Oh, Tennessee!

Todd Thomas, aka Speech, of the band, Arrested Devlopment, penned these words about his youthful remembrances of our state:oldtrimblepicture

Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan…

Then outta nowhere you tell me to break
Outta the country and into more country
Past Dyersburg into Ripley
Where the ghost of childhood haunts me

Walk the roads my forefathers walked
Climbed the trees my forefathers hung from
Ask those trees for all their wisdom
They tell me my ears are so young.

My father’s family is from Gibson, Obion, and Dyer Counties, so I know the land he is talking about.  I saw it from another point of view — that of being a white child visiting white relatives.  These are two different experiences of the same place and almost of the same time, though I am somewhat older.

There’s a lot about the Civil Rights movement that I’m too young to remember.  I did notice as a very young child that the tiny west Tennessee town that my grandfather lived in was divided into two or three streets where black people, like our friend Maude, lived, and two or three white streets.  I thought that was odd, because I saw everyone interacting with each other during the work day.  It was only at night that they divided over an invisible line. People whose yards met on the line could just about shake hands across it.

My grandparents and parents didn’t think that this was the way it should be, but they accepted it as something hard to change, I guess.  They protected me from the harsher realities of that era. When I was a little older, I began to understand that there was enormous pain on the other side of the line from my grandfather’s yard.

Fast forward several decades.  The Civil Rights movement did bring Tennessee and the country to greater racial and ethnic unity.  Legally, things are much better than they were then.  Still, there are racial tensions, and they are flaring once again.  Once agan, we are having to march across invisible lines to grasp each other’s hands.

Can the group one one side of the line understand exactly what it’s like for the other group and vice versa? Maybe.  Maybe not.  But, we we can definitely try.  We can listen.  Failing everything, we can love beyond the limits of our understanding.

How are Tennesseans and people of this country to love like this?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know one secret:  It’s one that Speech and I and all true believers in Christ share.  It’s this:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  Colossians 3:11

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

When Christ is all, it does break all barriers down.  Both the offender and the offended can love each other.  In the church fellowship which Speech and I have both been a part of (though in different cities), former rebels and former government soldiers in various South American countries have become brothers and sisters in Christ.  In pre-Apartheid days, we had a church made up of black, white, and interracial citizens.  People have given up wealth to minister to and to live among the poor. People have spent time learning each other’s languages and culture.  One reason why I was attracted to this church in the first place is because I saw black and white people worshipping together, not only on Sundays, but throughout the week.  We have a church in the middle east made up of Arabs and Israli believers.  Stories like this abound wherever and among whomever there is faith in Christ.

All of the racial pain that we are feeling in our country now makes me sad.  It won’t be overcome with platitudes.  It’s only with deep faith and a willingness to love across the invisible lines that divide us that we can have peace.

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Fun at the Farmer’s Market/Bicentennial Mall

rose at Bicentennial june 2015

Last Monday,  “Blossom” and I enjoyed a lovely day at the Farmer’s Market and Bicentennial Mall.  We got caught in a summer shower, purchased some lovely produce, had lunch, and splashed in the Bicentennial fountains.  Blossom was having so much fun that she didn’t want to leave for a much needed nap.

That was my first time to sample Music City Crepes, which is in the Farmer’s Market food court.

music city crepes

I didn’t realize when I was taking pictures of our plates how little of the crepes you can really see because of the foil.  I was snapping fast between caring for a nearly three year old, taking a few bites myself, and navigating a full food court.

At any rate, I enjoyed the food and will be stopping there again on some of my trips to the Farmer’s Market.  I recommend their crepe with  hummus, thinly sliced tomato, and spinach.  Yummy!  Our second crepe was a standard nutella and banana.  It was delicious, too, but then it’s hard to go wrong with nutella.

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From my Tennessee Yard

frommyyard

This lily was just too pretty not to share!

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Where’s Mimi — Ellington Agricultural Center

Dear Daughter, Blossom, and I went to the Tennessee Ellington Agricultural Center’s Pioneer Days celebration.  Sheep ShearingWhat fun we had!  We interacted with bee keepers and their bees, sheep shearers, goat keepers, storytellers, and a man showing us how the human sundial works.   ellingtonagcenterWe saw all kinds of farm animals, and we saw the police horses frolicking in the nearby meadows.ellingtonagcenter1

There are all kinds of fun days and special exhibits at the Ag Center.  On any day, it’s lovely to walk the trails that surround the center or to visit the Iris Garden.

Have you visited the Ag Center?

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Giveaway…

Are you a fan of Tennessee fiction?  If so, I’d love to send you a free Kindle e-copy of A Tree Firmly Planted  in exchange for a review on Amazon.  This offer is for the first five people to email me at sunnyheart31@yahoo.com.

A Tree Firmly Planted is the first in my series, “A Tennessee Trilogy.”  It follows the Blair family from shortly before the Civil War to the 1880’s and examines the impact of the war on Tennesseans.  It is serious historcial ficiton with some spiritual themes.

Happy Reading!

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Where’s Mimi? Riverbend Nurseries.

2008 Lewisburg Pike (Hwy 431) Franklin, TN 37064 615-468-2008 – See more at:  Riverbend Nurseries.

Want to spend a pleasant Saturday morning surrounded by beautiful plants, birds, and nice people?    On a recent Saturday, Doc Dave and I found that Riverbend Nurseries fit that desire for us.

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A quiet corner at Riverbend

We were in need of some extra plants for our front bed, so we decided to go for breakfast and, after, a lesiurely drive down the backgrounds to the Nurseries.

The plants there are laid out well, with signs to help you find what you were looking for, space to see them well, and plenty of staff on hand to answer questions.  The layout has the feel of a garden, so walking a round and choosing plants is as enjoyable as visiting a lovely park.

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My honey!

I came home with a birdbath, as well as the plants that we needed.

I’m looking forward to my next trip!

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In the azalea section.

It was fun to walk around among the other eager customers, who were filling carts with spring plants.  I saw one serious, young gardener in her wellies, jeans, full-sleeved shirt, and gardening hat.  She and her purchases inspired me to dream of being a master gardener one day.  Alas, I inherited my father’s love of plants, but not his green thumb or his dedication!

Enjoy!

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A little barn dedicated to bird feeding..

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Growing Toward Beauty

I’m pondering a few quotes from a chapter by Sally Clarkson:

398px-Iris_Flower_hybr_Iridaceae_1-Luc_Viatour

Women who grow more lovely with time have practiced pouring into themselves all that is excellent, wise, graceful, good, and true.

I find that’s true among the women I know.  I find that women who grow more beautiful through the years have also have invested pouring out of themselves all that is excellent, wise, graceful, good, and true.   It’s a continual flowing in of God’s grace, beauty, holiness, and love and a continual pouring bacl out of the overflow that God has poured into us.  As we give, God fills us more abundantly than we can grasp, and we are able and motivated to love.  This reminds me of Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  

It reminds me of Luke 6:38, as well. — Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Some of my heroes in life — ordinary women with extraordinary love — exemplify this verse to me.

A little later on in the chapter from Sally, I find these words and pause:

God built such life-giving beauty into the universe. The very first verse of the bible says “In the beginning, God created…”  Artist, crafter of all things beautiful in the universe, God planned HIs works of art for our pleasure and admiration.”

Still further on, she mentions:  In a world of technology, we often forget to live in what is real.  I walk out every day in the fresh air, breathing in the color and the calm that God has placed in my life….But to enjoy nature, I must make myself pay attention to what surrounds me daily and take time to enjoy and admire the beauty God has granted to us.

Note to self:  Pay attention to the real beauty in God, people, and nature!  Do it with intention.

How about you?   What do you find beautiful in life?  Does social media help us express beauty and connection?  Or, does it distract from those things?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Enjoy

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Restaurant Reviews (Where’s Mimi?)

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza...

Doc Dave and I were actually headed to McAllister’s for a fast food fix before doing a little shopping at T. J. Maxx, when we saw that the new Blaze Pizza franchise in Brentwood is open.  After nearly 34 years of marriage, I know that there are few foods in the world that my dear hubby loves more than pizza.  So, when I suggested that we give it a try, he was right there with me.

Blaze’s claim to fame is that the staff will make your pizza in 180 seconds using a system that passes it near an open flame.  They offer a variety of options.  You choose one and follow your pizza down the line while the workers add whatever toppings you have chosen.  Then, they pop it in the oven and call you the moment it’s done.  You don’t have time to sit down between the time that the pizza goes in the oven until it’s ready.  It’s hot, quick, and freshly delicious.

We went on a Saturday night.  The restaurant was crowded and the line was out the door, which meant that we had a little wait time on the front end.  Many people were getting their orders to go.  The clientele was mostly young singles and young families, though I did see a couple of mid-lifers, like me.   It’s not for when you want a quiet, leisurely pizza experience, but for when you want a lot of fun and energy.  I don’t know if the excitment will die down when it’s been operating for a little longer.  Nashvillians know that whenever something new in Brentwood/Franklin opens, it attracts super large crowds and then settles out to normal traffic.

Note that this is one of a chain of restaurants.  I’m definitely putting this on my go-to list for pizza, especially when headed Brentwood way. (Don’t worry, McAlister’s.  I’ll always be a fan of your tea and choclate covered rice Krispie treats.  You’ll see me again soon.)

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Hello world! Welcome to Tennessee Days!

I’m so glad that you stopped by for the inagural post of Tennessee Days.  This blog combines the best features of two of my older sites: Tennessee Moments and A Merry Rose. (I no longer post at these locations, but you can see my archives.)  Here, we’ll chat about modern Tennessee living, Tennessee history, home, decor, recipes, hospitality, writing, and who knows what.  I hope you’ll pull up a chair and sit a spell.

Happy Reading!IMG_20150424_171107

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