Bell Camp: Days Two/Three

Day Two

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After breakfast at the Hyatt (which was great both mornings we were there) , we headed home via Lawrenceville to do one more house drive-by – the home of Chuck’s grandparents. Then we hit up Boulder Creek Coffee where JuJu found some hidden treasure in an old trunk upstairs! We let the kids get some wiggles out at the playground before hitting the road.

After we got to Bham and unloaded, JuJu and I went to get Ruby from the vet. This was the first time for them to meet and they were both excited.

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Ruby

 

Day Three

This was Toy Story 4 Day. We started the morning with Toy Story 4 cereal. Kinda meh on the flavor scale.

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The kids wore their t-shirts and even though I messed up the tickets I’d pre-purchased, the manager saved the day and we enjoyed the show. I laughed a lot and teared up a little. It was a hit with all of us!

 

Afterwards we had an early supper at Jim-n-Nicks, then a little scootering around the neighborhood  and some Toy Story 4 Pez before the day ended.

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Bell Camp: Day One

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Day one consisted of cemetery/house hopping.

Our first stop was the Oconee Hill Cemetery. It’s a lovely, historic cemetery and the setting for a book called The Song of Daniel by Philip Lee Williams. It is a huge place and I had no clue how to find my relatives except for a photo I had of some steps with my great-grandparents’ names on them. I had the kids and Chuck on the lookout for Baileys and not only did they find some, but also some Eberharts, Seagraves, Bells plus a few other names that the kids thought were funny. It was the photo that saved the day – we found the steps and then nearby the graves we were searching for. I was so excited!

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I had not been to the cemetery since 2000 for Aunt Marie’s funeral. Our little Juliette Marie is named after her as am I and my cousin Susan and my daughter, Leah. Juliette is also named for her mom, Claire Marie, her Noni and two great-grandmothers on her Mom’s side. We are all MARIE STRONG!!

 

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I found the resting places of my grandmother and great-grandparents, also. We found a random Sorrells headstone, which is how my husband and I are connected, but that’s another story for another day.

 

The next stop was the Friendship Baptist Cemetery in Danielsville. This is where Dad’s parents, grandparents, and other relatives are buried. I remember going here a few times as a kid when Mom and Dad would bring flowers and clean up the area a little bit. I also found the graves of Uncle (Give me some sugar) Eugued and Aunt Mabel Nash. Huff is a another family name and there were Huffs buried there, including my great-grandmother Annie Tallulah Huff Graham.

 

There’s a great story about one relative named Peter Hoff/Huff. Way back in the day, Peter Huff was a bootlegger who went by the name of Pint Peter since he supplied the pints for discreet drinkers in the area. When the government came in to put in a post office, they asked the people what to name the area. They said Pint Peter, but a misunderstanding resulted in it becoming Point Peter. Using gps, we were able to find the location, but the area is now referred to as the Glade. However, we did find a road sign, which led down a dirt road to a quarry.

 

We headed back to Athens for lunch at The Varsity.

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After lunch we located three old family houses in Athens. The first was on Sylvia Circle where we lived when I was about two. Again, it was a photo that led us to the correct house. The next was Grandma’s place on Vine Circle. It looked very much like I remembered it.  The last was a house where my great-grandmother Lucy lived in the 1940s. I found the address on a letter that was in a box of letters Mom had saved. I also have a picture of Lucy sitting on the steps of that very house which was built in the 1920s. I wanted so badly to go up and knock on the door, but I settled for taking a picture from the car window.

 

That night we once again walked to Mellow Mushroom for supper. Hey, if it ain’t broke…

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Artist at work in Mellow Mushroom

Day one of Bell camp was full of family history and a walk down memory lane for me.

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Scooter and playground break

 

 

 

Monday Music #5

 

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. And I’m attached to some places that are or have been homes for my loved ones. This is my third Georgia song. Couldn’t leave this one out.

 

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia, Georgia,
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said Georgia
Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia,
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

Georgia,
Georgia,
No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song,
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Songwriters
HOAGY CARMICHAEL, STUART GORELL

“Georgia on My Mind” is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of Georgia who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road. In 1979 Georgia designated this as the official state song – Wikipedia

Originally published @ Carry Me Home 8/17

Monday Music #4

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. This is my second song about Georgia. It’s been sung by numerous artists, but Box Scaggs is my favorite!

 

Rainy Night in Georgia

Hoverin’ by my suitcase
Tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night
A heavy rain a fallin’
Seems I hear your voice callin’
“It’s all right”

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Neon signs a flashin’
Taxi cabs and busses passin’ through the night
The distant moanin’ of a train
Seems to play a sad refrain to the night

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

How many times I’ve wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it, think of it
You just got to do your own thing

I find me a place in a box car
So I take out my guitar to pass some time
Late at night when it’s hard to rest
I hold your picture to my chest
And I’m all right

A rainy night in Georgia
A rainy night in Georgia
I believe it’s rainin’ all over the world

Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Rainy Night in Georgia lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/31/17

Monday Music #3

I have a playlist on Amazon that I call Sweet Homes. Not all the songs are about Alabama, though, because I’ve had other homes. I was born in Georgia, then lived there again in the late 80s. Though I grew up in Florida, Georgia has always been that other home I dreamed of. The land of grandma and cousins and summer vacations.

Midnight Train to Georgia

L.A. proved too much for the man
(too much for the man)
(he couldn’t make it)
So he’s leaving the life he’s come to know
(he said he’s going)
He said he’s going back to find
(going back to find)
What’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so very long ago
Oh yeah

He’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ll be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He kept dreaming
(dreaming)
That one day he’d be a star
(a superstar but he didn’t get far)
But he sure found out the hard way
That dreams don’t always come true
(dreams don’t always come true)
Oh no
(uh uh no uh uh)
So he sold all his hopes
And he even sold his own car
And bought a one way ticket back
To the life that he once knew
Oh yes he did
He said he would

I know he’s leaving
(leaving)
On that midnight train to georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
Oh y’all
Said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
Yes he is
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine
(world, world)
(it’s his, his and hers alone)

He’s leaving
(he’s leaving)
On a midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train)
Oh yeah
He said he’s going back to find
(he’s going back to find)
A simpler place and time
(and when he takes that ride)
(guess who’s gonna be right by his side)
I’ve got to be with him
(I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia
(leaving on a midnight train to Georgia)
(whoo whoo)
I’d rather live in his world
(live in his world)
Than live without him in mine

I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
Ive got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go
(her man, his girl)
I’ve got to go
(all aboard)
I’ve got to go
(one world)
I’ve got to go right now
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)
(all aboard)
(one world)
(her man, his girl)

Written by James D. Weatherly • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

*originally published @ Carry Me Home on 7/24/17

The Vine That Ate the South

I first became aware of kudzu traveling the highways and byways of Georgia. It was a mystery to me; I just knew it grew like crazy and looked lovely. I even included it in a poem I wrote back in September of 2012; a play on Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

The Roads Taken

Two roads converged in a Georgia town

And seeing that both I could travel

At the light I looked around

Nothing there could make me frown

But my plan would soon unravel

Mapquest said there would be a turn

Trusting still I ventured on

Many were lessons I had to learn

Though blessed by views of kudzu and fern

I felt my path was lost and gone

Backtracked that morning more than twice

Turned around on roads of clay

The air still crisp and oh so nice

With music as my only vice

I saw how way leads on to way

I am now telling with a sigh

At last I made my destination

O’er valleys low and hills so high

Beneath a cloudless southern sky

I found a bit of relaxation

 

Two months ago, as I explored a new trail at Red Mountain in Birmingham, I came upon an area covered in kudzu. This was my first real close up and I discovered the blooms that are lovely.

 

 

Right after this I realized that it was overtaking the fence that runs across the back of our yard. Sitting outside this week I kept smelling a wonderful scent. I went to investigate and it was the kudzu blooms. They have the most wonderful aroma – correctly described by others as smelling like grape soda.

 

I did a little research and found out that many parts of the plant are edible. The leaves can be eaten like spinach and the blooms are used for jams. Bees frequent the blooms more during a drought and it is believed they are the reason for a rare purple honey. I may try a recipe one day; a few years ago after reading about dandelions I did eat them. Once.

Known as “the vine that ate the south”, kudzu can grow up to a foot a day. Originally meant to feed livestock and fight soil erosion, it has outgrown its initial usefulness. I’m sure there are many metaphors that can be made of kudzu. Here’s one: facebook is kind of like kudzu – it looks good and smells good, but it can choke out the the things it wraps it tendrils around. So take care – whack away at it when you have to!

Father’s Day Thoughts

Dad

 

“I loved photography for the same reason I loved baseball. Because Dad did.” – Lassoing the Sun by Mark Woods

 

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This made me think, are there things I love because Dad did? I suppose there are things I like and things I do and choices I’ve made along the way because of him. I was born in Athens, Georgia and into this family that has perpetually rooted for the Georgia Bulldogs. So, I’ve always considered myself a fan, though it’s laughable to call me a fan of any football team. Dad loved music and so do I, though I can’t say he influenced my choices of musical styles.

Dad’s work ethic was an example to me and I think it had a lot to do with my educational goals when I first went off to college. I majored in marketing with an eye on fashion merchandising. Dad didn’t ever push me into it, but he was clear with his desire for me to get a college education, something he never had. He explained to me the changes in the workplace and how, in his later years, he couldn’t hire anyone without a degree. How I wish he had been there when I finally graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.

Dad was also a wordsmith of sorts. He loved to use big words. He admitted to having poor handwriting and spelling skills; he said that’s what secretaries were for. He also loved to make up words, specifically names for us kids and then the grandkids. Maybe I somehow absorbed his love of words.

Like Woods, I love photography and I like baseball. I don’t know where exactly my love of taking pictures came from, but it has evolved greatly in recent years. My enjoyment of baseball totally came from my husband.

All this brings me to say, I’m glad for the glimpses of Dad that show up in me on occasion. The wordplay, the sense of honesty, the sense of humor. Thanks, Dad.

Love,

Puncie