Let Me Introduce You…
By Cindy Laverty
The last time I sat down to write was July 11, 2016 and it was a very sad day, because I was having the hardest time telling you that I had to step away from Discovering Franklin – the little blog that saved my life when I left my lifelong home in Los Angeles and moved to Franklin. If you recall it was because of my husband’s business, Franklin Flannels was growing. Y’all were so kind with your comments and Facebook messages. Truly – you touched my heart in a thousand different ways.
Well…in the last two and a half years, that little vintage flannel shirt business has taken on a life of its own, and it’s definitely a fulltime proposition. We are so grateful for the support of so many people across the United States! Truth be told…it’s kind of crazy. Every day I’m learning new things about running a growing business and it’s not all easy.
But…I NEVER EVER gave up on Discovering Franklin, and I prayed that one day I would be able to revive it or find someone who could join me in the reviving process. And I’m so happy to tell you that my prayers have been answered and I found HER! And she’s awesome…beyond talented (in ways I can’t even fathom)…creative to the hilt…an amazing cook and gardener…a web designer, graphic artist, and writer…a loving mother and wife and woman who knows herself inside and out. (I told you she is talented.) And guess what? She moved to Franklin from California too, and apparently Discovering Franklin helped her during some of those lonely times that creep up when you move across the country and don’t know anyone.
Meet Erin Mataj! We first met via Facebook. I know…another crazy thing. I did a story on Trattoria Il Mulino – outstanding Italian cuisine and still one of my favorite Nashville restaurants, and it turns out that Erin’s husband is the General Manager of this great restaurant. I recognized the last name from comments Erin had made on Facebook and long story – short…I wrote to her and we became friends. She has two adorable young boys so her life is busy, busy, busy and sadly it was difficult to see each other as much as we would have liked. Different schedules and all, but the friendship and mutual respect never faded.
For the longest time I’ve been wanting to find a way to get Discovering Franklin going again, but I just didn’t have the time. Then one night at about 2am (Am I the only one that has great ideas in the middle of the night?), all of a sudden Erin popped into my brain and this loud voice said, “Ask Erin if she wants to help everyone discover Franklin.” I did and she said, “YES!!” Today, I’m just thrilled to let you know that we’re definitely reviving Discovering Franklin. Erin will be taking the lead, but because of her…, I’m going to be able to continue writing and sharing our sweet Franklin with you. There are a lot of fun and exciting things on the horizon, so stay tuned.
Salutations From Erin!
By Erin Mataj
Salutations! To say that I am excited about this new chapter in my life would be a vast understatement. Ever since Cindy has connected with me about Discovering Franklin, my days and hours have been flooded with grand ideas, many long scribbled lists, and in-depth inner conversations as I stare out the window at all the rain (there was a lot of it!). My husband and kids know by now that when my ideas get bouncing, watch out!
Cindy’s blog was the first website I visited when my husband was offered a perfect position in Nashville. We had fellow Vegas friends living in Franklin, so I Googled it relentlessly. Not only did I think this cross country move was plausible, but I also started to become hopeful for our family. After living for eleven long years in the dry desert of Vegas (I do miss that wonderful dry air…humidity is a friend to no one.) and having two young boys, we knew it was time to load up the wagon and find a homestead somewhere else on this planet. As much as I enjoyed Vegas (notice I didn’t say, “love”), Sin City was an isolating jungle, and we yearned for community, friends, good schools, greenery, a backyard with a garden (gasp!), and neighbors who knew our name or at least said, “Hi!” once a year. This was our family prayer, we needed a simpler life filled with wholesome goodness. Franklin was our prayer answered, and we gobbled it up.
When I first explored Franklin and had lunch by myself at the Mellow Mushroom right in the heart of town, I knew I had found a special place. Every day since I ate that yummy pizza, I have unveiled countless reasons to proudly call Franklin my home.
I love to travel, to me, it is a necessity. I’ve backpacked through Europe, grew up in Saudi Arabia and California, and now that I’m here, I love to travel locally. The South is a vast new planet to me, and it’s ironic that I ended up becoming the Chief Writer and Editor of Content for a Southern travel magazine for the past two years. As a hippy Northern California girl (There’s a difference between us Northerners and Southerners even in California), to me, the South was about Civil Rights, Elvis, Biscuits, and the Bible Belt. Living in the South has taught me that I wasn’t too far off with those notions…especially when it comes to biscuits (carb heaven!). But I have learned that the South is something utterly unique, a cherished way of living, a slower approach to enjoying the simple things in life. In the South, folks always have the time to exchange a few genteel words in the grocery store about the weather, older gentlemen don’t hesitate to offer your sons words of wisdom and to remind them to “listen to ya Mama.” Your neighbors will become a second set of parents for your children, and you’ll love them for it.
I look forward to sharing with you all the many wonderful stories and anecdotes I have collected while living here in Franklin for four wonderful years. To learn a bit more about my personal story check out my ABOUT ME page. If you are lucky enough to live here, I hope you will follow my adventures out and about town, and if you are playing with the idea of moving to the area, I hope to convince you there is no better place to live than Franklin, Tenneesse.
Wishing You Simple Joys,
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