I’m extremely excited to have the cover story for the Winter 2015-2016 edition of Tennessee Home & Farm. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, which focuses on a “horse motel” in Madison County:
A well-known motel has the slogan: “We’ll keep the lights on for you.” For Bud and Lelia Sikes, owners of Southern Star Farms in Madison County, it’s more along the lines of: “We’ll keep the barn door open for you.”
Like a layover station for the Pony Express, the Volunteer State is becoming an area where owners and drivers look for overnight lodging before leaving home. Fortunately, they won’t be disappointed. One website lists 48 overnight stables sites and another 65. However, some of those listed are places to ride or train. With the Interstate 40 corridor connecting the eastern and western U.S., equestrians choose this route when transporting horses.
“After teaching and coaching football for 31 years, I retired in 2000,” Bud says. “But I knew retirement wasn’t a time to be idle. Lelia and I thought about opening our Southern farm home as a bed-and-breakfast. However, there was so much red tape that this wasn’t feasible. Then we thought, ‘Why not open a place where those traveling with horses could have a safe and clean place to stay overnight?’”
Carolyn Tomlin is a Jackson, Tennessee-based author that has been writing and publishing since 1988. She has authored 19 books and more than 4,000 articles in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Kansas City Star, American Profile, Tennessee Home & Farm, Home Life, Mature Living, ParentLife and many others. You can purchase her full-length works here.