Traditions are a part of Christmas that make it special. Whether baking, observing Christmas lights, attending church services, or crafting Christmas décor; traditions create memories that you will never forget. I’m going to share some of my families traditions, most of which are still carried on.
Baking is one tradition that I love. To some it is a chore , but the results are so worth it. I remember Mom and some of her six sisters getting together on an afternoon before Christmas and having a little candy making party. They would make all kinds of candy including peanut butter fudge, chocolate fudge, and my favorite, divinity. Each would cook their specialty, and then they would all share with one another. Those sisters sure knew how to make candy. Following are some of the recipes from the old days that are imbedded in my memory.
Mom made the best divinity candy! How I wish mine would turn out like hers. The white peaks on the candy were topped with a pecan. Absolutely delicious. To the best I can recall one needs to make this candy when the weather is dry. Seems like if there is rain in the forecast it will be too soft. Here is Mom’s recipe:
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup white corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup cold water (if not using a candy thermometer)
Over medium heat boil the sugar, syrup, and water until a soft ball forms when a small amount is dropped in the cold water (Mom didn’t have a candy thermometer) . Beat egg whites until stiff. Pour 1/2 of sugar mixture into the egg whites, beating constantly. Return the 1/2 syrup mixture to the one still on the heat. Cook until it forms a hard ball when dropped in the cold water. Remove from heat and stir with a mixer until mix is quite firm and stands in peaks. Heap the candy onto parchment or wax paper by the teaspoonful. Top with a pecan. Let cool. Store in a tightly covered container. For variation you can add chopped nuts or food coloring.
Peanut Butter Fudge
Another one of my favorites of Mom’s was her peanut butter fudge. This one is easier to make than the above. Here is the recipe Mom used:
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2/3 cups of milk
- 1 cup marshmallow cream
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook sugar and milk to soft ball stage. Add marshmallow cream, peanut butter, and vanilla. Beat well. Pour into a greased pan. Yum. Yum. If you make it the stuff won’t be around very long.
Mom could make some delicious candy, but it seemed that Daddy preferred chocolate covered cherries bought from a store. Mom or I always bought him a box and wrapped it up for him for Christmas. Here’s another tradition I still do. Sometime before Christmas I buy me a box of Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries and eat some in memory of him.
I remember as a child Mom making a fruit cake every year. She would buy nuts, dried fruit, and all the usual stuff that goes into a good cake. But what would make this cake special was the Bourbon she would add to it. I still have the Tupperware container that she stored the cake in. She would put a slice of apple in the Tupperware with the cake to keep it moist. We would all eat a piece or two, then the rest would be thrown out. I think if she had served it with whipping cream it would have gone over better. Of course, now it seems that fruit cake is the brunt of a lot of jokes and I understand why. Personally, I preferred the jam cake that my mother-in-law made, but I didn’t want to hurt Mom’s feelings so I kept that a secret. Actually this Christmas tradition has not carried on. But I still have her old Tupperware and an empty Bourbon bottle.
Another thing Mom and I made each year when I was a kid was candles. This was before Yankee Candles and all those other companies came out with the scented candles we all buy now.
Mom would buy the paraffin and string, and use old empty square milk cartons for containers. All we had to do was melt the paraffin and pour it into a milk carton of which the top part had been cut off. We would tie a weight to one end of the string, and to the other end we would tie a long pencil. After pouring the melted wax into the milk carton the weighted end of the string would be placed in the center of the mixture. The pencil would be placed across the top of the carton to keep the string(wick) in the center of the candle.
When it had thoroughly cooled the carton and pencil were removed. And magically you had a candle. I can’t remember if we added food coloring to the mixture for color or not. But sometimes we would go all out and add an icing to the finished candle. How this was done was melting more wax and beating it. Then this mixture was added to the exterior of the candle. It looked like whipped cream or icing. I still have some of the old paraffin but it’s been quite a while since I’ve tried to make candles this way.
Christmas Light Viewing
One Christmas tradition that has continued is driving around town in search of Christmas lights. Driving through Lexington Avenue or downtown Danville you can still see lots of glowing lights decorating the two story houses and buildings.
Do any of you remember when Danville, KY and all the small towns had multi-colored lights that strung across the street from pole to pole. Back when I was young all the lights were multi-colored and large bulbs. Most people only had a decorated tree.
Today displays are often more elaborate than in days gone by. Technology has given us mini lights, LED lights, projector lighting, and blow up decorations. In the days of my childhood we only toured our small town to see the lights, but now we often travel farther to see the lights. We have toured the Horse Park and rich neighborhoods of Lexington. Usually we try to go to Ruley’s display in Marion County where there are thousands of lights and decorations. While in Florida we visit Largo Central Park and Florida Botanical gardens. If you haven’t visited any of these beautifully decorated places I’ll encourage you to do so.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I love the Christmas gospel music and especially the children’s programs at the churches. I remember as a child participating in these programs in our little white capes with black bows tied around the neck. What special memories of those days with the participants and mothers who helped pull off the program!
As a child I loved making Christmas ornaments for the tree. I’m sure Mom would just as soon have had her glass ball ornaments, but I insisted on having some of my aluminum foil ornaments added to the tree. I would use 3 layers of foil and cut them into a shape. Sewing down the middle with my uneven hand stitches was the next step. Lastly I would open the layers up and there would be my Christmas ornament. I made one today just for old times sake.
There is usually something I craft every Christmas. It may be a hand made table runner, a wall hanging, Christmas tags, or a Christmas ornament.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without something made by hand. Now my daughter and granddaughters are getting into the Christmas spirit by making Christmas t-shirts. I’m happy to see they are carrying on the tradition of crafting for Christmas.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of my Christmas traditions. Please feel free to share with me some of your traditions. Maybe that will help me to make some new traditions to pass along to the next generation. I hope each and every one of you have a Merry Christmas and pass on some family traditions to your children and grandchildren.
We just completed our 44th year enjoying Lake Cumberland in southern Kentucky. During all those summer weekends we have spent many hours boating on this lake where the beauty of nature abounds. Lake Cumberland has crappy, bass, turtles, deer, blue herons, bald eagles, etc. There even have been reported bear sightings. It has plenty of water, coves, forests, and interesting landscapes. Some things have changed throughout the years, but lots of things remain the same.
Friends have come and gone. Dickie, Gary, Paul, Dale, and Vickie have passed on. What great memories of these five friends that we will never forget were made while being at Lake Cumberland! Many of our friends moved on to different hobbies or activities. But we still cherish those times we spent together with each and every one. While some friends move on in their lives, many newcomers have been welcomed to our lake family. Our babies grew up on the lake, and now their babies are grown. So much laughter and happy times. No doubt our lake family will continue on as there were 7 new babies added this year.
More houses, campers, and boat storages are along the stretch of road leading to the water. When we first started coming to the lake there were few houses above the cliffs of the lake. Today you see huge summer homes in many areas. We remember when Jamestown Dock was just a small boating store with single boats scattered in the water tied to a tire. The store sold a minimum amount of groceries and bait. Lots more boats cruise the lake and many are much bigger than the boats 44 years ago.
We seldom have to stop and repair our boats like we did when we first started boating. It seemed like every weekend someone had to be towed in, or their motor cover was up and the guys were working on the motor or prop.
Before cell phones we spent lots of time searching for our friends. Now all we have to do to find them is send out a text. We started out staying in a houseboat with friends. We got a boat and slept on it beside the houseboat for a while. Sometimes we roughed it in tents on islands. Later we moved on to tents at the campground, and soon moved up to an old camper that fit on the back of a truck. After about 10 years of roughing it we bought some land with an old mobile home on it. Now we have a mobile home we bought new in 2010. It is hard to believe we used to stay in a tent.
We still enjoy the same places like Little Falls, 76 Falls, , Battleship Island, Caney Creek, Copperhead Island, and The Mill. As we’ve aged we don’t travel to these places as often as we did in the earlier days. Seems like we spend a lot more time at the Swimming Hole and Governor’s Cove just shooting the bull while we are tied up. The water still splashes in our faces when we hit a huge wave, and we love the sun shining down on the water making it glisten. We still get caught out in the rain and picnic in the boat. After all these years I still search for shapes of animals in the clouds. I sure am glad that some things haven’t changed about our visits to Lake Cumberland.
I’m going to miss this place for the next eight months. Come May 2018 we plan to be back on Lake Cumberland enjoying the sights and our friends and family. Hopefully I will be able to once again enjoy my favorite part of the day….watching the evening skies.
So long , until next blog post.
We sold Granddaddy’s house today. This is where he lived for 37 years. Also, several of his family lived there for a period of time. Many memories come to mind as I think about this special house. It is a bittersweet time in my life.
My grandfather was a railroader who lived in several places. This is how he ended up in my home town. Around 1940 he built this house. The support beams are solid hardwood just like the solid values passed down from him to his children and grandchildren.
Granddaddy’s first wife passed away when their youngest son, my dad, was only two years old. He was a single father until Daddy was about 13. He moved his newly formed family into this house with his new wife, her son, and Daddy.
I remember sitting around the fireplace with the burning embers glowing. Mom told me that the local postmaster had formed the fireplace out of concrete. While sitting around this fireplace Granddaddy would talk about politics, current events, and religion. If he could see the state of our country now he would have a lot more serious issues to discuss.
My first recollection of this house is playing rock school with my cousin from Harlan and my brother on the front steps. The lower step was 1st grade, second was 2nd grade, etc. The teacher held a rock in one closed hand and the students had to guess which hand the rock was in. If you picked the hand with the rock you advanced to the next grade. If you were wrong you failed that grade. Whomever got to the top step first became the teacher for the next year of “rock school”.
I’ll never forget the old grand piano sitting in the living room where both Granddaddy and my step grandmother would play. I practiced my piano lessons on that piano and now it is sitting in my living room. The keys on the piano are now stuck, but I can’t bring it upon myself to get rid of it. The piano tuner said it would cost more to fix than its value. Well, that value is for other people, not me.
Grandma was not the cook my mom was. Once for Thanksgiving dinner we were all passing the food around the table. I took out the usual turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. When the applesauce came around I thought it was gravy and put it on top of my mashed potatoes. Oh, what funny memories come to mind when I think of that dining room and our many family dinners there.
Granddaddy and Grandma traveled a lot after they retired. I remember playing with a little umbrella she brought back from one of her trips. Needless to say I didn’t know that it was a little umbrella that went into a mixed drink. They had lots of postcards and pictures from different places they had traveled. I loved looking at them and wish I had saved the postcards.
After Granddaddy retired from the Southern Railway he bought a house in St. Petersburg, FL where he and Grandma spent the winters. In 1965 our house burned so we moved temporarily into Granddaddy’s house. This is where we were living when I had the first date with my husband.
In the small bathroom of this house is also where I almost died. For heat in this room we used a space heater that was set in the narrow space between the tub and the sink. As I was getting out of the tub I had one foot on the floor and one foot in the tub. With my wet hands I touched the metal handle on top of the heater. What a shock I got! I felt it all the way through my body. But God didn’t want me yet. Thank you, God, for letting me live longer. I quickly learned the danger of mixing water, electricity, and metal.
A few years later my brother, his wife, and baby boy lived in Granddaddy’s house while Daddy built their house. Soon after that Granddaddy passed away in Florida and Grandma died 7 months later.
That’s when Daddy remodeled the house and he and Mom moved into the house permanently. Mom cooked on Sunday dinners when she really couldn’t afford it. She cooked for a lot of different family and friends. Many laughs and discussions were held around her dining room table. They lived there for the last 17 years of their marriage, and Mom continued living there for 20 years.
After my parents were gone we rented the house out for awhile. Then my granddaughter lived there for two years and lastly my daughter and her family. So you can see why I’m recalling a lot of things associated with Granddaddy’s house. If you see me today I may be a little teary eyed and you will know why. Thanks for reading about my memories of Granddaddy’s House.
My grandfather owned a lumber yard in my little home town. My brother and I were fortunate enough to live down the street from the business. Two of my cousins also lived on that same street. Oh, the memories we made there!
On the property of the lumber yard was where I learned to love the smell of fresh cut wood. Still today when I smell it my mind goes back to the lumber yard, my uncle and grandfather who worked there, and many memories with my family.
At the lumber yard my cousins and I would climb on the stacks of fresh cut wood without adult supervision. Once I remember a board or two falling onto my ankle leaving some bad scrapes and a sore ankle. Can you imagine kids climbing on those rickety stacks of lumber today? Back in those days there was no such thing as helicopter parents. We were all around the neighborhood from dawn to dusk unsupervised. If it was a sunny, warm day we were outside only to come in for dinner and supper. In my family we called the noon meal “dinner” and the evening meal “supper. But at school the noon meal was lunch. That’s just how it was living in Kentucky during the 50’s and 60’s.
One of my cousins lived in an apartment behind the office of the lumber yard. Some days after the business closed we would go inside the office and roller skate. This is where I learned to skate. We would skate on that old unfinished wooden floor zooming between kegs of nails, bolts, and screws. Sometimes we would even go outside and skate on the long bed of the old delivery truck. It’s a miracle we didn’t fall off and break our necks. (I never was a very good skater.)
But the part of the lumber yard we all loved the most, and where we had the most fun, was the shaving pile. The workers would plane the lumber, and the shavings would blow out a long pipe into what seemed like an enormous mound in a field. It was probably an acre field with the shaving pile on the far end. There we played King of the Mountain and dug tunnels. It’s a wonder that one didn’t cave in and suffocate us.
We turned the rest of the area into our very own baseball field. This is where my love of baseball began. I was usually the youngest, therefore the last to be chosen on the teams. I still remember the first time I caught a fly ball. Everyone on the teams couldn’t believe I finally caught one. To this day I can see the surprised look on everyone’s faces.
Some of the boys around our neighborhood and my tom boy cousin even built a dugout with wood and nails they had sneaked out of the lumber yard. To this day I still wonder if my grandfather and uncle knew where the kids got the materials to create the dugout.
Every kid in the neighborhood knew where the shaving pile was. We would organize our teams and make our own rules. We didn’t need adults or umpires to show us how it’s done. The kids in those good ole days figured it all out by themselves.
When we came home after a long day of play with wood shavings on our clothes our moms would get so mad. They were stay at home moms, and their houses were immaculate until we came home. We would try to dust the shavings off our clothes before we went in. But there was always some stuck somewhere especially in our tennis shoes and socks. I can still hear my aunts and mom complain when we would mess up their clean houses.
Once my brother got into trouble for hitting a baseball so hard that it went through my aunt’s kitchen window. But the worse thing that happened was when a neighborhood boy accidently knocked my brother’s two front teeth out with a wooden bat. For some reason he was running the bases with a baseball bat in tow when the bat came into contact with my brother’s teeth. Our mom was devastated that her boy had to get false teeth after that incident. That was the most serious accident I can remember happening at our shaving pile playground. Later on my brother told me that despite getting his two front teeth knocked out those days spent at the shaving pile were the happiest days of his childhood
It was a sad day when we moved a few miles away closer to a bigger town. Ocassionally we would come back, but it never was the same after we moved.
We were blessed to have lived in a safer time. Our parents didn’t have to worry about us being kidnapped off the street, or older kids encouraging us to take drugs, or being shot during a drive by shooting. We were blessed to have no knowledge of computers , ipods, or video games. We breathed good clean air and got plenty of exercise. What a blessing it was to spend those younger years with cousins and our grandfather. We learned to make do with what we had and made great friends along the way. What precious memories I have with my cousins, brother, and the neighborhood friends at Granddaddy’s lumber yard and shaving pile.
I would love to hear about some of your best childhood memories. Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Here are the Theodore Haviland dishes that were passed down to me from my mother. When I washed them today many memories flooded into my mind. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you about some of those fond thoughts.
When Mrs. Roy Gardner, my step grandmother’s best friend, passed away she willed this set of fine china to Mama. Mrs. Gardner’s husband was a railroader and worked with my grandfather for the Southern railroad. He slept during the day as he never knew when he would be called out to work. I’ve heard people say that when they were kids she would shew them out of her yard, and hatefully tell them to be quiet as they walked down the street. Many people in our small town thought Mrs. Gardner was a mean woman because of this. Needless to say they probably didn’t know that she was trying to keep her husband from being woke up. And at that young age they probably didn’t care if they woke up a working man.
I wish I knew how she got the dishes. Were they a gift from her husband or a birthday present from her parents? Who knows? No telling how old they are. That was a little history about the dishes.
I washed them today as they had really gotten dusty. I’m not sure that I have eaten out of them since I’ve had them. This task brought back memories of Mrs. Gardner and my step grandmother who were best friends. I wondered if Mrs. Gardner had served my grandparents from these dishes. But the special memories it brought back were the home cooked meals Mama served in these dishes.
Mama showed these dishes off in an antique china cabinet. She was proud of them and claimed they were valuable. That was before Ebay, and the way the majority of today’s society don’t really value old things anymore.
On special occasions Mama would serve delicious meals in these antique dishes. Lots of labor and love went into those meals. After Daddy died Mama struggled financially. I’m sure she sacrificed to pay for those Sunday evening meals she served her family. She cooked every Sunday evening for as long as she was able. She fed her mother, sisters, brothers in law, kids, grandkids, pastors, and lots of friends at various times. Whether it was turkey and her delicious dressing or roast beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy, I really didn’t appreciate what she did until after she was gone.
I didn’t really think the dishes were anything special back then either. But, now things have changed. These dishes mean as much to me now as they did to her way back then. I have them displayed in my kitchen china cabinet. I kind of feel guilty that I don’t cook Sunday meals for my family. The grandkids have asked me when I’m going to use the “fancy” dishes. Maybe I can get my act together and start cooking them those special meals on Sundays. Lots of commarderie and memories could be made all because of Mama’s dishes.
Hope you enjoyed my little story about Mama’s dishes, and how special they are to me.
If any of you know anything about the monetary value of china, I’ve listed how many I have and the numbers stamped on the back of the china pieces. Not that I would sell them, but I would like to know if they are of any quality that an antique dealer would be interested in. Thanks for reading.
Theodore Haviland, New York, and Made in America is stamped on the back.
Here are the number of items I have and the numbers stamped on the back:
6 plates #17,#20Q, #12,#65, #21, #51
8 salad plates #96(4), #64, #2, #94, no number
7 cups #80(nik on rim), #55, #78, #8, #52, #40
7 saucers #10, #33, #96, #5, #2, #33,#59
7 small desert bowls #2, A1(4), #94, unreadable
meat platter #67
2 vegetable bowls #67(2)
sugar bowl#48, lid #11
Anyone who knows me understands that I am a huge country music fan. Sometimes a song just reaches into your soul and touches you. That happens to me when I hear my new favorite song, “Fast”. I find myself turning the radio up louder and , you guessed it, driving faster. Yea, I’m the kind of person who waits in the car until the good song is over before I get out. Recently I bought this great song on I Tunes. The song is sung by country music artist Luke Bryan.
As I listen to this song it brings back so many memories from my teenage years, early marriage and career, as well as how I feel about time now.
I’m sure you’ll feel that way too as you read the lyrics, and then listen to the song at the end of my blog post.
Following are the lyrics in bold print, and why they bring back so many emotions and memories for me.
That’s the kind of car you wanna drive when your sixteen
Now that makes me think of the white ’63 Chevy Impala my then boyfriend, now husband, drove. And yes, he drove it fast! And yes, he was sixteen. Drag racing, broken transmission, and a wreck or two didn’t slow him down. It looked like this one, but I found this picture on Pinterest.
That’s the kind of boys you want on your home team .
This phrase floods my brain with memories of our high school football team when they won 47 games straight. The BCHS Rebels won state championships 5 times straight. This was from 1999-2003. How exciting a run that was! And yes, we had some fast and talented boys on those teams that worked their buns off for a great coach, Chuck Smith.
“Yeah, you think you’re gonna catch your big dreams just like that.
This line makes me think of the hopes and dreams of my grandchildren. They may think it will be an easy, fast road to reach their big dreams, but I want them to realize it takes hard work, determination, and it won’t happen overnight. Be prepared, because some of those dreams may not work out so well.
My dream was to have 4 sons. That didn’t happen. Two lovely daughters instead! The Lord knew what he was doing when he gave me daughters. Now they are my best friends.
My dream was to retire from teaching at an early age and get a part time job at the Hub. The Hub was a locally owned department store, but they closed down before I retired! So I decided to open my own store and make all kinds of money. But it didn’t have the success that I had hoped. So, sometimes our dreams don’t become reality, but God has a plan for us. You just can’t give up if your dreams don’t work out the way you had planned. Other doors will open up for you.
The chorus goes like this:
This section is self explanatory if you are over 4o.
That’s what your parents said when we were falling in love.
It’s too fast.
There ain’t no way the 2 of us were going to last.
But, we did, and here we are,
Sixty seconds now feels more like 30
Tick-Tock, won’t stop, around it goes
Sand through the hourglass sure falls in a hurry
and all you keep trying to do is slow it down, soak it in.
Keep trying to make the good times last as long as you can.
But you can’t, man
It just goes too fast….
Way to fast!”
Yes, my parents said that when my husband and I were dating and got married at an early age. They probably were right. A lot of people thought we were too young and it wouldn’t work. But with determination and lots of love it has lasted for 49 years. Believe me, it has gone FAST!
If you love this song like I do “Fast” is available on I Tunes for $1.29. Hope you enjoyed my new favorite song and it moves you like it did me.
In the fall of 1965 it was our high school’s turn to attend a Lexington, Kentucky TV show called The Nick Clooney Show. This weekly broadcast was set up like American Bandstand. Every Saturday a local high school would be featured.
Students involved in sports, cheerleading, etc. would travel by school bus to participate in the show. The latest music, dancing, and interviews with the visitors would be the main part of the show. Nick Clooney, the father of famous actor George Clooney, was the emcee. He was as handsome as his famous son. Another thing that made this special is that Mr. Clooney’s beautiful wife was from our county.
I remember dancing to the latest hits, and Nick Clooney interviewing me. He even ask me to say hello to my friends and family back home while being on TV. An excited teenager I was.
After the show is when my now husband and my love story began. All of the students and their sponsors got on the bus for our 45 minute ride back home. As I entered the bus most of the seats were filled up. When I got to my future husband’s seat I ask him if I could sit next to him. He obliged, and I sat down next to him.
We talked all the way home, or probably I talked all the way home. We drove past the Kentucky River where he showed me the locations of some of his family members. When we finally got back to our high school I suddenly remembered I had no way to get home. I told him I didn’t have a ride home, and he gladly offered me a ride. I took him up on the offer.
When we got to his car I noticed that 3 other football players were riding with him. I didn’t hesitate, and happily got in the front seat with the 3 big football players in the back seat. Now if one of my daughters or granddaughters were to ride around with 4 guys and only her I would not be very happy mom or Nana.
My future boyfriend, now husband, drove us around the local hangouts. Jerry’s Drive In and the Dairy Dip were places you just couldn’t pass up when you had Dad’s car. I may have fell in love with the ’63 Impala before I fell in love with the guy! He drove fast and I was excited about the situation.
Here’s the twist to the story. When he dropped me off at my aunt’s house I accidently left my purse in his car. I swear it wasn’t planned! He swears up and down I did it on purpose so he’d have to come back and see me.
Well, that’s what he did. Brought my purse back and ask me out. That’s when our 51 year love story began. Still going strong, happy, and blessed.
Today is our 49th anniversary. Wow. How time flies by.
Hope you enjoyed my little love story. I hope you come back again to read more thoughts by Mrs. B.
Back around 1970 my grandparents took my husband and me to the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant in Clearwater, Florida. Since that has been 47 years ago I’m not sure we ate dinner there, but I do remember the humongous kapok tree and the fountains. I remember it being the most beautiful place this young Kentucky lady had ever seen.
My parents took yearly trips to the Tampa Bay area, but they never took my brother or me. I often heard them speak of eating at the Kapok Tree Inn. I even remember seeing pictures of the tree that they and my grandparents had taken. Finally in 1970 I took my first trip that I could remember to the Sunshine State. We stayed at my grandparents house in St. Petersburg while we visited. And that is when I visited this sensational place called the Kapok Tree Inn.
Here it is 2017, and my husband and I have retired. We have spent the winter months near Clearwater for the last three years. I have often thought of the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant but I had not seen it. Finally I looked it up on the internet and found out that it had shut its doors in 1991. I found an address and decided I would look for the now defunct business not really expecting to find much left.
Wow! Was I surprised with what I found! This place is still magnificient. Although not as well kept as it once was, one can still enjoy the beauty and massiveness of this place. The Kapok Tree Inn once was busy with the hustle and bustle from customers from all over the U.S and world. Now it is the location of a music business and is rented out for special occasions.
Take a look at my pictures to see what you think!
The Kapok Tree
The Gardens and Wall
Today it is home to the Sam Ash Music Store
Now that you’ve seen the pictures do you see why I was so excited to reconnect with this place? I could just imagine ladies dressed in expensive dresses and men in their suits and ties dancing to romantic music. In my mind I visioned couples eating fine dinners with candles lit on tables covered with white table clothes.
I am so appreciative of the artistic work of the creators of this special, magical place. And I sure am happy that the beautiful place hasn’t been torn down . The Kapok Tree Inn property has been this way since the 1950’s. I’m hoping that the owners continue to have it open to the public. It is free to walk around in the gardens. The place is also available to rent out for special events. For more information click here.
I hope you felt some of the magic of the Kapok Tree Inn as you viewed my pictures I took with my iPhone. And don’t forget to check this place out next time you are in the Clearwater, Florida area.
Feel free to share any of my blog posts if you want.
Until next time, Have a Great Day!
Viewing Christmas lights is one of our family’s favorite Christmas customs. Ever since I can remember one night before Christmas we rode through the town looking for the prettiest display of lights and Christmas scenes.
Things sure have gotten a lot more high tech since I was a kid. Back then you would see shiny tinsel and the big multi colored bulbs on trees.
Occasionally you would see a manger scene in a yard or a live one at a church. I still remember where the house was that always had a Santa and a sleigh out front. I’ll never forget Daddy pretending he saw Santa in the sky on his sled. But for some reason I was always too late to see him and his reindeer. What precious memories he made for my brother and me!
Later all blue lights and candles in the windows became popular. After that the popularity of all white lights increased. Then the small lights were invented. Next came the blow up Christmas decorations ranging from snowmen to elves to Snoopy to Mr. Grinch. Icicle lights were invented next. Then LED lights made the Christmas decorations brighter. Now we are seeing the projection lights that may show up as snowflakes, stars, etc. on the house or trees. Yes, today we have so many choices when decorating our homes it can make your head spin. Warm or cool white lights, green or brown cords, multi colors or one color, and the list goes on and on.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s we would just drive around town to view the Christmas lights. With my kids and grandkids we would travel to Lexington to see the “rich” people’s decorations, or to Burnside Island, or the lights at the Horse Park.
Even though the grandkids are grown up we still make the yearly trek to see beautiful displays of Christmas lights. Lately we have driven to Raywick to view Ruley’s Farm decorations where there are over 4 acres of beautiful displays .
Inside there are Christmas houses, trains, and Santas to view.
Mr. Ruley passed away recently, but I’ve heard his children are continuing the spectacular light displays and collections for viewing. Soon my kids, grandkids, and I will make that trip to Raywick in honor of his memory. It will also be a time for our Christmas tradition of viewing the Christmas lights. Watch this video of him and his displays. I’m sure it will make you want to take the backroads to see the Ruley’s farm. Hopefully it will be decorated as much as when Mr. Ruley was alive. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ruley%27s+christmas+lights+loretto+ky&&view=detail&mid=363CFC75A6393A8CED50363CFC75A6393A8CED50&rvsmid=549DE827382E4E930694549DE827382E4E930694&fsscr=0&FORM=VDQVAP
What fun memories these nighttime drives have made. Thank you, Mr. Ruley, Daddy, and all those who helped to make these wonderful Christmas memories. Hopefully these memories and traditions will carry on to future generations.
I encourage you to go for a drive to see Christmas lights with your family. Christmas traditions are fun and important to both children and adults. Merry Christmas , from Mrs. B.
<iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_br_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mrbspl-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B004I49NEI&asins=B004I49NEI&linkId=6a2cb783876f2b81be4fc2b42497631f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff”>
Serendipity means finding something that makes you very happy when you aren’t looking for it. I love this word. I love the sound of it and what it means.
When I was in college I had an instructor who taught the class this word. I had never heard it before, but since then I have experienced it several times. It is a thrill to have a serendipity.
Here are two more examples of a serendipity:
- Finding a $20 in your handbag or coat pocket
- Bumping into a long lost friend while on vacation
I’m going to share two of my recent serendipities with you.
Lately I had become interested in geneology. One spring day I was fiddling around the house when the phone rang. The woman’s voice on the other end said, “You don’t know me, but I think you are my cousin.” She proceeded to tell me who she was. Her mother and my mother were first cousins. She had found me through my mother’s obituary online. I had heard Mom speak of her cousin, but they had lost contact with one another many years ago.
We made plans to meet. When the day came around, she brought two more cousins and her mother with her. We discussed what we each knew about our ancestors. On another visit she brought 2 more cousins, and we traveled to the Tennessee mountains to visit the old home place and graves of our great grandparents.
Finding cousins I didn’t know I had was a serendipity for me.
My next serendipity happened about three months later while boating at the lake. My husband and I were stopped in the middle of the lake while some friends stopped and talked to people in another boat.
I overheard a conversation coming from the other two boats that mentioned a special name. That name was my mother’s maiden name. I yelled across the water, and asked, “Where are your ancestors from?” He responded, “Oneida, TN”. In an excited voice I told him we had to be cousins. I asked him who his grandfather was. Sure enough, his grandfather was my great uncle. So at the lake I unexpectantly found another cousin I had no idea that I had. And he, unknowingly was a cousin of the other one who called me out of the clear blue.
To me these two experiences were serendipities. I was delighted to find these new cousins in three months time. What a blessing to be able to share what we knew about our ancestors!
Now it’s your turn to share a few serendipities that you have experienced. If you don’t want to share here, you can share with a friend. At least maybe you learned a new word today.
Thanks for reading. See ya’ next time.