Dancing from LA to TN

Mileles bring their love for dance back home

When you grow up in a small town, it’s hard to dream big. Your vision can be tunneled and sectioned off, and all you can see is what that small town in Tennessee wants you to see. Your biggest dreams can be reduced to simply making ends meet while you pack away all childhood hopes of becoming a rock star. Or an actress. Or a professional dancer.

Meet Justin and Marissa Milele. Wilson County natives, Mount Juliet High School alumnus and living proof that it does not matter where you come from or what obstacles stand in your way, but that hard work and putting your mind to something is a lot of what it takes to make your dreams a reality.

Just like their parents, Mark and Jamie Milele, the siblings had the perfect Southern small-town life. Their parents were high school sweethearts before they settled down in the same town they met, their son was the hometown football star and their daughter happily cheered on the sidelines. William Faulkner would have been proud.

But small-town life isn’t for everyone, and at a young age, you could see that it wasn’t enough for the Milele siblings. So they threw themselves into what they loved doing — dance — and they worked, strived and accomplished turning what they loved into a career.

And now, at the ripe young ages of 22 and 24, with roughly 15-plus dance credits in music videos under their belts, a position on Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” tour, multiple guest spots on the show “Nashville,” a “So You Think You Can Dance” season and 70-city tour, a highlighted position in Ricky Martin’s current Vegas residency and faculty memberships with Revel Dance Convention, the Milele siblings have made it a mission to share their message of hard work and passion, along with all of the lessons they have learned in their respective careers, with the young dancers in the greater Nashville area.

Established in 2016, the Milele siblings, along with their parents, founded and created their own dance studio, appropriately named the Milele Academy. They have only been in the competitive dance circuit for a year now, but in that year, they have won countless titles — both nationally and at state level, more than 17 choreography awards and scholarships and major recognition from the dance community as a whole.

With the academy’s motto of, “Bringing LA to Nashville,” it is the Milele’s hope to bring all of their industry knowledge and talent to the local youth who are passionate about dance.

“I like to think that we can inspire young dreamers to do what makes them happy and to work hard to make it happen,” Marissa says. “Teaching has always been a passion of mine, and I feel I’m able to inspire young kids — especially in a small town — that you can do what you love for a career.”

Giving their dancers a competitive edge is what draws most students to the academy. Not only because both Justin and Marissa are established names with well-established careers in the industry, but because both Marissa and Justin are still incredibly involved in it.

The pair are constantly working toward their dreams, auditioning and training, with no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. They are constantly traveling all across the United States — sometimes together, sometimes solo — to set choreography for other studios, participate in the Revel Dance Convention as faculty, and take professional jobs — most recently with Marissa being a featured dancer performing beside Demi Lovato on “Good Morning America” — all with the promise to bring their lessons back home to their dancers.

It should be noted that while Marissa and Justin are absent, the learning, training and growth for the students is not put on pause for even a second. Their parents, Jamie and Mark, step up to the plate to tie off any loose ends while a scheduled round of professional dancers, choreographers, Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders, members of the Nashville Ballet, additional contestants from “So You Think You Can Dance,” personal trainers, motivators, up and coming performers such as Bobby Newberry and talent agents from Bloc Talent Agency visit the academy to coach, prepare and counsel the students for their future careers.

This type of training is completely new for most people in the area. While there are students in the academy who view dance as a hobby and there are classes associated with it, the main purpose of the academy is to give the students the foundation for success in what they love doing.

But even with all of this success with the academy in its first year, owning and establishing their own business wasn’t always on the Milele sibling’s radar. Understandably, this wasn’t their original goal.

Justin had plans to take his love for football to the college level, while Marissa wanted to focus on her own career as a professional dancer. But flexibility and answering the door when opportunity knocks is one of many lessons the Milele siblings pride themselves in.

“I had thought I was going to head to college first and play football, but then I decided at 19 that I would use my dance training to pursue what I felt I needed to do,” Justin says. “We knew we wanted to do something good for the community, and of course, once we started the academy and saw that our vision was working, it became an even bigger dream to help so many dancers pursue their own dreams.”

“It has meant absolutely everything to me to see young dancers gaining confidence,” Marissa adds. “I used to struggle a little with being myself, but in time, I’ve learned to become who I want to be. So when I see so many of our dancers come into themselves and believe that they have accomplished something, it is truly life-changing.”

Most of Milele Academy’s classes are held in and around the Nashville area, with a permanent dance studio soon to be located downtown on Church St. currently in the works. But wherever these young dancers are training, there is no denying the magic and growth that is taking place in each and every class.

And if there is any singular lesson that comes out of the Milele Academy, it’s that dreams are not indigenous to any location. They are no longer secluded to only New York City and Los Angeles. You can start anywhere, even in a small area like Wilson County. You can make a difference anywhere, even if it is only within yourself. And that is enough.

Milele Academy is located at 805 Woodland St. in Nashville. For more information, visit Mileleacademy.com.

Written By Isabella Roy

Share This:

Fall Back in Time

Granville celebrates history with fun, memorable festivity

What better way to remember the days of old than with a fall celebration the whole family can enjoy. One of middle Tennessee’s largest fall festivals, the Granville Fall Celebration has been bringing the community together for nearly two decades.

The free festival will be Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout Granville’s Main Street. This year’s theme is “Thanks for the Memories” and will celebrate the 1940s with activities, tours and other events.

“You can step back in time,” says Randall Clemons, president of Granville Museum.

There will be World War II reenactments, exhibits, performances and more to really take attendees to an early time. People can also watch craftsman demonstrations, including watching them make cider, soap, pottery, brooms and much more. But that’s just the beginning.

There will also be a quilt show featuring more than 120 quilts in the historical Granville United Methodist Church and jazz music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Granville Veterans Park. In addition to those sites and sounds, there will be a motorcycle show, food, craft booths, children’s rides, shopping and more.

“The Fall Celebration is a day of fun for all ages,” Clemons says.

Another major draw for the celebration is the Scarecrow Festival, which runs throughout the month. The Fifth Annual Granville Scarecrow Festival will be Oct. 4-29, Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The largest scarecrow exhibit in the state, the festival will continue the 1940s theme. There will also be ones for children to enjoy, like Bambi, Pinocchio, Dumbo and characters from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“We have over 250 traditional scarecrows, as well, displayed with fall decorations in a grand fashion,” Clemons says. Attendees will receive a guide when they arrive that tells the story of each scarecrow.

From these lively scarecrows to historic recreations, there are plenty of things to see, hear and do in Granville this fall. The town will even hold a historic ghost walk Oct. 27-28, continuing the theme of conserving memories.

“One hundred eighty-nine volunteers provide a great fall event for all ages and tell the story of our community and country,” he says. “History is preserved, and our community is showcased in a grand fashion.”

The Fall Celebration and Scarecrow Festival are both free, but tours of the Sutton Homestead cost. The event is made possible through the Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Build Communities (ABC) and Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corp. (UCEMC) Cares grants. Visit Granvilletn.com for more information.

Photos By Peggy Clemons

Share This:

Heart of the City

Renovations breathe new life into Historic Lebanon Square

Take a step onto Lebanon’s Square, and you’ll be surrounded by a mix of historic buildings, new boutiques, friendly faces and a gamut of other updates. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Square is tapping into its rich history to restore and rejuvenate the city center.

Several of the current renovation projects were made possible with the Facade Improvement Grant from Historic Lebanon, says Kim Parks, executive director of Historic Lebanon and local Main Street program manager.

The grant will allow them to restore the facades and storefronts of these historic buildings, including replacing windows, painting with a historical color palette, improving signage and adding lighting to enhance the architectural features.

Formed in 1802, the Square has faced several changes through the centuries, including fires that destroyed whole blocks, new businesses opening and the addition of the roundabout in recent years.

The roundabout has not only brought a new level of safety to the Square, but it’s also created new opportunities for businesses and made the area more walkable, says Rob Cesternino, the City of Lebanon’s mayor pro tempore and Ward 3 councilman.

The Square has also seen parades during WWII, First Monday Mule Day sales, four county courthouses and even a store owned by Andrew Jackson before being elected president.

“The Square is the historical heart of the city. That’s where the city began: The first 40 acres are where the Square is now,” says Rick Bell, Lebanon’s Ward 6 councilman and history professor at Cumberland University. “No matter how much the city grows, the Square is still the heart of the city.”

Born and raised in Lebanon, Bell says he’s enjoyed watching the city grow through the years. Bell says it’s important to preserve that history and give people a place they can spend time and walk around.

“There aren’t many places where you can park your car, walk and go to stores. You can go to a movie at the Capitol, or go shop,” Bell says. “It’s just a place for a great night where you can relax and be safe.”

Helping to make the Square more walkable is the surge of new businesses opening nearby.

“Anytime there’s something new in close proximity to the Square, it spurs that walkability factor,” says Sarah Haston, economic development director for the City of Lebanon.

Some new additions coming to the Square include a restaurant and the Cumberland Entrepreneur and Co-Working Center.

“People used to talk about going to the Square and shops, and now a new generation is saying, ‘Let’s go to the Square and shops,’” Bell says.

Beyond going to shops and events, people can also live in and around the Square as more loft spaces become available, adding to its appeal.

All of the current renovations and new business additions are focused on preserving the history of the Square, while also keeping it current for generations to come.

“We’re moving forward with positive energy — and also engaging the people who have lived in Lebanon their entire lives,” says Cesternino, who relocated here from Seattle 10 years ago.

It’s an exciting time for the Historic Lebanon Square as the city finds the perfect combination of new and old to liven up this important destination.

“The Square has gone through a lot of changes in the past. Building styles have changed, stores have changed, business have come and gone — and right now we’re going through another change,” Bell says. “I feel like this is a change for the better. We’re making the Square better than it ever was.”

Share This:

My Perfectly Perpendicular Box

If you were to look up the word “uptight” in the dictionary, front and center would be a photo of yours truly. And, in that picture, I’d be sitting in a perfectly proportioned square box.

Oh, how I love my box where everything is just how I like it. Nothing out of place, everything color coordinated in muted colors, elevator music playing in the background, putting on my comfy socks on a Friday night, right before sitting in my comfy chair pinning decorating trends on Pinterest.

And being as uptight as I am, when someone tries to dismantle my little box, I don’t do very well.

So a while back, Brody came up with the idea that I should apply for a spot in a local organization that does quite a lot of good for the community. He had participated in it years before and wanted me to join. The organization, while a worthy one, required an overnight retreat of its members, where I would not know many of the other participants.

It also involved a bus ride, where it’s common knowledge, at the end of which you will be required to tell the entire class what you learned about your seatmate. It required a personality test where your entire personality is dissected and discussed. It required countless interactions, games and discussions with those I barely knew. And it required my sharing a room with someone I had never laid eyes on.

For many years, for these reasons alone, I said “No way!” That box sounded noisy, messy and way too close for comfort.

For one, when I’m on a bus or plane I read, don’t talk and, just in case you try to engage me, immediately upon sitting down, I put on my earbuds and hoodie (the international language for “leave me alone”). I don’t need a personality test to tell me all the ways I’m controlling and crazed.

And I don’t play games because I can think of 101 things I can clean with the time it takes to play an entire game of monopoly or bunch. But the No. 1 thing I dislike more than anything, in this entire world, would be sharing a room (i.e. my box) with a complete stranger.

For some reason, I won’t ever be able to fully explain, in a very weak moment, I finally agreed to attend. So a few weeks ago, I did all sorts of things I never thought possible from my little box.

I made a new friend on a bus. It was slightly painful at first, mostly for her, because she seemed to be one of those people who can talk to anyone.

I completed a personality test — that at the end of the day — found me to be judicious and competitive, which are nice words for controlled and crazy.

And I played games that weren’t so bad, except I missed every ball that was thrown at me, which tends to happen when your hands are crossed in front of you.

But most importantly, I shared a room with a complete stranger, and she didn’t kill me in my sleep nor did she steal from me.

My stranger roommate was very, very nice. A former model and diamond broker who now works for a local non-profit, she kept her side of the room neat and tidy, let me shower first and actually went to bed before I did. As potential psychotic roommates go, she was a good one, although the diamond broker M. O. had me worried there for a minute.

When I returned from the retreat, I was met by both Brody and Becky. who seemed so very proud of me for stepping out of my box. So much so, I found it quite annoying.

“I’m not completely anti-social,” I told them both. “I talk to people every single day of my life and lots of people like me.”

“Sure they do,” both said in unison while trying not to laugh.

But I must say, that evening, upon returning home, there was nothing I wanted to do more than put on my comfy socks, sit in my comfy chair and read about the virtues of properly aligning frames on a gallery wall.

While that other box wasn’t as bad as expected, there is simply no place like home…especially when it’s a perfectly proportioned square box.

With Leadership Wilson’s Dare to Dine set for a Nov. 11, we thought it was a good time to share Angel’s Leadership Wilson retreat experience from several years back. Tickets are still available for this fun event at www.leadershipwilson.com.

Share This:

Right at Home

Find stylish décor, gifts, design help and more at Square Market

Stepping into Lebanon’s Square Market is like visiting a good friend’s home. Shoppers are welcomed by friendly faces, eye-catching décor and a variety of pieces that would be the perfect addition to their own home.

Luckily, they can make all of the furniture and stylish items theirs — and there’s even someone to help with finding the perfect place for it all to go. Behind all of the home décor pieces and charming gifts is Paula McDonnell, owner of Square Market.

After retiring from nearly three decades at AT&T, McDonnell was ready to start the next chapter in her life. As luck would have it, so were the owners of Square Market. When McDonnell heard they were closing the store where she loved to shop, she decided to follow her passion and purchase Square Market from them in October 2016.

Located in the Historic Lebanon Square, the home décor shop has furniture, lamps, gifts, accessories, home décor items, jewelry, candles, rugs, Tennessee food products, pieces from local artisans and “anything you can think of to decorate your home,” McDonnell says.

“I really work to make the items I sell in the store different from what you’ll see anywhere else,” McDonnell says. “Many of the things I have in the store are made in America, made in Tennessee or by hand locally.”

Some of their most popular items come from the EttaB Pottery line, which is handmade in Mississippi. These decorative pieces are safe in the microwave, dishwasher and oven, and McDonnell says they’ve flown off the shelves since they arrived in June.

For people looking to show some local pride, they carry pieces like platters with the state outline, pillows with Lebanon’s zip code and other locally inspired pieces.

There are pieces for every home, style and budget. “We try to have products that range in price so people can find something they can afford,” says McDonnell, who lives on Old Hickory Lake.

She also saves shoppers time by bringing all of the styles, trends and décor pieces right here to Lebanon. With the motto, “We went to Franklin so you don’t have to,” McDonnell encourages people to shop locally first.

“Before you head over to Franklin, Murfreesboro or somewhere else, see if you can find what you’re looking for here: You’re going to have luck,” she says. “I’m staying in line with what they have other there, and our prices are lower.”

Besides being more convenient for shoppers in and around Wilson County, Square Market also sets itself apart with its focus on customers, which is at the heart of all they do. From greeting customers as soon as they walk in to helping them pick out the perfect item, the women at the shop keep the customers and their needs first.

They even deliver furniture and other pieces for free. “We’ll help you out,” McDonnell adds.

But maybe the biggest differentiator for Square Market is its in-house design expertise. Dell Karp-Farley, owner of DK Interiors, works onsite in collaboration with Square Market, offering free design consultation with a minimum purchase of $1,000.

The pair met in January and discovered they were a perfect match to work together at Square Market. McDonnell had a variety of décor pieces, and Karp-Farley brought her years of design experience — giving customers the complete package.

“I always like to say I was born to be a designer/decorator,” Karp-Farley says. From moving her mother’s furniture as a child to having her own business for 25 years, Karp-Farley continues to follow her passion for design at Square Market and beyond.

With an office in the back of the store, Karp-Farley offers a complete array of design services. She helps with everything from designing small spaces to choosing the color schemes for the interior and exterior of a home.

“I love the people I work with and being in the store,” Karp-Farley says. “I’ll work within any budget.”

If a customer purchases a custom sofa from the store, for example, Karp-Farley can design a layout for where existing and new furniture should go.

“It can help you feel comfortable about your decision and have an expert help you,” Karp-Farley says. “I truly try to make it look like I’ve never been there. I want it to look like it’s theirs, not staged or uncomfortable. It’s got to feel homey.”

So whether someone is looking for a small gift or a complete home makeover, Square Market has something that’s sure to meet their décor needs.

Square Market is located at 115 S. Cumberland St. in Lebanon. They are open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit Squaremarketlebanon.com, email squaremarketlebanon@gmail.com or call 615-965-2595.

Photos By Jana Pastors

Share This:

The Real Cost of Gas

I’ve been consistent lately with working out. I’ve found a little slice of heaven inside the walls of a yoga studio. Never mind this heaven can be more than 100 degrees with 30-percent humidity. But a few weeks ago, I thought I would need to hide my head in shame and never return because of something silly.

What happened, you ask? I passed gas during yoga. It was quiet; the room, not the gas. At first, this group of seriously, flexible yogis was too focused on perfecting their Warrior III to pay attention. No one knew until the moment it became clear that “silent and deadly’s” aren’t always silent. I could tell by the look on everyone’s face; they’d caught wind of my secret. Our dear instructor must have sensed my angst as she softly said, “stay with your breath. Come back to your intention.” I started chanting my intention in my mind. “don’t do it again, don’t do it again.” Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect.

I was sweating profusely. Mostly because the room was nearly 100 degrees with 40-percent humidity, but I’m sure my flatulence was responsible for at least a few of those beads. If I could make it a few more minutes, the class would be over, and I’d be in the clear. Then it happened again. They were building strength as I’m certain I heard a thud of someone passing out behind me.

What should I do? What should I say? Do I say anything? Should I close my eyes like instructed OR should I just play the ghost fart card and hightail it outta there, so everyone thinks the cute little brunette sitting to my left is responsible. Who am I kidding? She doesn’t have a look for anything other than Zen perfection. If she is a gasser, it probably smells like a mix between fresh flowers and unicorn dust, which I hear smells heavenly.

Me? I look the part. Or at least I felt like I looked the part at that moment. Two dustings later and I made a promise to God, Betty White, Oprah (and anyone else I could think of) that I would NEVER again eat cauliflower, eggs, chocolate chip cookies, beef jerky or Sour Patch Kids. I essentially went through everything I had eaten the previous six days. I then made a mental note that I need to rethink my diet.

Even though I was sure everyone knew it was me, they didn’t show it. For me, it was torture. I’ve heard someone do this in class before and I always catch myself before I giggle out loud. I can’t help it. No matter how old or educated I get, fart jokes will always be funny. This was my payback. This boiling anxiety was payback for all the years I laughed at inappropriate jokes or the fact that I don’t use the phrase “passing gas” more than its less sophisticated cousin, fart.

As class ended, everyone slowly came out of their respective floor poses. This was it. No one noticed. I exhaled for real this time because I stared humiliation in the face and said, “please, please, please don’t do this today.”

Before standing, I made eye contact with my neighbor and gave the international facial expression for “damn, that was hot.” I couldn’t believe I wasted an entire hour worried. When I stood, it happened (again!). Everyone including the adorable little yogi sitting next to me would now be able to put a face with a…whatever.

I had two choices. I could either ignore it (again!) and never show my face at the studio OR I could be an adult about this. I glanced at my yogi neighbor as we exited class and said, “Did you hear what that butthole said?”

Kidding. I did not say that because saying that is not very adult-like. I simply held my head high and told the instructor I would see her next week. Embarrassment is a high price to pay for a little gas, but it’s worth it to continue my yoga practice. Namaste.

Comments? Email becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

Share This:

Local Spirits

Enjoy unique tastes, tours and more at Jug Creek Distillery

There’s nothing like sipping on a cold, handcrafted drink while listening to local musicians and enjoying a million-dollar view. And the best part is that it’s all right here at Wilson County’s Jug Creek Distillery, thanks to Heath Frazier and Kyle Luttrell.

Friends Frazier and Luttrell both had successful careers in the medical industry, each with a master’s degree in nursing. However, their love of science took them in an unexpected direction: They wanted to open a distillery together.

“I had a dream of creating something totally different from what’s out there today,” Frazier explains. He had made wine and beer at home but wanted to learn more about the distilling process to further that dream.

Luckily, his medical background came in handy. “I’m a science geek in a way, so a lot of it came from reading and research.”

He also went to Moonshine University in Louisville and talked with other distillers to learn tricks of the trade. “There’s kind of a brotherhood with other distillers,” he says. Frazier and Luttrell joined that brotherhood when they founded Jug Creek Distillery in 2015.

About a year after that, Frazier decided to leave his job in the healthcare industry and focus on his passion for distilling full time. What was once a hobby for Frazier and Luttrell became the stunning distillery that stands today.

As for where they wanted to break ground and open their distillery, the answer was pretty clear.

“We love Wilson County, the people, the atmosphere,” says Frazier, who has lived in Wilson County for about a decade. “We felt like it was a county that was growing and needed an attraction, instead of taking everything to Nashville.”

So after two years of work and planning, they opened Jug Creek Distillery in Wilson County in January of this year. The distillery features chandeliers from the Gaylord Opryland, an old doctor’s buggy, items from local artisans, a moonshine still and other repurposed items that add to its homey feel. And their spirits are the cherry on top.

“A lot of people have toured distilleries and vineyards. But if you want a mix of the two, come see us,” Frazier says. “Our products are unique from anything you’ve ever tasted.”

Instead of backing away from the smells and tastes of spirits, which can be a common sight at some distilleries, people don’t have that reaction to Jug Creek’s handcrafted drinks, Frazier says.

“You’ll find something you like with one of our products,” he adds.

They have specialty liqueurs like Gran’s Banana Pudding, Grand Dad’s Coffee Creamer, Wicket Chocolate Cranberry and Wicked Chocolate Cranberry Oaked. As for liquors, they create Wilson County Whiskey, Cedar’s Ultra-Premium Gin, Tennessee Pecan Pie and a smooth vodka.

One way people can sample their spirits and learn more about how a distillery works is with their tours. Frazier says they educate people on the science behind the distillation process and show them how they make their spirits.

“You’ll learn things you never thought you’d learn at a distillery,” he says. “It’s a different experience from anything you’ve ever done. We have people say that all of the time.”

They’ve had people from across the county and world come check out the distillery. Frazier leads the tours, which is rare to have the actual distiller readily available for questions. “You don’t have to pay extra for that,” Frazier says with a laugh.

Beyond sampling their spirits, people can also enjoy one of their unique cocktails, like their “Pork Rind Bloody Mary” or “Not the Irish Car Bomb.”

Their spirits aren’t only catching on with locals, but they are also gaining attention globally, winning numerous awards.

“Even though we’re young, we’ve been making waves in the competition world,” he says, with four of the six products released winning awards.

But there’s more to this distillery than their tours and awards. They’ve started having live music and food trucks at the distillery, so people can come out with their lawn chairs and enjoy a relaxing day.

Frazier says people can rent the venue for special events, and they’re working on an outdoor amphitheater. They also hope to have a pumpkin patch on the grounds in time for fall.

“We’re trying to be an all-encompassing event area,” he says. “The sky is the limit for what we’re doing with the property.”

All ages are welcome at the distillery, and Frazier says both his and Luttrell’s children are there all of the time. They’re even installing a playground. “We want it to be a family environment,” he says.

They offer tours, tastings and their unique cocktail menu Wednesdays (by appointment only), Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 12-8 p.m. and Sundays from 1-6 p.m. Tours are $10 per person and free for children 12 and younger, and the last tour of the day begins at 4 p.m.

Jug Creek Distillery is located at 1049 Oregon Rd. in Lascassas. For more information on Jug Creek Distillery, visit Jugcreekdistillery.com.

Photos By Jeff Seely, Jeff’s Eye Photography

Share This:

Fall Festivities

Find plenty of fun, local activities to enjoy with the whole family

Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Vintage Market Days
Wilson County Expo Center
Find vendors from across the country at the vintage-inspired market. There will be antiques, jewelry, home décor items, clothing, food and much more. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. For more information, visit Vintagemarketdays.com.

Oct. 7
Granville Fall Celebration
Granville
Remember a simpler time with activities like Jazz on the Cumberland at Veterans Park, a quilt festival, 1940s Celebration, Scarecrow Festival and much more. There will also be a veterans’ appreciation service and Sutton Ole Time Music Hour and Dinner. For more information, visit Granvilletn.com.

Oct. 7
Fall Mile Long Yard Sale
Watertown Square
Shop hundreds of booths at this rain-or-shine event. There will be antiques, flea market items, tools, collectibles, food and much more. For more information, visit Watertowntn.com.

Oct. 21
Halloween in the Park
Charlie Daniels Park
Enjoy costume contests, hayrides, a petting zoo, inflatables, vendor booths, free candy and more at Halloween in the Park. This free event will from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. New this year, there will also be a Scarecrow Contest individuals, families, organizations and businesses can enter. For more information, visit Tn-mountjuliet.civicplus.com.

Oct. 21-22
Oktoberfest
Wilson Bank & Trust Main Office, Lebanon
The event’s fair-like atmosphere will feature one of the area’s largest antique car shows, live entertainment, children’s games, quilt and photography displays, food, more than 100 craft vendors and more. Oktoberfest is free to attend. Visit Wilsonbank.com for more information.

Oct. 26
Taste of Wilson County
The Mill at Lebanon
Sample the best Wilson County has to offer from tasty treats to local boutiques and more! This year will feature Batch & Bushel, which includes local farmers and their goods, and a Grill Off with local dignitaries and principals. Join us for a night of family fun at our premier education fundraiser from 5:30-8 p.m. Ticket prices are $35 for V.I.P., $25 for adults (12+), $8 for children (6-11) and free for children 5 and younger. For more information, visit Tasteofwilsoncounty.com, or call 615-444-5503.

Oct. 31
Halloween on the Square
Lebanon’s Historic Square
Join us on the Historic Lebanon Square for a fun night with candy stations, ghoul parade and a costume contest from 5-8:30 pm. For more information, visit Lebanonwilsonchamber.com, or call 615-444-5503.

Sponsored by the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce

Share This:

Modern Country

How to make this dream farmhouse yours

Finding the perfect house can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But if you’re looking for a renovated farmhouse retreat to call home, I know of the perfect one that just hit the market. It’s one I fell in love with, and I’m sure you will too as you learn the backstory and see the stunning photos.

Being a city girl, I never had a strong reference for what a country farmhouse truly was. During my childhood, my mother was able to regal about the white house, chickens and fresh vegetables of her childhood home.

When we first moved to Wilson County, we quickly realized why it was so special — from the beautiful countryside with ample opportunities to have a home with 2 to 20 acres to the ability to live quietly in the home of your dreams.

For us, this dream started just about six years ago when we started looking for a new home. Robert, my husband, and I set out to find a home with the characteristics that would suit our personalities. I tend to think of Donny and Marie Osmond: She’s a little country, and he’s a little rock and roll. Our tastes are eclectic and genuinely unique.

The thought of a 200-year-old farmhouse was exactly what I was targeting — from the large kitchen and farm sink to the large quantities of windows that would brighten the dream home and provide cross ventilation in the summer. I knew a white farm house, with character and personality, was exactly what we were going to find.

Fast forward several months later: no farmhouse, no new home with character, the dream was fading away. Until one day, I stumbled upon a beautiful sprawling home on Coles Ferry Pike. As with all of the homes we were looking at, I called my partner in the house-hunting venture, Cathy, so we could go together and check it off the list.

This time was different. Completely different. We were waiting at the front gate, anticipation building while entering the front gate code, I could see this home was different. This house has character, from the 10-inch baseboards to the tongue and groove whitewashed ceilings throughout the home. I was already feeling at home and had only stepped in the front door.

We looked at each other and excitement took over. We felt as if we were two young girls running around their grandmother’s farmhouse going from room to room yelling at each other. Did you notice the hickory flooring? Did you see the quilt closets? Then it hit me, this was home.

I called my husband, and he had to see this house, this was the house.  (I determined at that point, I should see the rest of the home.)

Fast forward to 2017, and we have been asked many times what did we fall in love with when it comes to this home. There are too many attributes to mention, but the legacy of the home is what makes this house a home.

We continue to refer to the Country Farm House on Coles Ferry Pike as The Bay House. When we are asked where we live, the answer is always the same: We live one mile west of Friendship Christian in the white farmhouse, the Bay House, and the response is always the same, “We always wondered who lived there.”

Mr. and Mrs. Bay lovingly built this farmhouse, a replica of the farmhouse her grandmother raised her family in. So many of the details were included in the structure and design. With more than 37 windows in the home, you have natural light from all angles. When swinging open the French doors on the back side of the house, you will enjoy the serenity of Barton’s Creek.

I remember the first time I stepped into the kitchen, my thoughts were in anticipation of the family meals, the entertaining and the time we would be spent in this warm space. This is when I knew whoever originally designed this home must have a love of family and food, too.

This is a dream kitchen, from the double farm sinks (every country kitchen needs a vegetable sink!) to the custom cabinetry in wood, yellow or red to the Corian counter tops. But we cannot forget the modern appliances, the heartbeat of the gathering place, including the Viking Professional Series kitchen and vintage-designed eight-burner gas Viking Stove, customized with four burners, a griddle and a grill.

There’s also the double Viking Professional refrigerators, lovingly referred to as His and Hers, as well as the Fisher Paykel double dishwashers. This kitchen has seen many gatherings in its time.

After being giddy from seeing the kitchen, eat-in kitchen and den with a gas fireplace, we decided to explore the rest of the home. If the open-concept living area was this wonderful, what else would we discover?

In true adult fashion, we found our next toy! Why was there a key in the wall? Of course, we needed to find out, and it was the chandelier lift. The wagon-wheel inspired, multi-tiered, wrought iron chandelier had a lift to lower for decoration, cleaning or general light bulb maintenance.

On to the master suite, and yes, this is a suite. With a master bedroom larger than most couples’ apartments, the windows and natural light are amazing. It has a walk-in his and hers master closet, double vanities with Corian counters (a theme in the house) and large, open-tile shower. This truly is a place of relaxation and reflection.

Meandering through the home, we found all three bedrooms, bathrooms, oversized laundry room and then rooms no one ever expected: the game room, craft room and a room that has since been named Peggy’s Piddlin’ Room. This room was made for crafting, art, sewing, games and family fun. This is the room where all of the creative fun and family time happens.

Beyond the master, there are two additional full baths, which have unique designs and cabinets. Each has a sink built into furniture, recessed lighting — as with the entire home — and tiled floors. Not to mention, the additional two half baths. Plumbing was well designed down to the utility sink in the oversized laundry room with enough space for ironing and hanging your clothing.

The home’s main living space has decorator shelving with plugs every few feet to display your collectibles. I can only imagine how Christmas Village would have looked up there meandering around the den, living room, into the hall and wrapping around. A child’s dream, or any adults dream!

You’ll also find recessed lighting with the details of many individual switches to accent specific spaces in the home. Timers are set for the exterior lights, motion sensors for the drive lights and a light on the keypad for the main gate entrance shows how important lighting is when looking at every detail of the home.

There is plenty of exterior space to enjoy, as well. The front porch has double benches you will find yourself relaxing on and watching the world go by. The side porch is just perfect for iced tea and conversation.

But the back porch and back deck are the areas of great pride. From the custom-laid flagstone patio, walkway and fire pit, you will enjoy any time of day overlooking the water and listening to the sounds of nature.

The smallest exterior details, but with the biggest impact, are the inconspicuous holes in the driveway. These holes are there for the family that plans for large-scale reunions, parties and in general fun. Each hole is spaced for the exact width of a large event tent to be set up in the driveway.

And the best part about this inviting home is that it’s for sale.

While I’ve definitely fallen in love with this home, it’s time for a change. But I know whoever buys it will build just as many — if not more — great memories in this timeless home.

This country farmhouse at 6495 Coles Ferry Pike has all of the details, alcoves and special nuances of your grandmother’s farmhouse with modern amenities. This 4,800-square foot home has three bedrooms, three full and two half baths, four-bay garage and additional space to build out.

It has two walk-in attics, an estimated 1,500 square feet of framed-in space for expansion, an irrigation system, gated front entry with solar-powered entrance, Trane CleanEffects whole-house filtration system, tankless hot water heater, three Trane HVAC units and sits on just under 2 acres on Point Barton: You’ll want to call this home.

To view this farmhouse retreat, contact Michael Ezsol at Century 21 West Main Realty. Michael has lived in Lebanon for the past 15 years and says he enjoys working with families to find their perfect home. He makes the entire process as easy as possible for his clients, surrounding himself with industry professionals who can help solve any issue that comes up.

Michael Ezsol is a full-time, dedicated agent who provides clients with all of the facts and information they need to make a decision about what’s best for them. Contact Michael to learn more about this custom farmhouse before it sells, or schedule a private showing. Visit Cfpfarmhouse.com for more information and video tour.

Written By Helene Singer Cash
Photos By Jana Pastors and HouseLens

Share This:

The Perks

I’ve been so forlorn lately with the prospect of No. 2 heading off to college after this school year that I almost completely forgot about No. 3.

And then I opened my freezer.

Only to find hundreds of frozen bug eyes staring back at me. And just like that, the school year has begun.

Bug projects, school photos, study guides, homecoming events, never-ending school emails and the list goes on and on.

When we had three little kids at home, my motto often was …. cut it out, glue it down and we are done!

Because nobody has time for that!

The difference though between three kids at home vs one is these days, my motto is… let’s do it together. Just you and I.

Because, at this point in my life, I’ve got nothing but time!

We often go out to dinner now, just Brody, myself and No. 3. We watch him eat, we follow his every move, we hang on his every word.

I was a first born. My brother was the baby. I always thought he was treated particularly well after I left home. Now I’m certain of it.

No. 2 can see the writing on the wall.

“Did you just move a television into Neill’s room? Madison and I were never allowed to even watch television!”

“You let him go to the fair on a school night. What is going on?”

“Are you letting him eat food in the den? You never let us do that!! Hello? Who is parenting him?? That’s his second Coke tonight!! Hello???”

And she is right.

No. 3 gets special treatment. Not because he is No. 3. Not because he is a boy. But because he is my last one.

Maybe it’s wrong. Actually, I’m sure it is. I don’t even care. No. 2 has started compiling her dorm room supply list. She’s made her choice! No. 3 is all I have left.

So while I made the girls find and freeze their own bugs, for No. 3, I’m right along with him as we capture, freeze dry and then pin down spiders, wasps and all sorts of nasty little creatures.

When it was three little kids at home, life was a chaotic blur of fast food dinners, racing between soccer and dance and Halloween outfits that (if I’m being honest) were subpar.

For him, I make banana bread each Sunday so that he can have a warm slice all week. We get to his football games an hour early, just to watch him practice. For Halloween this year, we are hosting a teenage goblin party!

No. 1 has even called home to complain that she is hearing No. 3 is being spoiled.

“Zoe told me that Neill is getting a Polaris. Have you gone insane! She and I had to walk the garbage bins down a gravel driveway all our lives. She said you said it was too far for him to walk!!”

Did I mention that my brother didn’t leave home until he got married at 25? He still lives in Memphis near my parents. They vacation together twice a year and have Sunday lunch together each week.

Now I get it.

Well played, Mom and Dad. Well played!

Share This: