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50 is not old?

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Another birthday has came and now past this week and as everyone has asked…yes it was a big one…50. I’ve heard so many people talk about turning 40 was the worse or 50 nearly killed me. Looking back on my birthdays, I don’t recall being upset about the new year. Am I crazy? I am 50 now and when I was growing up that was one step away from the grave but not anymore. What is 50…it’s a number, it’s how much a Diet Coke used to cost, it’s 25 times 2, it’s still younger than my husband, it’s 5 decades I have lived and 5 decades of memories made. It’s being old enough to know better and wise enough to know when to stop. It’s being old enough to have watched the Facts of Life, Top Gun and Dallas the first time. It’s old enough to remember skating rinks, hall passes in school, Cavalier football at TTU, cruising Jefferson Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights, hanging out at the Cookeville Mall, buying cookies and lemonade at the Cookie Jar, home economics class in school, the water slide and pool on Jefferson, the talking Christmas tree at Harveys. It’s also being old enough to remember concerts at TTU, Murphy Center and Starwood and paying less than $10 for a ticket. It’s remembering how Cookeville has changed but still stayed the same. It’s being able to now enjoy concerts with my daughter and listen to her sing along to Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper…Girls just wanna have fun at 50 too! Enjoy everyday and remember you only get old when you want to…bring on the next decade!

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Snow Day

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snow in cookeville

Well the weatherman has said that dreaded 4 letter word, the grocery stores have been besieged, the gas stations have lines and children  are flushing ice cubes and doing dances…It’s time for a snow day!

For the first of my school years, we lived in Louisville, Kentucky. We lived there during the winter of 78-79 when the Ohio river froze and there was feet of snow. Long before cell phones, robo calls and email messages…you watched the late news and hope to hear Paul Simon’s “Slip slidin’ away” because that meant a snow day…Many hopes were crushed reading over those cancellations…Jefferson County schools closed …YES! Catholic schools snow routes…still have hope! Portland open but girls may wear pants…Crap!!! While my neighbors got to sleep late and sled the big hill all day, I got to meet the bus at 6am with no heat and head to school in pants rather than my uniform skirt…the joys of private school!!!

Move ahead to 1981, we move to Cookeville. Our first winter here, we had snow days…what snow days what snow…a dusty to an inch but then there were bigger snows meaning no school for days. That’s all well and everyone is happy until you’re a senior counting the days to graduation…all the built in snow days are used up and the snow is still coming…graduation is moved from May to the first week of June…Ugh!!! I’m ready to graduate! Another drawback was I was working at a local bank and the bank did not close for snow so to work I went on my snow days…again no sleeping late or sledding.

Forward to TTU, early morning classes during winter quarter…word was get certain professors because they cancelled classes when it snows…Wrong! So you drive to campus or Dad drops you off for the day…you work your way across campus get in the class and wait and wait and wait…no professor no call no nothing…head back to the UC or sorority room to wait for that next class… four classes maybe 2 professors show up…remember we walked 6 miles up hill in the snow to get to class!

Fast forward to present day…school is cancelled the night before, TTU closes and most businesses close for the snow day…total accumulation 1-2 inches high by the weekend of 59degrees…got to love Tennessee weather. Enjoy your snow day…I am…answering emails, blogging and posting pictures of new listings while dinner to cooks in the crockpot and the wood stove is keeping the house warm and cozy.

 

Tis the season…

Tis the season…

Tis the season for my favorite food group…dressing. In the south, dressing is prepared outside the turkey and always with cornbread. As the weather starts getting cooler, I start saving the leftover cornbread from dinners of chili, soups and beans. My freezer is stocked with Ziploc bags of leftovers just waiting to become that sage filled treat that I so love. Tonight as I’m typing this blog…the aroma of sage, seasonings and chicken are rising from my oven as I prepare dressing for our company Thanksgiving lunch. The aroma brings back so many memories of family holidays with my grandmothers, my mom and numerous aunts. All wonderful cooks individually but put them together and it is nearly culinary overload in the very best way. From one grandmother’s homemade rolls made dozens and dozens at a time along with chicken&dumplings to my other grandmother’s fresh coconut cake and numerous items brought to grandmother’s small but always welcoming home on Chief Creek…enough food to feed a small town  would be enjoyed by all the family and friends that made their way to Thanksgiving or Christmas in Lawrence county.

Easter

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Growing up Easter was always a big holiday for my family. My sister and I always had new dresses and white patent shoes. Until we were school age, those cute dresses were hand made by one or both grandmothers. Most of the time we were in Lawrenceburg at our grandparents. There we would have sunrise service with my mom’s parents at the Baptist church followed by breakfast and then to church with my dad’s mom at the Church of Christ. That would be followed by a huge potluck with my grandmother and all her sisters families then the egg hunting was on. One of my favorite things about those Easters was an Easter basket my grandmother, Ma Wideman, had purchased the year I was born from McKelvey’s Florist in Lawrenceburg. Every year she brought that basket out with the blue bunny and filled it with wonderful candy and little gifts for me and my sister. As we got older she would hide lip gloss, makeup and money in that basket. For several years mom would make our Easter chocolate candy from molds that I still have. Once I got older, Easter meant church then working as sponsor of the county wide egg hunt. Broadcast over the local radio station, we would serve free cokes and hot dogs for hours while thousands searched the county for prize eggs. I still get excited about Easter even though my daughter is grown and getting ready to graduate college. One year when she was younger, she announced that she knew who the Easter bunny was and I could just give her the gifts and candy without setting her basket out. I told her “No basket no gifts”. When I went to bed that night, her basket was sitting on the kitchen table awaiting the Easter bunny’s arrival. Now here it is Saturday night before Easter Sunday, the ham is baking, dessert is made and I have Easter baskets ready for my grown daughter and her boyfriend along with a new spring dress for her. Creating memories is one of the greatest things you can do for your children…never miss the opportunity. Happy Easter!!!

This is my younger sister and I Easter 1972 with our cute handmade Easter dresses.easter72

Heart of the City

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lydiaWith the hard work and vision of many people, Cookeville has been blessed with a new playground for ALL children in the upper Cumberland. Heart of the City playground was designed and built so challenged children can play along side their friends with nothing to hinder them. This state of the art playground was completely funded and built by volunteers. It creates a wonderful playground in Dogwood Park for younger children to play. Yesterday, I got the chance to spend some time at the playground with two very active little girls. They got to swing, climb ladders, drive boats and trucks, climb ropes, slide the numerous slides and enjoy time outside on a beautiful pre-spring afternoon. Children could spend hours exploring all the areas of the new playground. This Sunday will be the official grand opening of the playground. This will be a time to honor all those who worked hard to make this dream come true.  If you have little ones, make a point of spending some time at the playground. You will enjoy it as much as they do. It is a great asset for our community. #heartofthecityplayground #dogwoodpark #visitcookeville

Small town holiday

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IMG_2292Christmas and New Years have just ended and it’s time to kick 2016 off but I’m not wanting to take the tree down just yet. The holidays have went by so fast but we were able to create many memories to cherish for years to come. Normally Christmas starts the Monday night after Thanksgiving with a Christmas parade but this year our holiday activities were changed and enhanced…for the better. Our Christmas season kicked off the first weekend in December with an afternoon parade and then tree lighting and service at Dogwood Park complete with Santa, snow and eggnog. Even with warm weather, the nightly performances at Dogwood Park drew large crowds enjoying the lights and music. Another large draw to the downtown area this year was ice skating and snow slide complete with vendors with hot chocolate, warm meals and kettle corn. Two of my favorite things about Christmas in my small town are the decorated windows at Borden Jewelry and Ralph’s Donuts Christmas cookies and neither disappointed again this but the cookies did sell out quickly everyday. Well the cookies are gone for another the year, the ice skating is gone and Santa is resting back at the North Pole so I guess it’s time to get that tree down and decorations put away…2016 is here and it’s going to be another great year already working new contracts and new listings-

Time to ride

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me&scottAs the weather gets warmer, we all want to get outside, work in the yard, go to the lake, play sports or if you’re like us…It’s time to ride! My husband has had a Harley for several years and loves to ride. I love to ride with him, this is when I get to see the beautiful countryside without worrying about driving and getting lost. Getting lost is part of the fun…time to explore and find new treasures. A gorgeous day, friends and a backroad equals an adventure. We’ve found great little mom & pop restaurants, neat country stores and breathtaking areas to take a break. This year is shaping up to be another great riding season. The 3rd annual Jerry Dale Abston ride is coming up and the HOG rally is just around the corner. We are ready to #CarvetheCumberland. There are great areas to ride in this area and maps are available at Leslie Town Center or the Highlands Center. Check out UpperCumberland.org for routes. They have developed “Trails” for everyone’s interest. We will welcome the 27th annual Ride for the Wall back to Cookeville on May 18th as they head to Washington DC then the following week all our HOG friends come to town. So if you can’t reach me on my cell, there’s a good chance I’m viewing property from the back of  Harley.

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