Social Tree Climber

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Reelfoot Lake

One of the things that was on Jim's Bucket List was to watch the eagles fly at Reelfoot Lake. We asked Sallie and George to go with us. Sallie said that she would find us a place to stay. She went to work looking on the internet. She found one that sounded and looked good. When she called to talk with the owner, they realized that they knew each other. They had worked together as nurses in the Coffee County school system. Sallie thought with her being a nurse, that her bed and breakfast would be nice and clean. We couldn't wait to get there. When we pulled up and saw the sign of the Blue Basin Inn we knew we were in for a memorable experience. Several of the letters on the sign were missing and the ones that were still there were crooked. Sallie went in to register us and came out with the keys to the rooms. We were already skeptical about the condition of the rooms. They had not been redecorated since the 1960's. And the rooms smelled like they had not been used since then. We had made reservations for 2 nights, well at this point we were not even sure we were going to stay one night. But with it being Sallie's friend, George felt like we ought to stay at least one night. Come to find this was a place that was used by fishermen.

We went out to see the sights around town that night, because everyone said that the best time to see the eagles was early in the morning. The scenery was beautiful and there we a gorgeous sunset.

That night we did get some sleep. Sallie and George's room smelled so bad that they slept with their windows open. It was a very cold night, but the cold air was better than the smell.

The next day we checked out BEFORE breakfast and headed out to see the eagles. We rode along the dike of the Mississippi River. It was a great day. We saw the eagle's soar and several eagle's nests.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

All You Need is Love

Jim took me out to Walter Hill in Murfreesboro one afternoon in the fall of 1972. While we were out there he chiseled our initials in the concrete wall. I thought it was so sweet.

That night we had a date and he asked if I wanted to go out and see our initials. We drove to Walter Hill and looked at them. On the way back to the car we stopped and sat on the picnic table to watch the moon. While we were sitting there he proposed. I was so surprised, but or course I said yes.

We went to Nashville the next night to show Mother and Daddy my ring. Daddy immediately asked me to take it off so he could look at it. When I gave it to Daddy, he got out his father's jeweler's glass and started inspecting it. Jim was sweating bullets and I was mortified. Daddy was just kidding around with Jim about examining the diamond. My parent's were thrilled to death about our engagement.

Jim was known as J.B. during college. After we got engaged Mother told me that I didn't need to marry a man that was just called by his initials. So I started calling him Jim. I have always joked about how I dated and got engaged to J.B. but married Jim.

We decided to get married on August 25 the next fall. I got a job teaching at Gate City in Birmingham, Alabama. We got married on Saturday, stopped at Point Mallard for one night and then moved into our apartment on Sunday. Then on Monday I started teaching.

We were dirt poor, but were very happy just living on love. Jim was still in school and I was teaching in a very challenging situation In the intercity school.

Our first Christmas we decided not to get a tree because we didn't have the money to purchase one. I came home one afternoon and found a tree in our front window. I was thrilled to death. Jim told me that he had found it in the dumpster. Someone that lived in our apartment complex got out of school early and decided to throw their tree away before they headed home. We didn't have any money to buy ornaments so I made snowflakes out of aluminum foil. I found a little box of wooden ornaments that had to be decoupaged on sale. I bought two strands of lights for $1.00 a piece. We thought the tree was just beautiful. That Christmas tree has the best memories of any of the trees we have ever had.
We have been happily married 35 years and have three wonderful daughters.  There have been lots of wonderful memories.  All of the girls went to Davidson Academy, Tennessee Technology University, married, and have begun families of their own.  We count our blessings each day.  Jim has always said that he wanted to provide for his girls, a good Christian foundation, a strong education and a very loving home.  I think that we have met our goals and are enjoying watching them create their own homes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Where it all began...

October 1970

     In the fall of 1970, I caught Jim's eye in the cafeteria at MTSU. He was serving mashed potatoes.  While I was eating, his roommate, Jeff, who was also dating my roommate at the time, brought him over to introduce him to me.  I didn't think anything of it at the time due to the fact I was dating another fellow.  He asked me out several times, but I declined due to my dating status.  That December he asked me to to attend his Sigma Nu Christmas Dance.  With a little reluctance, I accepted.  The reluctance originated from my feelings for my current bo and the feelings my Sorority sister had for JB (aka...Jim).  I also had my Alpha Delta Pi Christmas dance the week before his.  Marvin Painter  was to be my date for that evening, but at the last minute something came up and he wasn't able to attend.  Out of desperation and in need of a for sure "YES", I invited JB.  Without any hesitation, he graciously accepted.
     My dorm room was a buzz of excitement and nervousness.  Why was I nervous about going out with him??? I wasn't sure at the time.  After completing the beauty process of putting on my homemade green velvet dress, curling my hair, and applying mascara, I was ready to go.  About an hour and a half after I was ready, he finally arrived.  This first date was turning out to be a bit of a disaster before I even met him in the lobby.  He didn't have a car, so he had to depend on doubling with another couple.   Come to find out, as JB was leaving with his roommate/chauffeur, his roommate decided that they were going to make a "run" at the liquor store, which happened to be in Shelbyville, 30 minutes away.  This, mind you, was NOT JB's idea.  However, he had to go along due to being at the driver's mercy.   As these 2 fellas were leaving the fraternity house, where he was living at the time, he did ask another brother to call me and tell me that he was running late.  Well, that brother never called.
After he arrived, I hesitantly made my way towards the lobby.  The dress that I was wearing was a green velvet  short dress.  The style at the time was "mini skirts" so it was pretty short.  I was aware of the fact that we were doubling at the time.  The closer I got to the car, I realized that we were tripling.  (Now that I look back, I'm not sure where that other couple came from.) We did all fit in the car, but by the time we got to the Kappa Sigma house for the warm-up party my new velvet dress was now a crushed velvet dress.
     Jim and I decided to join in on the dancing.  While we were dancing, another couple that was dancing with a beverage of their choice,  bumped into us and spilt their drink on me.  Now I was wearing a crushed velvet dress with the aroma of liquor.  The dance happened to be in one of the college's cafeterias, so there was no liquor allowed.  Jim and I were not drinking, but one of the couples we were "tripling" with had been drinking pretty heavily.  The other couple happened to be Jim's roommate and my roommate.  Later that evening, we all piled into the car to go to the dance on campus.
     When it was time to get our pictures taken, we decided to get them made with our roomates.  As the photographer took the picture, Jim goosed me at the waist.  What was an innocent giggle, ended up looking like we were the ones drinking once the pictures were returned a few weeks later.  One of the 3 pictures that were taken I was squirming and was laughing pretty hard.  This made my dress hike way up on my leg.  I never showed Mother and Daddy those pictures.
     There was an excellent band playing that night.  We enjoyed listening and dancing to their music.  The band's name was ALABAMA.  At the time, they were not well known.  It is pretty amazing how far they have come since that evening.  We just didn't know how lucky we were at the time.

    The week after my dance I got a bad case of the Flu.  Mother came to MTSU, and took me home to nurse me back to health.  I still wasn't well when it came time for JB's dance.  Mother could have co-written Emily Post's Book of Etiquette.  With that said, she implied that I really needed to go.  So she took me back to school and gave me several different medications to help me make it through the evening.  When we got to the fraternity house, (the venue of the dance) I was pretty tired.  I went into the Chapter Room and fell sound to sleep.  JB danced the night away with several other girls.  He has always been known to be able to "cut a rug" out on the dance floor.  Later on that evening, he came into the Chapter Room to check on me.  As I was laying there sound asleep, I awoke to Jim "listening to my heart beat".  I accused him of doing something else inappropriate, but he swears that he was just making sure I was still alive.
Some how we did end up going on a third date and having a great time. By Easter we were lavaliered.  I went to Cincinnati with him for Spring Break.  This was our sophomore  year.  The next year he transferred to Samford University in Birmingham.

Our long distance romance proved to be a strong one.  Jim still didn't have a car, so he would hitch hike to Nashville as often as he could.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Trip To Opryland Hotel With Donnie's Family

Donnie's family was coming to town to celebrate Christmas. They asked if they could come by and see us, so I invited then to dinner. We had a great visit and after dinner we went to Opryland Hotel to see the Christmas
Decorations. As we were driving over to the hotel, Colin kept asking to see the SHREK movie on the DVD player in our car. Jim got into the donkey part of the movie, so he decided to unroll the window of the car and holler "Where's the donkey?" Everyone that could hear him would laugh as we would pass them. We all thought this was funny until until we pulled up to the nativity scene and he continued to yell out the window "Where's the donkey?"

We enjoyed seeing the decorations, but we all decided that the hotel was NOT stroller and wheelchair friendly. We were glad to find our way back to the cars.