s.  They also display a variety of local artists and were instrumental in starting the Franklin Art Scene which is the best thing to do in town on the first Friday of every month.  I love this gallery.  You never know what you’ll see when you walk in.

 Ah next stop, yes it was a stop, I browsed…the Franklin Antique Mall.  This place is so much fun, it’s a treasure trove for trinkets and crazy things you’ve never seen before.  One time I got a set of miniature Beatrix Potter books the size of a quarter.  Another time I found this old antique depression glass plate I had broken years ago.  Then there was the booth with all the retro harlequin romance novels.  This time I walked away with some vintage postcards that still had one cent stamps on them.  I literally have to stop myself from going in this place on my walks because I know I won’t be able to control myself and end up buying stuff I will have absolutely no use for.

The square looked so pretty with the afternoon light streaming down.  I’m so thankful I work for a company that observes holidays like MLK.  Days like these are good for the soul.  Crisp walks on winter days remind us to be thankful for warmer times ahead.  Franklin is a great place to live and I’m so glad my journey brought me to such a charming town.

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