A Family Thanksgiving in Tennessee

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Tennessee Sunrise

Tennessee Sunrise

When I arrived home last Tuesday, my mom, dad and I had one day to prepare the house and our sanity for the rush of family and friends for the feast. We cleaned the house, went to the grocery store, baked pies, boiled cranberries, hung lights and enjoyed the stillness of a house of three.

Hay-bale Turkey

Hay-bale Turkey

Then over the next two days, our family members joined us a hand full at a time. First my brother and sister-in-law flew in from Colorado with their 1-year-old and new-born in tow. Next, my sister and brother-in-law drove down from Kentucky with their two little girls. The next day, the Nashville crew arrived in batches of 2-5. We had dinner in my father’s shop and used his workbench as the buffet table. It was the perfect dining hall for 30, and unfortunately I didn’t take nearly enough photos.

The dinner table

The dinner table

After the big dinner, there were plenty of leftovers to feed my parents, siblings, nieces, nephew and I for four days…and that is exactly what we ate. In fact, my brother ate the last serving of dressing five minutes before his family left for the airport four days after Thanksgiving!

We also spent an afternoon taking photos in my parents backyard. We used to go to a park to take family photos, but now that they live in the country, we just have to walk out side! I have a feeling that this will be a tradition that we keep up for a very long time.

The Family

The Family

Aubrey

Aubrey

Reagan

Reagan

Daddy & Daughter

Daddy & Daughter

Me and my big sister

Me and my big sister

It is amazing how as soon as there are kids in the family, the attention shifts and family becomes even more crucial than ever before. My brother, sister and I have become much more nostalgic and we keep asking Mom and Dad, “Did we do that when we were their age?” My nieces and nephew are just so wonderful, but perhaps I am a little biased.

My favorite shot of the little ones

My favorite shot of the little ones

Tennessee

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Tennessee

My thoughts are with my family today in Tennessee

Walking in Tennessee

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

One of the many nice things about Tennessee is the mild winter. During this time of year, sunshine and blue sky days far outnumber rainy or snowy days, and the temperature often falls between 40-60˚F. This means that you can be outside nearly year round, and I am trying my best to take advantage of it by taking walks as often as I can. The first week I got here, I left the house not knowing where I would go or how long I’d be gone, and I ended up finding a great route that is about 5 miles long and takes just over an hour. All of the roads are small 2-lane low-speed country roads that wind through the hills and along streams. Every one that drives by waves, and all of the dogs call out with a bark as I pass and some even join me for 1/2 a mile or so. I absolutely love it out here, so I thought I should share!!

The windchime that used to hang on my grandfather's back porch, but now hangs on my parents'. It has the best ring and does so at the tiniest gust. I love it.

The wind chime that used to hang on my grandfather's back porch, but now hangs on my parents'. It has the best ring and does so at the tiniest gust. I love it.

Hay bails at the farm next door.

Hay bails at the farm next door.

It is supposed to be 5˚F today in Tennessee, but I don't think we're going to make it since it's 50˚F right now. Regardless, the water from heavy rains last week are still frozen and make it look cold!

It is supposed to be 5˚F today in Tennessee, but I don't think we're going to make it since it's 50˚F right now. Regardless, the water from heavy rains last week is still frozen and make it look cold!

Do you ever wonder if a double wide could be cool? I think they could.

Do you ever wonder if a double wide could be cool? I think they could.

The Sweetgum seed pod, nature's version of felted ball garland.

The Sweetgum seed pod, nature's version of the Christmas ornament.

It kind-of looks like that could be a normal size house, but it's not. It's more the size of a large bird house.

It kind-of looks like that could be a normal size house, but it's not. It's more the size of a large bird house.

Americana at its best.

Americana at its best.

Another house, this one has a old rusted plow in the front. I love these little bits of the country in moderation.

Another house, this one has a old rusted plow in the front. I love these little bits of the country in moderation.

I think this is an old canning shed, but I'm not sure.

I think this is an old canning shed...or bomb shelter.

A lot of tabacco is grown in Tennessee, and I think that this is a "smoking barn". Which means that after the tabacco is harvested, they hang it in this barn and smoke it dry. They do this in the late summer and it produces the most amazing smell. I'm not sure why all of the smoking barns have vines growning all over them.

A lot of tobacco is grown in Tennessee, and this is the side of a barn used to fire-cure the tobacco leaves which produces pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff. Fire Curing is a process that dries tobacco by hanging it in a large barn, and then a low hardwood fire is kept burning continuously for up to 10 weeks. I was here a couple years ago during the curing time, and it was amazing. As we drove down Hwy 25 we would smell the hardwood fire first, then we would see these huge red barns covered with green ivy smoking to the high heavens. I am not a fan of tobacco smoking or chewing, but the curing process is pretty phenomenal.

This is Copper (Fox and the Hound refference), my childhood dog, brought back to life. She sneaks up on me every time I walk down her road and simply nudges my hand begging for recognition.

This is my childhood dog, Copper (Fox and the Hound reference), brought back to life. She sneaks up on me every time I walk down her road and simply nudges my hand begging for recognition.

Horse fences

Horse fences

A fallen log that happens to be the perfect bridge over a small stream.

A fallen log that happens to be the perfect bridge over a small stream.

And of course, the Cows. There are probably 30 cows that graze in the land across the street from my parents' house, and when I was behind the trees they were all sitting in the shade in the corner closest to me. When they heard me, every single one of them stood up and ran away to a more comfortable distance, then they watched in fear as I took their photo. I guess they're not as used to pedestrians as the ones in India.

And of course, the Cows. There are probably 30 cows that graze in the land across the street from my parents' house, and when I was behind the trees they were all sitting in the shade on the other side. When they heard me, every single one of them stood up and ran away to a more comfortable distance, then they watched in fear as I took their photo. I guess they're not as used to pedestrians as the ones in India.

So this is how I’ve been spending my days. Pretty nice.

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