I remember sitting on Karen’s front porch to ask her these questions. We were up at sunrise, sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes in the crisp morning air.
Karen’s answers to the Project questions are a reflection of herself. Beautifully simple, hard-earned, and true.
A dear friend and I (Claire Everson) went to do a story on her at her ridge top farm-home in the North eastern hills of Tennessee. We spent two day’s with Karen on her farm, which she manages all on her own. At 56, she’s faced a lot of opposition in doing so. Stood tall among many naysayers and remained a fierce friend to those she loves.
I grew up in the south, but spending 48 hours there on Mule Ridge truly reminded me what southern hospitality is and what it really means to be southern.
Beyond all the the cliche’s and even the shortcomings, there is a beautiful simplicity that exists in the south that’s quiet difficult to put into words and even somewhat difficult to truly find. It’s a quiet comfort. A coming home and a peace in the world around you. It’s feeling crisp humid air and cool grass on bare feet and a connectivity and respect for nature.
I write this now sitting in a Nashville coffee shop. I can tell you that, though still in the south, this is nowhere to be found.
The time spent with Karen on Mule Ridge will be memories and lessons that I will cary with me from now on. Claire and I did a whole story on Karen and we will be so very excited to share more about her and her life with you soon! She’s an incredible woman! For now, reach what she had to say in the Project 104 interview.
Love Aimlessly, My Friends
What gets you out of bed everyday?
My sense of responsibility. That’s what gets me out of bed. I know that I need to go take care of Nell (Her friend) and that she needs that. She looks and waits for me to come each day.
Knowing that I have to keep work for my employees and the responsibility of feeding and taking care of everything on the farm, which is very important to me.
The second thing that getss me up is what I look forward to in the the projects planned for the day. I like having projects to work on and keep me going.
To date, what is the greatest lesson you’ve learned?
Wow… Not to take anything for granted. Life is shorter than I realized. There’s no guarantees. We have to love everybody each day. I have a hard time with that sometimes, but Nell makes me want to be a better person and I hope that rubs off to someone else.
What is love?
Love… Love to me… is caring weather you’re okay, inside or out. Being there when someone needs you and even when they don’t. Having somebody’s back. Caring enough to take care of them. That’s love.
About Karen :
Lives in Jamestown, TN
Farm owner, strong woman.
Drone Footage: Clair Everson Cinematography/editing: Chris Daniels