I love reading books so much, when I actually have the time to sit down and do so. When I heard about the book At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, written by Franklin Sanders from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, I knew that this would be a very unique book. I wasn’t disappointed. I received the physical copy, which is 379 pages long and costs $22.95. There is also a digital version available for $16.95.
Franklin and his wife Susan reside in the state of Tennessee, just like my family and I. I had never heard of Dugwood Mudhole, although I must say that being Southern as I am, the name doesn’t surprise me one bit. In case you’re like me and have (had) no clue where it’s located, there’s a nifty drawing of Tennessee in the beginning of the book highlighting a few major cities, as well as showing just where Dogwood Mudhole is located. It’s not actually a town, though. According to the book’s preface, it’s just a crossroad! It kind of makes me think of people who have a road named after themselves, and their whole family loves on that road. But, I digress.
What’s unique about this book, is that it didn’t originally start out being a book. Mr. Sanders publishes a newsletter called The Moneychanger, and the book is a compilation of those newsletters beginning in June 1995 and ending in September 2002. The book is broken down into 4 sections: Leaving Memphis Five Miles at a Time, Living in the Country Changes You, Learning Curve, and A Real Farm. The Sanders’ dream was to live an agrarian life-style. I’ll be honest, I had never heard this word before, so I had to look it up in the dictionary. I love learning new words, it makes me feel smart! Anyhow, an agrarian lifestyle is basically living off of the land. In the wake of Y2K (yeah, that did disappoint in a sense, didn’t it?) they were preparing themselves to be more self-sufficient. Franklin’s wife Susan reminds me a bit of myself…she doesn’t want to acquire anything that eats (except the kids, of course. Once you have those, you can’t take them back. My OB said so.). Of course, you know how it goes…between Franklin and the kids, they gain chickens (yay I love chickens!), horses, cows, pigs…you get the idea. They build up their farm, basically. They go from a nuclear family (I had to look that one up as well…I’m not as smart as I thought I was, I reckon) to a multi-generational family when their children marry and start their own families.
Ok, so you know I’m Southern. I speak Southern, and understand much of the slang and accent. You can tell when someone’s pretending to talk Southern, and then when they actually are Southern. It’s a gift of sorts, you could say. Mr. Sanders is Southern. ^Just look at that picture of him up there. He even looks Southern. Yeehaw! This book was so much fun to read, y’all. It oozes Southern speak! I loved reading about the family’s closeness and their adventures. These people travel a lot, y’all. Every time I turned around, I was reading about a new adventure of theirs. It’s great! Franklin even spent a little time in jail around the Holidays one year. That’s one adventure I never want to go on. Their dog, Jack, reminds me of our cat Josie. The dog is crazy and likes to run out in the road and get hit, just like our cat. He went from being a $30 dog to a $1,000 dog. Thankfully our cat hasn’t been that expensive, although I’m not sure how many lives she has left. Maybe 4 if she’s lucky. Jack is a lucky dog…literally.
This book is pretty inspiring. I love the family dynamic here. My husband and I dream of owning a large piece of land one day that we could live off of, and I would love if the kids and their families lived with us, too! I’d still have to have my electricity and running water, though. I’m not living without internet and an indoor outhouse. I can’t wait for the next installment, Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did. It’s gonna be mine! Maybe I should ask for it for Christmas?
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