I fell in love with this area over 22 years ago, when I bought my first TWH and he was also my first-ever registered horse. I wanted to learn everything I could about his birthplace, so I spent a week in Middle Tennessee, that included the Harlindale Farm in Franklin, TN; Duke's birthplace.
I knew then I was going to retire here. It took me moving my horses to SoCal and working out there, for five years (where I met my husband) but I fnally got here in 2003. Not quite old enough to collect S.S. but fortunate that working part time would be sufficient until I was.
There are a lot of northerners in this area (I am acquainted with one lady from the Detroit, MI area that lives over Knoxville way, in Tellico Plains).
There are four seasons. Summers have been downright brutal the last few years (more like Louisiana heat/humidity) but winters are generally very pleasant and short-lived, compared to what we are used to. While it gets below freezing, there's none of that bone-chllling cold that makes one run 40 gallons of hot water out of the tank every night.
If your daughter does come down this way for her last year of school, decides she may want to stay here, and you don't have a serious amount of family ties in your area, this might be area for retirement consideration. It's every bit as cheap to live here as it was for me on the OH/PA border. I do live in an Ag county, as opposed to Davidson County, which is Nashville and not cheap in terms of housing, auto & homeowners.
I was driving an F350 dulley and pulling (southern term is "carrying") a 3 horse slant GN.
There were a few terms it took me awhile to get used to; "carry" was one of them. "carry the kids to school", "carry the horse", "carry the trailer"
"she's a mess" is another one. It does NOT mean in the south what it means in the north. Down here, I have learned to say "trainwreck" when I mean "mess" the Yankee way
Then there's "Blessssss her harrrrrrt", which is totally different from the Yankee meaning of "well my goodness, BLESS your heart!"
When speaking of gaited horses, the long-time, old time horse owners often use the word "saddle" when speaking of how well a horse gaits or doesn't. "yeah, but I heard that horse doesn't saddle very well?", for example