Archive for the ‘Sunday drives’ Category

Easter 2012

April 13, 2012

For Easter this year, we went to 6:00 am Mass in Columbia.  We then went to the hospial there where our retired priest is.  After that we headed to the nursing home to bring some Easter cheer.  The only problem with Mass that early is that we didn’t take the time to get Easter photos at the house.  Joe took some with his i-phone and they are the only ones we have this year.   We hope you are having a Blessed Easter Octive!

 (You may click on the photos to enlarge them.)

My Easter bonnet was a Christmas present and I could not wait to wear it.  I received lots of compliments on it and one of the ladies at the nursing home actually laughed!  It was nice to be able to brighten her day!  LOL!

Two Pictures from Sunday

March 21, 2012

Here are a few pictures that Joe took with his phone on Sunday.

Springfest 2009

May 31, 2009

In March, my friend Judy McCloskey of called and asked if I could man a booth at something called “Springfest” in Shelbyville, TN.  I must admit, I was excited, yet skeptical.  There is not much Catholicism in middle Tennessee.  When I inquired further, she said that Cardinal Arinze was one of the speakers, along with former Miss America Kay Lani Wilson, and Fr. Jonathan Morris of Fox News.  Wow!  I was starting to get excited. 

When May 17th rolled around, we got all set and drove to Shelbyville.  Upon entering the equestrian center, the person at the door said, “You have blue tickets so you can sit in any of the metal chairs.”  The metal chairs were set up in the arena where the alter was set up.  If you didn’t have blue tickets, you could only sit in the arena seating.  As we went towards the steps, we saw where our booth was going to be set up.  As we were going down to the Mass area we saw a couple we knew and asked them if they wanted some of the blue tickets to be closer to Mass.  When we got down there, we were looking for 7 seats in a row so we could sit together, and some gracious lady flagged us down and gave us seats in the second row.  When Mass began it was wonderful to see the Knights of Columbus, the seminarians, the Bishop, and Cardinal Arinze.  We received Communion from Cardinal Arinze!  What a blessing.  Here are some pictures from the Mass:

 (remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them)

springfest 09 1    springfest 09 2 (The lady to the left is former Miss America Kay Lani Wilson)

Springfest 09 3 (Bishop Choby of Nashville can be seen in this photo.)

springfest 09 4 (Behind Bishop Choby is Cardinal Arinze.  Behind Cardinal is Fr. Tien Tran who was ordained this past Friday.  More about him in a later post.)

springfest 09 5 (Cardinal Arinze and Fr. Tran approaching the alter.)

springfest 09 6 (Our friend Seminarian Brendan Johnson whom we got to know last year when he spent time at Sacred Heart in Lawrenceburg.  You can go back to this post and see him with the children.)

After Mass we set up our booth.  Everything would have been great if I had remembered the price list that I printed the night before.  We were able to get in touch with Judy and she gave me the prices.  Everything else went great that day.  Here is our booth…

springfest 09 catholic mil booth

You can read more about Springfest here (look for Veronica and I in the picture.  And no, we were not holding hands!  ; )

The Beginning of the Christmas Season

November 26, 2007

We don’t put up a Christmas tree until a day or two before Christmas.  We do all we can to celebrate Advent first.  However, if we wait until the real “Christmas Season,” which is the days after Christmas, we would miss everything.  In the town that I grew up in, the town tree was lit on Thanksgiving evening and it was a much anticipated event every year.  I don’t know of any tree lightings here, and didn’t in the last place we lived in either.  But, last year the children and I went to the Huntsville Botanical Garden to see their “Galaxy of Lights.”  It was quite impressive and I wished Joe was with us.   Yesterday, for our Sunday drive, we went there.  Once again, it was quite a show!  Joe was very impressed as well.  There are patriotic displays, Santas, snow, dinosaurs, animals, nursury rhymes, and much more all in lights!  If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit.  All the children loved it.

Sunday Drive, July 15, 2007

July 28, 2007

What to do, where to go?  In Virginia we were always going to something War Between the States this time of year.  Tennessee just does not have that much.  What prompted me to look at my planner for the first time in weeks I’ll never know, but noted on that weekend was an artillery demonstration at Stones River National Battlefield.  So, that is where we drove to.  We will have to go back and explore much more, but the demonstrations that these people put on were really well done.  The people acted as if they were the same people who were around that area.  There was a program called “mail call” where the characters read letters “they” had written at the time of the war.  That is the only picture I took!  For the cannon fire, MaryEllen was having a fit, so we were a good distance away from that.  The men did do a lot of explaining about why, when, where, and how they were fired.  Again, very well done.  We found a nice spot to sit and picnic and Kevin found a nice tree to sit on.  kevintree1.jpg

This picture is taken during the “mail call.”   stonesr1.jpg Our children are the 5 in the very back of the group.  Notice the sisters.  That is really why I took that picture.

2 o’clock was the last demonstration and the reenactors started taking everything down.  We did a short driving tour and then took off.  Something stated me thinking about the Parthenon in Nashville, so we drove there.  The place is huge!  Inside is a 42 foot statue of the goddess Athena.  She is pretty impressive for a false god.  There are a few art displays and we saw them as well.   Around the Parthenon is Centinial Park.  There is a nice big pond with a fountain and a lot of flowers and ducks.  That was Charlotte’s favorite part.

parth1.jpg      parth2.jpg    parth3.jpg

Natchez Trace Frog

July 19, 2007

These pictures nearly didn’t make it due to my lack of brain cells these days.  However, this frog was found near the Gordon House on the Natchez Trace when we were there.  Kevin just loves finding animals.

ntfrog1.jpg      ntfrog2.jpg

Sunday Drive, July 8, 2007

July 18, 2007

Not too far from where we live is an entrance to the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Truth be told, it didn’t interest me that much.  Well, this particular Sunday we were looking for a place to drive and this popped into my mind.  We packed a picnic lunch, got ready, and went.  We drove up Buffalo Road for a change.  Really, it was because I wanted to see a house that we looked at before finding our current home.  What a difference.  When we first saw the place it was beautiful and we were sorry that there was not enough room in the dining room for us.  Now it was much more grown up, the beautiful white fence was falling into disrepair and Joe didn’t even recognize it at first.

A little note about the Natchez Trace parkway is that it was an old Native American trail, particularly the Chickasaw and the Choctaw Indians used it.  The French and Spanish explorers used this trail and then it was probably used by hunters.  It eventually became a well traveled road, walking and horse travel that goes from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi.

On with the drive.  We finally made it to the Parkway.  When we got out of the van the children were complaining of hunger.  We told them after we explored this site we would go and picnic.  Despite the hunger, Kevin still managed to find a nice cicada shell.  cicada1.jpg

The first stop was the Meriwether  Lewis site.  There was a stand (what they called inns on the trace) where Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) stopped.   The present Governor of Louisiana, he was making his way to Washington, DC.  In the room at the house, he was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  There stands a little log cabin with a display about Lewis’s life right next to the remains of that stand.  Behind that there is a monument explaining what the Natchez Trace is.  ntmonument1.jpgA ways over to the right is “Pioneer Cemetery.”  There are many flat gravestones, and a large monument where Lewis is buried.  There is also a nice sign explaining who put the monument there, when it was put there, and how they are sure that it is, in fact, Meriwether Lewis (including digging up the grave and finding the bones with a gunshot through the right side of the head!)mlewisgrave1.jpg

Next, Lunch!  We were looking for the bathrooms and there was a sign.  We drove for a bit and there came another sign, “restooms 1 mile.”  Let me tell you, it was longer than a mile, but no problem because it brought us to the most awesome picnic site.  It was next to a good size creek with all kinds of lovely stone coming down a cliff on the other side.  It really was beautiful.  We wished we had brought our creek shoes.   picnicsite1.jpg

After our picnic, it was back in the van for some more driving.  We decided to stop at “Jackson Falls.”  We missed the turn so we went to a scenic overlook where we saw a farm and a meandering river.  We turned around and went back.  Here was the sign that  was there.   jackfalls3.jpg  The sign mentions a quarter of a mile easy hike to an overlook or a steep 800 foot walk down to Jackson Falls.    We chose the easy hike first.  Well, it went to the over look that we had just turned around in, and it was longer than 1/4 mile!  When we first got on the trail, I spotted this big/little guy. lizzard1.jpg The children were picking up walking sticks.  Pretty soon Charlotte had to have one too.  charlottestick1.jpgWe came back to the parking lot and started down the path to Jackson Falls.  It was a wide, paved “trail” with railings, so it really wasn’t too bad.    We passed a family along the way who told us that they really didn’t think it was worth it.  There was almost no water according to them and the uphill hike just awful.  We almost turned around, but then I suggested we see it now and come back one day after a lot of rain and see the difference.  So we went on.  This is what we saw.  jackfalls2.jpg     jackfalls1.jpg 

It was beautiful, and to us, so worth the walk.  On the way up when we saw people we told them there was not much water, but it was worth it!  We met a family with 5 children, who clearly we would have gotten along very well with.  Joe smiled and said, “Are those children all YOURS?”  The man laughed, said yes, and asked the same.  We chatted a few minutes and headed back to the van.

The next stop that we made was the Gordon House.  Mr. Gordon ran a ferry near there and built a house.  This is the sign. gordonhouse2.jpg  We went down to the ferry site (which was much closer than the 1/2 mile that the sign said.  (We don’t believe any of those signs anymore!)   One has to wonder where he would have run the ferry.  It really was not far at all from one bank to the other.  I was wondering what that spot used to look like.  There was more of a trail, but we did not want to walk it, so we went back up to the house gordonhouse1.jpgand went on our way.

We got off the parkway somewhere, found the highway, and headed to the Macaroni Grill for dinner.  After that we went home.  It was a really lovely day and we’re all looking forward to one day heading South on the Parkway.

Arnold Air Force Base

June 6, 2007

On Sunday we took a drive to Arnold Air Force Base. Never have we been anywhere near an Air Force base and not stopped. Must be that retired Air Force in Joe that he just cannot pass one. Well, we found out that the history is much more exciting than anything else there. The base is a closed base, only military who work there are allowed in, except for the base stores, which are just inside the gate. They also do offer a FamCamp and other recreational facilities, but nothing that really thrilled us.

As you drive on the base through the public access road, you see all these concrete foundations that looks as if buildings had been there. You also see many roads that have been blocked off and not used in a while. Joe wondered if it was a thriving community at one time. Well, as we found out, it was during WWII. Back then it was Camp Forrest, named for the famous Confederate Calvary leader of Tennessee, Nathanial Bedford Forrest. This camp held detainees at the beginning of the war, but were then replaced with German POWs. I found this wonderful Tennessee history site that told the tale. There is also a lot of information at this site. Don’t you just love it when a drive turns into a fun educational adventure?

UPDATE: Since a comment was just posted and I’ve seen the website, perhaps it is a bit more exciting that originally posted. If we can take a tour, I’m sure there will be a nice post about it! (Yeah, more educational fun stuff!)

Also, since we’re talking military, don’t forget to check out and send a soldier a care package.