Sunday, April 26, 2015

If you stand still too long, a vine will grow up your leg!

Here's the thing about Tennessee.  IT IS GREEN!! It is lush, and it is beautiful.  There are vines growing on everything.  These vines grow up telephone poles, trees and anything that doesn't move.  Every house has a huge lawn area.......therefore everyone has a riding lawnmower.  I think you could get rich going around and mowing lawns for people.  There are no sprinkler systems because it just rains......a lot. I think that the reason there are so many horses is because they help keep the grass down.

Yesterday (Saturday 4/25) the mission had a senior missionary social.  That is when all the old people get together and limp around the sights and then sit and eat lunch and talk, and talk, and talk.  It was great fun.  We went to CHEEKWOOD which is on the west side of Nashville.
It is a privately funded 55 acre estate which houses a botanical garden and art museum. It was formally the home of the Cheek family and the 30,000 sq ft home was turned into a museum in 1960.  You can tour the home.... and the gardens are magnificent.  A lot of hiking for us oldies but goodies. I want to share some pictures with you.
     When they built this home in 1932 it was built with the intention to convert it into a museum in the future.  There is hardly any furniture in the home now.  As you tour the house they have a gentleman playing the piano for your enjoyment


The grounds and botanical gardens are amazing.  The first thing we saw after we
parked our car was this big train track with a "Thomas" train zooming around the track.  The whole arrangement looked a little shaky, but I guess it was good because it really raced around that track.
     They had many activities you could get involved in.
 The best one was this area where they would teach you how to climb this big tree.  I know you will be surprised when I tell you that none of us ventured into that activity.

I didn't get very many pictures of the fun group we were with....we were just too busy talking!
But I did get this great picture of these good looking men, and the Birds (Doug and Elaine).
We have done some other fun things lately, around Nashville.  We went to the Loveles Cafe early one Saturday morning.  You have to go early so you don't have to stand in a long line to wait for a seat.  The Loveless Cafe is in southwest Nashville, Tennessee on Highway 100,
 It is known for its Southern cooking, especially for its biscuits, fruit preserves, country ham, and red-eye gravy. They opened in 1951 and originally served only chicken at picnic tables on their front porch, but eventually converted rooms in the house to accommodate a bigger menu and a need for more dining space. On the walls they have photos of all the well-known people who come there......including the Oakridge Boys,so you know they have got to be good.  We had a great southern breakfast.
 Emilee has asked me to send some pictures of the beautiful homes that we are surrounded by.
They all have huge lawns.  They are beautiful, but I would not like the upkeep.

A couple of weeks ago we went and cleaned out the misson storage room with the assistants to the president; They are hard-working young men, but you can't tell that from the picture.  Elder Lovell, Elder Sheffield and Elder Ashton....they are life savers. But, that is one ugly went to the dump.

I will close with one last picture of a bench at a bus stop.
We saw this near Tennessee State University where I'm sure bail bonds are big business.

I hope you like my blog because it is so much fun to write in my poor english and bad typing.  Love you all!    CD and DD

Spring has arrived in Tennessee

Finally!  It has been a long cold winter with two terrible ice storms that kept us in our SMALL apartment for days.  Elder Dunn got a little unsettled during those days and I was searching our medical supplies for a is all in Tucson.  But now the trees are blooming white and purple and pink before their leaves turn green.  The tulips are out all over town and all the acres and acres of grass is green.  The young horses are in the pastures and all is good with the world.  It does rain a lot.  Each week we have at least one day of rain, and this week I think it will rain every day.  But it is a warm rain (most of the time).  But just I put my long johns on the shelf in the closet, it turned cold again.  Drat!
   Because the weather has warmed up a little, we have once again been able to travel around some.  This is a small town we traveled through which actually showed us which way to turn to go to "the promised land".  I was happy to know where it is, but unfortunately we didn't have time to go there.  We were on our way to Sumner County to a museum because Hiram Bell Bennett, an ancestor of Elder Dunn, was born there.
 We arrived there after a 50 minute drive to find a sign that said:
   CLOSED....WE WILL OPEN APRIL 1ST.  We we about 3 days too early.  This a picture of the statue to honor Confederate Soldiers which stands in front of the museum.
  We enjoyed the drive and it was really nice to get out and about.
We have been pretty busy in the mission office.  All the missions are down-sizing to about 200 missionaries.  The leadership has decided that 250 18 and 19 year olds is too many for mission
presidents to handle effectively.  They have opened new missions in order to even out the numbers.  That means as we down size we close apartments.....which means more work for Sister Dunn. This is a picture of the 'apartment files' drawer.  You know how much I love filing...... Elder Dunn is busy getting cars ready to sell, as we have been cut down to 72 cars, instead of 88.
It would be nice if I only had to work with closing 1 apartment at a time, but it usually ends up as I start on one, at least 2 or 3 companionships decides they need to move. My desk is constantly covered with open files as I manage closing and opening utilities in all these little towns whose whole desire is to make it as hard for me to accomplish my work as possible.  Copies of my driver's license is now all over Kentucky and Tennessee.  When I go to close some utilities
they don't want to let me because I was not the one who opened the account.  It is hard for them to understand that that person left probably 2 or 3 workers ago.
  A couple of weeks ago we traveled to Jamestown Tn., about 2 1/2 hours east of Nashville.  We went to deliver something to the senior couple serving there.  It is a small depressed town which they consider to be in the Appalachians.  It is not what I ever conceived the Appalachians to look like. But while there we visited this small historic village called Rugby.
"Founded in 1880 by English author Thomas Hughes, Rugby was built as an experimental utopian colony. While Hughes's experiment
largely failed, a small community lingered at Rugby throughout the 20th century" (Wikipedia).
Here are some pics from that trip:
This is the church in Rugby. They still hold services there each Sunday followed by a potluck dinner.  There are about 30 people who attend this service each Sunday.
 Built in 1882, the Thomas Hughes Library is the most unchanged of all the buildings in Rugby. The
library's 7,000 volumes were collected primarily by Boston bookseller Estes & Lauriat, and donated to Rugby's Library and Reading Room Society with the stipulation they name the new library for Hughes. The library still contains most of its original collection, the oldest volume of which dates to 1687. (Wikipedia)
The library is really impressive. In order to read one of the books you have to wear gloves.....but you can come and read them all while in the library.

There were many old photos of the area.This is Elder Dunn's favorite.

This is a very charming little town.  You can come and rent a cabin (actually one of the old homes) and hike the trails and swim in the "men's swimming hole".  Obviously they were not the informed 'modern men' we have now.
We left the Champneys smiling and we were grateful in our hearts that we are not serving in Jamestown.  Sister Champney got a snake bite.....not a poisonous snake, but it was a snake.
 On our way back we passed this used car lot.  Do you see anything you would like to take home?

It was a long way home and we missed a violin concert by a young girl in the YSA Branch.  That made us sad.  But we really enjoyed Champneys and Rugby.

I have much more to tell you, but I think I will put it in a separate post.
Love you all and miss you.  This is the best thing we have ever done in our lives and time is going way too fast.  We have now completed half of our mission.

Love, Carolyn