I’ve had quite a few people ask me if there’s a story behind the name, Plum Nelly. There is.
Plum Nelly. In the early 1970s, my parents decided to live off the land. They wanted to unplug from the world and live self-sustainably. My parents purchased 10+ acres in a Tennessee hollow – the valley between two hills. We had gravity-fed water, an outhouse, a wooden sledge and rail as well as block and tackle to get work materials up to the house, a root cellar, and old mantle lanterns for light. They re-purposed barns to build the house, old press-plates and tar for roofing materials, and a fieldstone foundation. The field with the stone is the story. When Dad was negotiating with the farmer for the stone, he referred to the back field as Plum Nelly. When Dad asked where that name came from, the farmer replied, “W’all, ’cause it’s so fur back, it’s plumb outta the county and n’elly out of the state.”
The name suits me perfectly. Some days it reminds me of those Tennessee days and on others days, I joke that it stands for “plumb crazy and ne’lly outta my mind.”