Sunday, July 8, 2007

Adventures in Nashville.

It's not the heat... it's the humidity! It really is. I've never visited TN in the summer before, I usually only go for Christmas. Anyway, it was both hot & humid, but there was sweet iced tea a plenty. I swear I drank at least two gallons in my short trip! YUMMY!

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip to Tennessee. I got to see my nephew and tell him how proud I am of him. We had a nice cook-out to celebrate him and that was nice.

I also got to see my (almost) 8 yr old neice, and 5 year old nephew - the children of my other sister. They are the cutest kids ever, and no, I'm not biased. ;) We went to the YMCA - which was all hooked up with no fewer than 4 pools! One indoor, one big pool outside (with two adult-sized slides!), a 2' deep kiddie pool, and a slightly deeper kids pool with a frog slide & some water falls. Seriously - this is a cool place. Well my little nephew was exited to show me how he could jump into the pool, *and* put his face underwater. What a brave little guy. And my neice could not be sweeter if you dipped her in honey. Every five minutes she was saying "I like you.", "I like spending time with you", "I'm having a blast with you." Talk about positive affirmations!

On Saturday my mom and I spent some time together just the two of us. Priorities in order - the first thing I did was to raid her sewing room. ;) She has a couple of old quilts. One pink & green pinwheel quilt was given to us by a friend from church. It had been given to that person by an older relative. I'd grown up with it, but now it's really quite threadbare. I think one more trip through the washing machine and it'll completely disintigrate. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture - I ran out of batteries. But I sketched a draft of it, and fully intend to make a copy of it.

There was also a lap-quilt that my sister had started years ago, but never finished. At some point, my mom even bought some batting for it, and yet it's still not finished. I brought that one home and intend to finish it! It will give me a chance to practice quilting something I'm not deeply invested in.

I also scooped up some more free fabrics. Nothing fabulous, but nice stuff. I'm building quite a stash here!

Later, we went to the Hermitage - home of President Andrew Jackson. It's really beautiful, with most of it's original furniture and wallpaper, some of it is restored, like the linens, but from what they know the original peices looked like. So we go and watch the orientation video that conveniently skims over some inconsequential historical details - like how Andrew Jackson was responsible for sending the Native Americans (Including my great- great-grandmother) on the Trail of Tears from their homes in south to new territory in the west, and the fact that he was a huge slave owner.

From there we went through the museum and onto the house. There were quite a few people there so we waited in line outside under the huge shade trees. A few guides in period costume were talking to the people about to enter the house. As we got near the front of the line there was a man discussing slavery. By 'discussing' I mean, walking up and down the queue listing a number of patriarchical and economic justifications & excuses for slavery. As he was standing right in front of my mother and I he actually said "Even if Jackson were to line up his slaves and say 'you're free', they wouldn't understand what he was saying - they all just spoke African."

At that my mom and I just turned and stared at each other. Neither of us are much for making a scene but I flat out could not believe he'd said that. As soon as he moved on a bit down the queue my mom was like "I'm pretty sure they would have known what 'freedom' meant." There was a couple from England ahead of us and we wasted no time explaining that not all Americans would agree with what he'd been saying. In the end we concluded he *must* have just been in character and voicing the opinions of that era. The alternative was a bit too disturbing!

So that was my trip, a nice visit with my family, and a nice reminder of why I don't live out there. ;) It's nice to be home.


Stacey said...

wow, that sounds really frightening...that last guy I mean!

Welcome back to PDX!

Bezzie said...

Yikes, what a weirdo. But other than that it looks like you had a good time!

Batty said...

Yeah, I've seen people like that. His comment shows he's ignorant and unwilling to learn.

Beautiful trip otherwise! I learned to love tea during a North Carolina summer visit to one of my college friends. Nothing ever tasted so good.

michael5000 said...

Wow, are you really a Trail of Tears Great-Great Grandbaby? Have you read Sarah Vowell's (also a TofT GGGB) essays on the Trail of Tears?

I just got back from the Mountain West, where it was hot hot hot with a humidity of about 5%. I'm prepared to argue that it wasn't the humidity -- it was the heat! : )

Glad you had a good trip. Maybe I'll see ya in Sisters!

Gorgeous said...

Ah, fond memories of Nashville summers you've returned to me! Sweet tea is the best (love it!), and I have very vivid memories of that Hermitage trip, though my mom and I went in the winter and were often the only people on the tours, which meant we got lots of little stories and gossip and stuff. And I second the Sarah Vowell recommendation -- she is a wonderful writer! I'll be seeing you soon, I hope! Glad you didn't melt....