10 Things I love about rural Tennessee


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Given my more liberal leanings, some friends have suggested I’d be happier living up North, where I wouldn’t have to worry about getting shot at for boasting an Obama 08 bumper sticker, and where I’d perhaps enjoy a broader selection of diverse faith communities. I tell them thanks, but no thanks. I’m perfectly content with my small town life here in the buckle of the Bible Belt.  And here are ten reasons why: 

1. Dan and I pay just $550 in property taxes PER YEAR.

2. If “it’s all who you know,” it helps to know everybody in town.

3. Two words: college football. 

4. Being a bit of an ideological outsider helps keep my attitude in check. No one here lets me get away with unstudied opinions or general statements. I’m constantly reminded that “those fundamentalists” with whom I passionately disagree are usually good, kind people just trying to do the right thing.

5. This may be one of the last places on earth where an author can actually live off her advance.

6. So a few months ago, Dan and I came home from a three-day trip to West Virginia to find our back door wide open and swaying in the breeze. We’d forgotten to lock it on our way out, and were practically begging to get robbed, but nothing was stolen.

7. You can get away with saying just about anything about anyone as long as you tack “bless her heart” to the end of the sentence.

8. No one can dispute that “y’all” is 10,000-times more practical than “you guys.”

9. I have learned that community isn’t about surrounding yourself with people with whom you agree, but about loving your neighbors, whoever they may be.

10. Around here, even someone as flaky as Sarah Palin is given a fair shot...bless her heart.

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