Friday, July 29, 2011

In Memory of Nell Hunter

The following was a beautiful piece written by Frances Ann:

Edith Nell Hunter was born and reared in the Oak Plains community of Montgomery county. She and her sister, Dorothy, learned responsibility early in life when their mother developed colon cancer when Nell was only 12. She quit school to care for her mother and run the household. This event resulted in her becoming an excellent cook, seamstress, and homemaker. Her grandchildren will tell you that she was the best biscuit maker in the world.

She met the love of her life at the Oak Plains picnic in 1938. She and Dub Hunter were married for 60 years when he died in 1999. The first year they were married, Dub bought 2 pair of overalls after they sold their tobacco. They moved to Nashville after Jr. was born, where she worked at McKesson and Robins for a short time. Incidentally, this is the same company that Jr. later retired from.

In 1943, they moved back to the farm, and Frances Ann was born. In 1946, they decided to build a grocery store. For 30 years, their life ran at a frantic pace...Dub opened the store; she cooked breakfast and lunch at the same time; she ate her breakfast; relieved him at the store; Dub went home to eat breakfast...all this before 7:00 a.m., and yes...they ALWAYS had homemade biscuits. They swapped out running the store at lunch and dinner. It was often 6:00 p.m., before she got home to heat water and do laundry on a wringer washing machine.

The store was always a social hub as people came from far and wide to get her famous bologna sandwiches. Anyone who has ever eaten one will attest they were the "best ever". She was smart, tough, witty, a quiet woman of faith, and took life as it was dealt. Her hectic life never stopped her from having time for her children and grandchildren. The store closed in 1976, but she continued to work in the tobacco fields until they retired.

She and Dub loved to take day trips. She sat in the car and looked straight ahead never commenting on his poor driving. She was a trooper after Dub died. She remained self-sufficient until she had a stroke in 2002. Her health began to decline, but she was able to care for herself for a long while. As her need for help increased, Dot Knight became her caregiver, companion, and friend.

The things she most looked forward to later in life were:
Dinners with George and watching "Survivor" on Thursday nights;
Visiting Wendy on over night trips in East Tennessee;
Renee bringing Brandon and Lisa to visit:
Brandon's big kisses on the mouth;
Her dog Lacy's companionship...(Lacy loved bologna also.);
Hunter turning off her oxygen (She taught him how to help.);
Adam, Laura, Hunter, and Mackenzie visiting her at the nursing home;
Jonathan and Harley's visits;
Jr. bringing her milkshakes;
Visits from family, friends, and church members;
Watching the Andy Griffin Show and The Golden Girls...she always said if people watched The Golden Girls instead of the news, they wouldn't have anything to worry about!

She told Jr. about six weeks ago that she hated to give up. She never quit on anything; that's how she "did life". She never gave up on her marriage, her children, her grandchildren, or her faith. She was alert until her final breath on this side of eternity...only her body gave up. She has a new body that will never quit!

Jr. and Frances Ann would like to thank their spouses, Linda and Douglas, for the understanding, support, and care given to them and their mother during her illness. they would like to thank family and friends for their prayers, cards, visits, and acts of kindness; and thank every one of you here as you came to honor their mother.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Quick Visit to TN

Hunter has discovered that if you cross your eyes you can see 2 of everything. So he will look at you and say, "Hey...I can see 2 of you."
Eating/mashing a banana. Mashed bananas are better anyway.
Getting my quality Evan time.
Nannie and Colin watching everyone splash around in the pool.
Mackenzie and Daddy taking a good hard nap.
Oops...I taught Colin how to put his thumb over the nozzle and spray everyone. Isn't that what aunts are for???
This tree was a tree that overtook this area when my parents bought the house. Mom and Dad debated on cutting it down for years, but Daddy convinced Mom to keep it. After much trimming over the years, it still has a unique character about itself. This is Daddy's favorite tree.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Magnolia Memories

There is a Magnolia Tree that lives in my parents front yard. The blooms have always given out an amazing scent. Whenever there are blooms on this tree, Daddy will go outside and pick the perfect one and bring it in for Mom to enjoy. We always look forward to those blooms and the precious memories that are created because of their beauty, both the beauty of the flower and the beauty of my parent's love for one another.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun in the Sun

We are leaving for Tennesse tomorrow morning, but decided to take advantage of our the water park today. The kids love to play in the water. Mackenzie is crawling all over the pool. We even were dragged into the waterfalls on the Lazy River. We had a good afternoon swimming and splashing each other.
These 2 pictures are just some moments that I love and will miss: seeing Mackenzie standing up in her bed after a good nap and her cuddling with her little friend at bedtime.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

Mackenzie is slowly learning how to walk with Hunter's help. It amazes me the strength that she has. She can push him on the fire truck with no help from him.
Mackenzie's 1st ride in a golf cart.

Today we went to church. We sure have missed Summit while in Tennessee. The message was amazing as always. Afterwards we took a trip into Lowes and then to Calostoga for lunch. Adam then surprised us with a trip to the golf course to ride around. One of the alligators has some eggs that are about to hatch. We rode over just short of her nest and watched her for a few moments. Adam has started letting Hunter take the wheel of the cart, which is pretty scary for me. We had a great afternoon that followed with some great naps.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cookin' in the Kitchen

I was exstatic to find Mackenzie playing in her little kitchen today. I bought this little kitchen for $20 and snatched it up. Hunter hasn't played with it much, but I have a feeling little lady will be getting my money out of it soon. Hopefully she will love cooking as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Catchin' Me a Racoon

Pops has several visitors in his garden at night. Hunter has had the privilege to visit with 2 of them. The first one happened about a week ago. It was around 9pm and Hunter ran into the house to ask Annmother if he could go with Pops to let the raccoon go. I'm not sure what kind of conversations they had on the way to the creek or on the way back, but I'm sure they are priceless and ones that Hunter will remember forever. He did come back telling us that the raccoon left the cage and went for a swim. He thought it was so funny.

The other night another visitor came. Hunter ran up to me and said, "Mom, the raccoon came back again!!!" I tried to explain to him that it was a different one, but he was determined that it was the same raccoon. Once again, Hunter went with Pops to release the raccoon. There was part of me that wanted to ride along and capture some pictures, but I knew that this was a good bonding experience for them both. These are memories that he will remember forever.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Proper Burial

This was just a random pic of Mackenzie in the sink getting a bath the TN way.

The other morning Annmother and Hunter saw a butterfly in this beautiful pink flower. The next morning we noticed it was still in the same flower. Sadly, we discovered it had gone to heaven.

I have never had the discussion of death with Hunter and didn't really know how to approach it. Here is how the conversation went:

M: "Hunter, the butterfly is now in heaven with God."

H: "Are we in heaven?"

M: "No, we aren't in heaven, but the butterfly is in God's garden now."

H: "Then we are in heaven."

M: "No, the butterfly is in heaven."

H: (confused look) "Then why is the butterfly still here?"

So...Aunt Wendy came up with the idea to bury the butterfly. They found an Irish Spring soap box. It was the perfect fit for our beautiful butterfly. Annmother had a shovel just Hunter's size. He dug a small hole and place the box in it. He then covered it up with the dirt and some rocks. It was only proper to put the flower that it died in on top. After we left for the evening, I asked Annmother to go and remove the box from its burial place. I had a hunch that Hunter would go back and dig it up and ask why the butterfly still hadn't gone to heaven. I think Hunter is starting to understand. The subject is not an easy one for anyone to understand.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mackenzie Waving

Mackenzie has begun to wave. She even tries to say "Hi" and "Bye" when she is waving. It is really cute. She loved standing in Hunter's gator and waving. She looked like she was in a parade waving. Practicing for future parades.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cousin Time

EJ, Oliva, and Hunter having fun.
Mackenzie loving Pop's watermelon.

EJ and Hunter enjoying the trains.

Today we had a full day planned. Adam headed back to Florida this morning. Annmother was greatful enough to lend me her 4-Runner so that I could go and visit with both Mawmaw, Grandmother, and Granddaddy. Mawmaw is now living with Linda and Dave. Hunter loves to go and visit due to EJ and Oliva living so close. They also have a fun train set that he loves to play with. Mawmaw was not up for pictures that afternoon, so I didn't get any. We enjoyed the afternoon and lunch with them. We then loaded up the car and took off to visit with Granddaddy and Grandmother for a minute. I had left my camera in the car and didn't get in pictures of our visit with them either. Afterwards, we headed back to Annmother's and Pops to get a quick nap in before going to Cheekwood. On our way there, Francis Ann called to let us know that Meemaw was not doing well. I decided that we would cancel our plane tickets for Friday and stay in Nashville a few more days. We did visit Cheekwood again that night. EJ and Oliva met us there. The kids had a blast watching the entertainment and then running around watching the trains.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nashville Zoo with the Thomsic Family

Grace and Hunter watching the zebras.
Riding on the train. Hunter did let Grace choose which train she wanted to ride on.

Mackenzie and Adam watching the flamingos.

Having fun in the bouncy area. She was ready to crawl around.

The only reason I included this picture is because I caught a glimpse of her looking like me here. We still can't decide who she looks like. She is a good combination of us both.

Hunter and Grace having fun in the cool water.

The Thomsic family are friends of ours from Cookeville, TN. Usually we get to see each other during the Golden Eagle Golf Tournament, but due to school getting out so late I missed seeing them. Rhonda and Steve decided to bring Grace down to the Nashville Zoo. Grace has a "little crush" on Hunter. They were both shy at first, but soon warmed up enough to ride the train together. I was worried about it being too hot, but oddly enough it wasn't too bad. The kids cooled off afterwards in the spouting water spicket.

Visiting with Great-Great Aunts

Hunter and Mackenzie enjoying each other during our visit.
Adam's Great-Great Aunts are always up for a visit from us. We try to visit with them during our summer visit. Hunter and Mackenzie loved chasing each other around the house. Ruby and Blanche enjoyed their entertainment. They are Frances Ann's Dad's sisters. They both are in their early 90's and still active. I hope that if I live to be 90 that I enjoy life as much as they do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dinner At Riverview

Annmother and Mackenzie enjoying watching Hunter play.
Pops getting a swing in with little lady.

She loves to swing.

Hunter helping Pops with the mowing at Meemaw's.

Tonight we went to Ashland City's famous Riverview Restaurant and Marina. This restaurant was taken over by the flood of 2009. However, they have rebuilt. The new building is amazing. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the view while eating some yummy southern food. (I have got to lay off of the fried catfish. My pants are getting a little tight.) Afterwards we went to the park. I love watching both of the kids enjoy the park. We are going to miss our family once we go back to Florida. However, I am NOT going to miss my gaining weight with all of the temptations Middle Tennessee has to offer.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Pics

Mackenzie making a jump for the camera.
Hunter helping Pos load up the tiller at Nannie's and Papa's house.
These are just some random pics I found on my mom's computer that I wanted to post.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Hunter and I transferring our cocoons to the butterfly home.

Our first butterfly sees the world for the first time.
The boys watching the butterflies adjust to the outside atmosphere.

This past year, in kindergarten, we had the wonderful experience of watching butterfly life-cycle in our classroom. I enjoyed the experience so much that I wanted to share it with Colin and Hunter. We ordered our larvae as soon as we got to TN. They arrived within 5 days. The larvae had already transformed into caterpillars. We watched the caterpillars get bigger every day. One morning we noticed they were all hanging from the top of their container. Each one began the amazing process of creating a cocoon. After all 5 had made their cocoons, we watched them carefully for 5 days. Hunter was making his stepping stone at Nannies when he noticed that the first butterfly had come out of its cocoon. We kept a very close eye on them. We missed everyone of them coming out. Hunter did catch the last one just after it had emerged. We called Colin and he came over to let them loose in Nannie's garden. Each one of them took off and didn't even enjoy her garden. We, however, did enjoy watching this amazing life-cycle.

Girls Night Out

I can't believe our time in Tennessee is coming to a close in a week. Virginia, Kelly, and I have been so busy with our own lives that we have been having trouble planning a night away. I had a free night at the Sheraton. We decided to take advantage and pause our lives to get some much needed girls time. I was a little worried that Mackenzie would give Adam a hard time, but knew that it would be good for them both. Hunter stayed with Annmother and Pops, and as always loved every minute of it. I arrived at the hotel a little early so that I could check in and then enjoy a nice long, quiet shower. We had a great view and were even on the club floor. I felt so important swiping my key as we got in the elevator. Kelly and Virginia couldn't meet until later, so I took advantage of our hotel room. It was nice to not have to talk or do anything for anyone. We met for dinner at Burger-Up. Virginia always picks the best little corner restaurants. The burgers were great, but the company was even better. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get settled. We did venture down to the bar for dessert and coffee, but spent the remainder of the evening catching up over a few bottles of wine. It was a great evening. I think we need to make that an annual happening. Thanks for the good times ladies!