Saturday, February 28, 2009

You know you live around Memphis when...

One day it's 70 something degrees and a few days later you're dealing with this:

Not to mention dealing with crazy people on the roads flocking to the grocery store. This would be the second time (of the TWO times we've had snow) that I've scheduled my regular grocery shopping at the SAME TIME that all the crazy people decide to go stock up on milk and bread.

And then there's this...

Don't ask me where you live to get these crazies outside your door.

Hee hee hee.

More pictures later!

Friday, February 27, 2009

My wife rocks!

My husband wife rocks! 

I interrupt the normal blog to bring some attention where it is needed. You might ask yourself why I would hack into my wife’s blog, especially on a day that usually celebrates me (I still can’t get used to that). 

As many of you have read over the last year my bride has struggled at times with home schooling. Over the last couple of weeks I have received many phone calls during the day from my son. He will proclaim to me that school went great. He would brag (humbly of course) about his tests scores. What made this possible? A mom that has worked on patience, adjusted her life, and is becoming a better teacher every day to our kiddo. 

My wife is going through the toughest time of her life currently. Her mom is suffering from cancer and it is killing us. Through this my bride is holding tight to Jesus, me, and our kiddo. Call me wimp, but I cry every time I think of how strong my bride has become. She is my best friend, lover, and hero! 

So why does my wife rock? I don’t know if I could truly count the ways! 

Heathahlee’s Husband

a.k.a Sound Man 

P.S. She is going to kill me so ya'll pray.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two Rivers...Inside

I promised in my first Two Rivers post that my next post would be about the interior. I also said that I was disappointed I didn't get too many pictures of the actual interior. I think I was just overwhelmed that I was actually in the house.

But, I did take several pictures, so here you go.

This is one of several staircases in the house. I think it's the back staircase. The front one is bigger to allow for more people up and down. Did I think to get a picture of that? Of course not.

Remember the outside window that I said wasn't too impressive from the outside? Mm-hmm. This is that same window from the inside. Is that not gorgeous? I love that red and white. LOVE IT.

These two pictures are from the same parlor. The top one is a piano. I love how they looked like such solid pieces of furniture back then. I mean, grand pianos are great, but these (there were two in the room) are so beautiful. And I love that lion in the fireplace. Makes me think of Aslan.

Here's another fireplace. The mantels in this house are just magnificent. And there was a fireplace in every single room. Every one.

Another fireplace, this time with an oval mirror over it. Look at those huge baseboards! Oh, and this isn't the biggest mirror in the house. Not by a long shot. More on that in a minute.

In one of the parlors, this beautiful painting was hung over one of those fireplaces. When Mr. Troup told me the artist, I thought he said, "Renoir" and promptly about fell over. When I double checked what he said, he corrected me and said it was a "Lenoir." Now, it may not be as famous as Renoir, but Lenoir was famous in his day. He has some beautiful paintings...this one is one of his works. That's all I have to say about that.

A chandelier in the same parlor. Oh, that medallion makes me drool.

This painting was done in 1896, but I didn't write down who the artist was, dagnabbit. I have similar ones in my house that a distant relative did, and I love them much.

This is the wife of one of Willie and David's children or grandchildren. I couldn't tell you who it is, though. It's a photograph of her wedding day. Love the the sepia tones...the picture is on the front staircase from what I remember. There are more family portraits up the staircase.

This is a call thingie. I have no idea what to call it. They used to use it to call the servants from downstairs. You can tell where it has worn away the wallpaper from being used so much. It doesn't work today, but I sure would love to have one in my house to call my servant son when I needed him.

The view from the balcony window upstairs. When I saw this view I again thought about the carriages that brought family and friends up this driveway to the house.

The window I was just looking out from the inside. How many things can I love about this house? Floor to ceiling WINDOWS??? They were all over the house. I've heard that the reason why homes built back in colonial times had so many huge windows was because there was a tax on doors. So, instead of so many doors, they put in very tall windows to walk through. I don't think that's why these are so tall...probably just a carryover from the earlier time period. It was built only 83 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and I'm sure home trends didn't come and go as quickly as they do now. This room is now a bathroom, having been converted in the early 1900's, from what I can tell by the tub. Oh, and notice the red stained glass repeated in the curved window atop the tall one. Sigh........

A picture found in the house, of the house. It didn't have a date on it. Drat.

This is a portrait of my Great Aunt Willie, my Great Great Grandmother's daughter. My sister thinks she favors a cousin of ours. This was her wedding portrait. There is also one of her husband, David, but of course I forgot to take a picture. You can see it here. You can also see a better picture of her portrait here.

Here's the big mirror I hinted at. I love this mirror. Love it. How many people in my family have looked through this looking glass?

As I stood there looking at my reflection I couldn't help but think about all of the people in the past who had looked at their reflections. It almost felt like their reflections were still in the mirror, like Alice behind the looking glass. No, not ghosts, because I know where their spirits are. Only their reflections, captured for a moment in the same glass that has now captured mine. Just like this house has captured my heart.

Thanks for taking this very sentimental journey with me. I know I get sappy at times, but I don't think I reflect enough. I'm glad when things like this make me slow down and remember that my life is not about me. I'm building a heritage to pass down from generation to generation. See, there's more about my family than what I've told you. I feel another post coming very soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

We Interrupt This Tour...

To announce that my BFF Kat has a new blog! She is back in Blogdom! I, for one, am happy. She is not all about seeing how many comments she can get, or how many people she can get to read her stuff, but I'm sending y'all to her just the same. So go welcome her back to this crazy blog world!

You can find her blog, Reflections, here. Go tell her howdy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Rivers

The depth of appreciation I have for my family's heritage cannot be overstated. I have so much more to say on that subject, and what it means to us today, but I will save it for another post. For now, I just wanted to give you a tiny background of why I was so thrilled to be able to see this gorgeous mansion called Two Rivers in Nashville.

I love history. Not that I know all of it, but I love to learn new stuff. Especially my family history. I come by it naturally, I guess. My Daddy's side of the family can trace its history back to the 1700's. There is still some mystery as to whether or not the furthest ancestor we can trace back to is a famous Welsh poet or a Revolutionary War hero. Either one sounds good to me.

I know a lot about my Great Great Grandfather, F.A. Owen, who was the first permanent pastor of First Church in Memphis (now First United Methodist). While he only spent a year in Memphis, his accomplishments were groundbreaking. Literally. The first church building ever built in Memphis was built under his leadership. After he left his post here he travelled quite a bit, but had time to marry a young widow, Elizabeth Harding, my Great Great Grandmother. She had a two year old daughter from her first marriage; her name was Willie Harding. She and my Great Great Grandfather had a very close relationship. So much so that in the later years of his and my Great Great Grandmother's lives they went to live at Willie's home in Nashville....Two Rivers.

When Kat and I went to Nashville to stalk, it didn't take much convincing for her to want to come to this place. She enjoys history, too, even if it's not her family's. I so wanted to see it, just to feel that connection with my long-ago family.

But just driving up and taking a tour wasn't going to happen. See, the mansion is not open for the public. You can reserve it for meetings, weddings, parties, and such, but just for some yokel from Mississippi? Not gonna happen. Unless you pull some heart strings, which is what I evidently did. I called the Parks Department (the City of Nashville has owned Two Rivers since 1966) and spoke with Bill Troup, Superintendent of Recreation. He explained that he sometimes let people tour the house as a prospective wedding or meeting site, but he didn't give tours or anything. Disappointed, I explained what connection I had with the house just so he'd know why in the world someone would, out of the blue, want to look at the house just for kicks. My story must have intrigued him, because he immediately gave me his cell number and told me to call him when we got to Nashville and he'd make sure I got in to see the house. I can't thank him enough for his kindness.This is my first glimpse of the house. It still gives me a little thrill. Was this what my Great Great Grandparents, as well as my Great Grandfather, and even my Grandmother, who was born in 1887, saw as they drove up the driveway in their horse-drawn carriages?

A little statue in the front garden area. He's so worn, I'm thinking he was here from the beginning in 1859.

The view from the front porch. I looked back and imagined those horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping their way up that long driveway, which originally wound around to the back of the house.

The massive front doors. I immediately fell in love with them.

Here's Kat, being all Vanna.

While not very impressive from the outside, wait till you see this window from the inside.

View of the back porch.

One thing I love about any old building is its architecture. Look at all that moulding!

This American Holly tree was in front. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but see how big around the trunk is? I wondered if this was an original tree. The sunlight spilling through the branches was so pretty. Think they'll notice the tiny branch I swiped?

I never knew about this house until the day we got there. It's called the 1802 House. The "first academy for female instruction" in the area was located here in 1815. In 1819 William Harding, my Great Great Grandmother's first husband, bought the house and the surrounding land. Willie Harding inherited the land and this house upon her marriage to David McGavock in 1850, and they lived here until Two Rivers was completed in 1859.

Here's Kat peeking in the back window before we knew we were going to be able to get inside.

I love this house.

This is where they cooked. This fireplace was huge. If you notice the Christmas decorations, they were still there from a party that had been held there and just hadn't been cleaned up yet.

There is a sign posted at the foot of the stairs saying "No one permitted upstairs" or something like that. Yeah. Unless you have the Super with you. He would have even let me go in the attic if I had wanted to. Which I didn't. Have I ever told you my aversion to attics? No matter how historic?This was in an upstairs room. How many people have been warmed by this little fireplace? Did my Grandmother ever play up here?

I hope you can see the inscriptions on the brick. David and Willie had their names stamped in these bricks on the back porch when they built the mansion. Such permanence. I love that. By the way...the bricks were made there on the "farm," as it was called back then.

I know this post has been long, and I thank you if you've made it this far. This is only the first half...the outside. Next Two Rivers post will be about the beautiful interior, where portraits of my Great Aunt Willie and her husband, David, are hung.

Why it is that I feel the need to be connected to long-ago family members, I can't tell you. It's just something that I feel deeply about. I don't have the patience my sister does to do the hard work of research, but I eat up the history that others dig up. Where I've come from...what shaped and molded my ancestors.

Again...thanks for letting me be uber-introspective. It doesn't happen often. Maybe if it happened more I would write shorter posts!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wanna win something?


No, It's not from me. Although that might be coming soon. You never know. Heh, heh, heh. No, this giveaway is from Jeanne Winters at Inspiring Ideas. She has some bee-yoo-tee-ful things she's giving away, and she designed, wrote, or made them all!

Go check out her beautiful blog and get in on the fun!

Friday, February 13, 2009

S.W.A.K. with some M.H.R.

I am such a dork. I know it. I've promised all these wonderful posts about our trip to Nashville, but haven't followed through. Yeah, well, life happens and school happens and helping-your-friend-decorate-a-cake happens. So, here's my apology for not posting about the beautiful home Kat and I visited last Friday. You are so gonna love it when I do actually post about it. Well, I don't know. You may not, but I'm gonna love posting about it.

But that's for another day. Today is the day before Valentine's day. I'm sure you have noticed that. But have you done anything about it? Me neither. Well, Kristen at We are THAT Family HAS done something about it. She started the S.W.A.K. Carnival. You may have seen my button on the sidebar. And though I have not followed through with laying one on my husband every day since the first of February (having a virus/sinus infection/whatever does not really lend itself to kissing), AND I'm really late linking up, I do want to participate in the story-telling. Since today is Friday, I'll piggyback My Husband Rocks! with my story.

Sound Man and I met when I was a Sophomore in college and he was a Junior in high school. My roommate was her church's youth drama group's leader, and they had practice one weekend when I was visiting her. I went with her, thinking it would be fun to hang out with her group. There were two guys in the group. Sound Man was one of them, and I kept watching him, thinking to myself, "Man, he sure is cute!" But he was in high school and I was in college. So, I forgot about him for a while.

Fast forward a few months. I was about to embark on my mission trip to Australia and was spending the weekend before left with my friend again. Friday night another friend came over with two guy friends...the same two guys at the drama practice. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking and laughing with them, and again, I thought, "He is SO cute!" But, as is the custom of really sweet girls who don't steal other girls' guys, I left him alone because my friend liked him. A LOT. So, when the other guy ended up asking me out after I returned from Australia, I said yes...and ended up dating him for over a year.

After we broke up I didn't date anyone for about a year, when who should turn up on my radar but Sound Man. By this time I had graduated from college, moved to the same area, and joined the same church. He had dated several of my friends and...well....he had broken several hearts over the course of the past few years. Not wanting to be one of them, I steered clear of him, especially when he set his sights for me. I had a huge crush on another guy at the time, and one night when I was sick and missed church, my friends came bursting in my room with flowers and a card, laughing their heads off. I thought my dreams had come true and my crush had sent me the flowers, but when I read the note I realized it was actually Sound Man who had sent them to me. I almost threw the flowers across the room. The card sufficed.

I called Sound Man the next day and told him in no uncertain terms that I didn't want anything more than friendship from him. He apologized and I thought that was the end of it. Until one night at church, a few weeks later, I looked up across the sanctuary and saw him talking to a friend. The first thought that popped into my head was, "Man, he is cute!" My next thought was, "Where in the world did that come from?" And into a state of confusion I went.

Sound Man and I were in the same circle of friends, so we were together a lot. We started talking more and more, and he even took me to lunch one day. Just as friends, you know. So why I had butterflies all morning, I couldn't tell you. After that, we were together a lot, and my heart toward him changed. I confessed this to my roommate and she started giggling and said that he had never gotten over his crush on me and still wanted to go out with me.

So, on March 11, 1994, we had our first official date. We went to Cafe' Roux for dinner and then saw "The Three Musketeers" with Charlie Sheen, Chris O'Donnell, and Keifer Sutherland. We had the best time, and I felt very comfortable with him. By May of that same year he had asked me to marry him once. I turned him down! I knew we needed more time. But by July 1, when he asked me again, this time with a ring, I said yes!

Our first wedding date was set for November 5, 1994, but that was not to be. We had a couple of breakups to get through. We broke up mutually in September, got back together, and broke up again (I will leave that one to your imagination) in October. After some major counseling for both of us, we realized that we were both rushing into marriage, and neither of us wanted that. So we concentrated on our friendship, and by February of 1995, we made it official again.

We were married in April on a glorious spring morning. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. I know this has nothing to do with the weather but I had to throw it out there...please excuse the picture quality...we haven't moved into the 21st century yet and don't have a scanner thingie, so I had to take pictures of my pictures. Or something like that.

We had a very simple wedding, with only a few guests. We had NO money, and didn't want to ask our parents for any. Hence, the off-the-rack Goldsmith's (which was bought by Macy's several years go, sadly) dress. But it was pretty. And white.

My handsome man. Check out those mid-1990's glasses! He has cute modern ones now. And he's still handsome.

Our first kiss as a man and wife. I hardly remember anything about that day. It was such a blur. But in the almost 14 years that we've been married, I can honestly say that I love him more now than I thought possible when this moment happened. He is still the man I love, the man I wake up to each morning, the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. He is more than a wonderful husband. He is my soul-mate.

Happy Valentine's Day, My Sweet!