Bentonville O.G. ;)

Bentonville is a tiny little spot of heaven in the middle of nowhere. Undiscovered in its charm and small town uniqueness, a place I have always been honored to call home. In the last decade or so Bentonville has drastically changed! Northwest Arkansas’s metropolitan area is one of the fasted growing economies in the U.S. and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping!!!

It comes as no surprise to me that other people have noticed and love our beautiful little town. Located in such a lovely part of our country it’s so appealing in rich history and southern charm, what’s there not to love?! We’re so blessed with the benefits provided to our community by the many corporate headquarters located here. They help keep our country’s commerce running and fuel innovation throughout different industries for the future of the world! In turn making our community even more diverse and expansive as we move forward.

I recently had a friend, I’ve known most of my life, tell me she is coming to visit and wants to know what to do when they come! I was so happy to tell her about everything there’s to do here now! With all the growth and excitement I feel like sometimes I can’t even keep up with what all is happening! I got to the end of the conversation and realized I sounded like a travel agent for Northwest Arkansas! I get excited about sharing!!!

Most people leave their hometown wanting to seek bigger and better things. I feel like the bigger and better things have coming to me! I went to art school and then the art came here! How much luckier can I get?!

From the beautiful recently developed walking and biking trails that wind from Bella Vista all the way to Fayetteville to local breweries there is so much to experience in Northwest Arkansas! Pinnacle Hills, in Rogers, Ar has a beautiful sprawling outdoor mall that can keep you shopping until your hearts content…or your pockets empty! ūüėČ Bentonville’s 8th St. Market and the Art District is constantly evolving with innovative new businesses enriching our community with fine art, amazing food, and custom shops. Bentonville isn’t the only amazing little town here either! All of Northwest Arkansas is expanding at an astounding rate! Fayetteville Ar. is one of the top 5 best places in America to live, according to U.S. News & World Report in its annual ‚ÄúBest Places to Live‚ÄĚ report. Every industry here is seeing a massive boom, adding to our ever growing Arkansas based businesses and communities!

What does that mean to the O.G.’s?! When I say O.G., being that I’m only 31 I can only go back so far, I know there are much more legit O.G’s! If any want to chime in please feel free to add a comment! I’d love to hear your stories! Locals have loved Bentonville before it started to evolve and become “cool”. We’ve watched how beautifully our sleepy little town has become a hub of new culture and interest from people around the world.

Growing up on Main St. and having relatives living all around downtown my entire life I have countless memories that make the Bentonville Square my favorite place! As a kid I remember spending time around the fountian downtown where only a few lawn chairs and a couple good ol’ boys playing folk music on Saturday nights filled the square. The farmers market was only about 10 booths and they only sold vegetables! When the coolest thing to do was walk around the Wal-Mart on Walton Blvd. and see ALL your friends doing the same!

Spending afternoons with my siblings at Bentonville Public Library, which at the time was located in the old Massey Hotel that is now Phat Tires Bike Shop, was my favorite space to pass time. The same place that sparked my love for art. Seeing a 3D model of Crystal Bridges with stars in my eyes. When I was just 11 years old, Crystal Bridges was just a concept living in the lobby of the library. I would see it every week and daydream about what it would be like. How it would open up my eyes to the world of art! I never imagined that I would get to experience it with my children! Literally puts the biggest a smile on my face! My love for Bentonville and the pride I have living here is grandiose! I absolutely love it and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

But, with this excitement and huge growth I also wonder how it will change our identity. There are locals opposed to the growth. They don’t like all the “newness” and change. I do not see change as a bad thing, uncomfortable at times-yes but, always an opportunity to become better in a new direction! That being said I wonder if we will lose our small town charm along the way? What will we become when there are 100’s of thousands of people living here….or even millions?! Will we get that big?! What will Bentonville look like? Will we lose our charm we are so dearly loved for?

All questions I am anxious to see play out. One thing’s for sure change is here and I am one to embrace it! ‚̧

*all photos are taken and copyrighted by Courtney Kitterman

In a Southern Woman’s State of Mind

 

Hey y’all! I’m fixinto get real southern on ya! Here in the south there is never a lack of creativity when it comes to our use of words. Where sass and charm are a way of life and slow talkin’ is an art, the southern accent makes it irresistable. We have¬†a sayin’ for just about every occasion and we know the value of catchin’ more flies with honey than vinegar. If you wanna work on your southern drawl just silence the last “g” of most words and you’ll fit right in!

There’s no such thing as strangers in the south, just friends you haven’t met yet. Greetin’ someone is almost always accompanied by a warm hug and some charmin’ phrase immediately making you feel welcome! You’ll hear things like: “how’s your mom’n’em?”, “gimme some sugah”, and “well, aren’t you cute as a button?!”

A southern girl is sweet as cherry pie and she can charm dew off the honey suckle. Believe me when I say, she’ll use it to get jus’ about anything she wants. As sure as water flows down hill she’ll make you happier than a dead pig in the sunshine!

When she says “oh honey”, “sweetheart”, or “darlin” it’s either the most loving term of endearment or a dire warning.¬†Dare to cross her and she’ll insult you without you even knowin’ it. Her level of sarcasm shouldn’t be¬†downplayed by her sweet southern drawl. “Aren’t you precious” and “bless your heart” are not what you want to hear come out of her mouth. If she’s real mad she’ll say;¬†“you’re as slow as molasses going up hill in winter.” or¬†“you’re dumber than a box of rocks.”

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When it comes to southern mamas no one holds a candle to the respect she demands. You’ll have another thing comin’ if you’re ever feeling too big for your britches and decide not to say “yes, ma’am and no, ma’am” when talkin’ to your mama….or any woman for that matter! Oh, goodness gracious, if you get above your raisin’ and back talk she’ll cut eyes so deep she won’t even need to say words. You’ll make her madder than a wet hen and if you think she’s gonna put up with that you got another thing comin’! When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!!!

There’s a difference between a “hissy fit” and a “conniption” and we don’t “have” them, we “pitch” em.¬†She’ll tell ya to “hush your mouth and quit being ugly.” or she’ll “put a knot in your tail.”

Time is¬†different¬†here in the south. Saying goodbye always takes at least half an hour. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been there, it could be hours or days, she’ll always say “No need to run off. You just got here!” She’ll require no less than 3 hugs¬†and somehow you will always end up taking home some kind of homemade leftovers. “You’re not gonna go home hungry.”

Bless your soul if you have to go back in because you forgot something….it all starts over. “Tell your mom’n’em hi for me”….more hugs…..”don’t be a stranger, come back any time hun!” “Call me when¬†you’re home safe.” She’ll follow you out the door making sure you are completely out of sight before she’s done yellin’ bye 30 times from her front porch. “Don’t forget to call! love ya, bye hun!”

That’s just how its done in the south and it ain’t ever gonna change. Life just sounds so much better with a southern drawl and a little southern hospitality goes a long way! Chances are you’ll get more than just a lil’! I love all y’all! Come on back now ya hear! ūüėČ