I returned to Buenos Aires this weekend after a short trip to visit family in Tennessee. Fortunately I wa able to get a cheap flight from using my frequent flyer miles on American. I was able to find a free flight for 40,000 miles from Buenos Aires – Miami – Nashville and back. It wasn’t entirely free since you still have to pay taxes, etc., but was a very good deal on a flight. Hmmm, so I guess that’s a cheap roundtrip to Nashville from Buenos Aires.

One of the main reasons I went was for the Barry Family reunion. My father’s family has lived on the same land in Tennessee since 1820. My aunt, uncle, and cousins still farm the land. It was good to see distant relatives and catch up with the family. Tennessee is suffering from a horrible drought. The land is extremely dry and the corn fields are solid brown… looks like there’s no corn from Tennessee this year.

I visited my brother in east Tennessee and things are a lot greener there though the lakes are still very low.

East Tennessee

This was my first visit back to the U.S. after living in Argentina for the past two and a half years. Driving around Tennessee reminded me how much wilderness still exists in the U.S. and the suburban nature of almost all the cities. Or, as in my small hometown or the small town where my brother lives, the towns are nothing more than one strip mall after another, completely devoid of any charm. I’m not a big fan of the automobile, so I prefer living either in a really big city or in a village nestled in the mountains.

So, here I am back in the urban grit of Buenos Aires. I love it.

But I also always will be a Tennessean, a Southerner. There’s something about growing up in the rural South that always stays with you even though I don’t accept all the conservative attitudes. Non-Southerners don’t understand the South. All I can advise is to read Faulkner, particularly one of my favorite novels: Absalom, Absalom!