07 May 2009
Where we will be in June
This is Duane & me with my grandmother, taken at her house Dec 2005.
My parents are from a huge families. Daddy is 3rd of 8 children & mother is 7th of 11. So i have many first cousins, & many, many first cousins once removed, second cousins, etc., etc.
Mother grew up in Livingston, TN, which is roughly an hour & 45 minutes from Nashville (east).
Daddy's family moved around a lot when he was a child, but his family eventually moved close to his grandparents & bought land outside Glasgow, KY, which is about an hour & a half north of Nashville. So we have family spread all thru that area & beyond. Sarah, i don't have family in Crossville, but i do have family in Cookville, which isn't far. We might be long lost 3rd cousins, or something!
This is the pic of my grandmother's house. It was built a few years after i was born, so my dad never lived here. It has been expanded. Where the first window on the right is used to be a carport when i was a child.
My own family moved a lot when i was a child. In fact, i attended a different school building every year until i was in 8th grade, & most of those jumps were because we moved a lot. From Knoxville my family moved to Bozeman, Montana. I spent the rest of my growing up years there. After i married & moved to California my parents & sisters moved to Auburn, Alabama. When my dad retired a few years ago he bought his parents' property. Grandma was still living in her own home then. They built a huge house (5,000+ sq. ft.) about 1/4 mile from her house. (2,200 sq. ft. is a basement that can be closed off, but it is also set up to be a separate apartment - with its own garage - for company, & they thought they might eventually need someone to live in. The house is built on a hill, so that basement has big windows of its own.)
These two are pics of the house my parents built. I don't think this shows how very big it is. It is well made. It has high ceilings. It is formal. My mother is very proud of it. It is cold.
Duane's aunt & uncle in Wisconsin built a house very similar in plan. It is on a hill with a basement. It is very big. But that house is warm & inviting & full of cozy corners & places that it feels comfortable to be. I've only been to my parents' house once, but it was formal & cold to me. Maybe this summer i will find i was wrong, but i felt it lacked the cozy feel of the one Duane's family had built.
This is roughly the schedule for our trip there:
Thursday - 4 June we fly out of John Wayne in OC & into Nashville. We will rent a car & drive to Glasgow that night.
Friday - we girls, mother & my auntie will be doing whatever we are doing to prepare for the party. Sis #2 wants to make cupcakes, we'll have things to buy, etc., etc. It is my intent, also, for Duane to take which ever nieces & nephews who want to go to Mammoth Cave which is about 45 minutes from where my parents live. Duane loved spelunking as a kid & i think he'd really enjoy it. I don't know that he'd have a chance elsewhere this trip.
Saturday we will be up bright & early to be at their church to set up & decorate for the party. Guests are invited to arrive starting at 11 AM & we will have a buffet lunch. Etc., etc.
Sunday it is mother's wish that we attend their church together as a family. I'm not terribly comfortable with this, but again, will try to honor her. I'm not sure about the rest of that day. Daddy has booked rooms in Cumberland Falls (East KY) for the family for that night, Monday night, Tuesday night.
But once we head east Duane & i don't intend to return, & this may mean that we don't visit Livingston. And i really do want to go there. It may be that one of my favorite aunties won't be able to come to the party. And, even tho my grandparent's place is no longer standing, i have such fond memories of that area i really wanted to get some summer pics. So we may head to Livingston soon after church & spend an afternoon there before going to Cumberland Falls. It will mean a lot of driving, but i'd like to do it.
I've no idea what we are going to do in Cumberland Falls for three days. Mother, sisters & i might scrapbook some pics from the party. (Digital cameras these days! Quick pics.) I've no idea what Daddy has in mind. I don't think they know how limited i am physically, so i hope they aren't planning a lot of hikes.
Wednesday sometime, we might head to West Virginia to visit with some friends. This is not for sure. Neither are in very good health, & may not feel up to company. But if they are we would visit with them for a few hours. The plan from there is to go south & see some of the Appalachian Mountains. That is a part of the country Duane has never seen. I spent most of my first eight years near Knoxville, & i remember it as being very beautiful. I don't really have definitive plans for a couple of days there. Travel thru the Smokies, headed south.
We might venture east toward the coast as well. I've another friend not far from Charleston. Many years ago i spent two days in Charleston & Savannah. Both are very beautiful. Of course, the amount of time we have to spend in all these places doesn't even scratch the surface of all there is to see. And we are talking about a lot of driving.
Sometime by the AM of 13 June which is a Saturday, we have to end up in (or near?) Columbus, GA. This is on the west side of Georgia, southwest of Atlanta. My oldest niece is getting married there early afternoon. We will attend the wedding & part of the reception. Then we will drive a few hours north, find a place to stay for the night. Then be up early the next morning to complete the drive back to Nashville. Our plane back to OC leaves mid-day Sunday.
So we are talking about a long, circuitous drive thru much of the South. One of the benefits of this plan is that we are minimizing contact with family. There is so much to see there & so much we will be missing. But life has limits.
The rented car is not necessary just because of the amount of driving we are doing. My family cannot be on time for anything. I've lots of stories about that when i was a kid. It wouldn't be unusual for us to be half hour late to a 45 minute or hour Sunday School class. But i guess each time i've been around them, somehow i think it will be different. (Insanity? Expecting a different outcome?)
We were last there for 5 days just after Christmas 2005. Since it was such a short trip it didn't seem worth it to rent a car. Big mistake. Duane wanted to go to town one day for a specific item. Sis #2 was going to town, she said, with some of her kids. So i told him, have fun, & walked down to see Grandma. I was gone over 2 hours. When i got back Duane was sitting in the same spot where i left him.
"You're back already?" i asked.
"We never went," he replied. He was pleasant in tone, but i knew he was grumpy.
We eventually made it into town, about 4 hours later.
Then, the day we were to fly home i wanted to leave about 2 hours early so that we would have time to stop on the way & see some different things. We flew in & out of Louisville that trip.
Well, no, we didn't leave 2 hours early. We left half an hour later than would have given us time for the plane. There was no reason. Things just didn't get done. Folks sat & talked. It was a lot of "piddling around" - a term of my mother's that i've always hated, but it was accurate. And i was really angry. Then, they took a quick stop at a Crackerbarrel.
I'd never seen one, but at that point i did not want to get out of the car. But my parents insisted i had to see it. So we went in, & yes it is fantastic. And again, i was really angry. I could have spent the entire 2 hours looking at the lovely things in that store & restaurant. Instead, we had 5 minutes.
We did make the plane. It was about 4 hours delayed, so we had plenty of time, but didn't know that until we arrived. But we decided then that thereafter we would never visit with my family without transport. There is no point in putting yourself at the mercy of folks who cannot be on time.
My sisters are just the same. If Sis #3 tells me she'll be at my house at 12 noon, i know not to expect her until 2 or 2.30. She does make it on time to work. And sometimes she's really made an effort in other situations, especially as she knows it bothers me so much.
I am late to some things. If it is a family event (Duane's family) that i know will last all day - pool parties & things - then i don't stress about arriving right at the time they give. But i hate being late for church. If i'm not 15 minutes to half an hour early for work then i'm "late." I try not to keep other people waiting.
This pic is a Walmart parking lot in Glasgow. I had not realized that there is a large section of Amish in the area, or that they like shopping at Walmart. Walmart provides hitching posts & water for the horses.
I asked permission to take this pic. The man didn't reply, but went to the back side of the buggy. If you click on this & look at it, you can see a child in the buggy.