Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Road Trip: Unpacking the Antiques

We arrived back home in Maine Sunday afternoon after an amazing month-long road trip through the Southern U.S.  We unpacked the things that had to be unpacked and then fell into bed at 7:00 p.m, exhausted from the long drive from Tennessee.

Imagine our surprise when we woke up to this.  On April 8th! This should NOT still be happening - even here in Maine. After a month of green grass and palm trees, this is a difficult adjustment!

It was fun to unpack the few antiques that I purchased "down South" though. This vintage pillow is my favorite. It was a bargain at the original price of $10.99 but was marked down to $8.00. Needless to say, I grabbed it. You can't see it in the photo. but there is vintage rick rack around the edges.

I've written quite a few blog posts about my long distance love affair with South Carolina and I have the perfect spot for this pillow. It will remind me of happy times in the low country every time I walk through the living room.

I also was lucky enough to find three Shawnee Pottery miniatures to add to my collection.

These tiny (<3")vases and pitchers were produced from 1937 through the 1940's and given away as premiums at stores and movie theaters. (Back in 2011, I wrote a post about my collection, with lots of photos, which you're welcome to revisit here.)

I can't resist these little replicas of the full size pottery pieces so popular in the 1930' and 40's.  Years ago I found the perfect wall case for them and love the touch of whimsy thy add to our kitchen.

Since we've downsized, I'm very careful not to give in to my love of old things too often these days. But, I did have to have this little oval serving dish.

When my Mom passed away in 2014, I inherited her large California Ivy platter. I love to use it because, when I do, it brings back happy memories of Mom serving meals on it when I was a child in the 1950's . The little oval platter I found on this trip will be a good compliment for the larger platter.

The Poppy Trail California Ivy pattern was introduced in 1946, the year my parents were married, and remained in production until 1984. I was excited to find another piece and at $4.50, it was a good

There were gorgeous old tobacco baskets at so many of the antique shops we visited down South. These were on the porch of an antique shop in Wears Valley Tennessee.  I love them and wished I could have thought of an excuse to buy them all!

But I bought a HUGE one when we were in South Carolina last year. You can read the story of how I finally got my tobacco basket to Maine here.

As you can see, I really don't have the wall space for two of them. It still killed me to leave such gorgeously aged ones back on that old porch in Tennessee though.

Here are a few of the antique shops we stopped at on our road trip. Especially in Tennessee, they were everywhere.

Here in Maine, many of our antique shops have closed so I was in my glory with so many to stop at.

I loved all of the 1930's green kitchen appliances and cookware displayed in this "kitchen".

And I especially loved antiquing in sunny 70 degree weather!
All of the flowering bushes were in bloom in the states we visited.

And now it's back to this . . . UGH!
It's way past time for winter to go away for good.
Until it does, I'll just have to close my eyes and pretend I'm back down South!

This post is linked to:
Homestyle Gathering #13 at Serving Up Southern
Flaunt It Friday #443 at Chic on a Shoestring
Farmhouse Friday 101 at The Painted Hinge

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Road Trip: Smokey Mountain National Park

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny so we decided to spend the day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I had forgotten how beautiful it is here in the Smoky Mountains.

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." – Edward Abbey

Swollen brooks run down through the woods to join the Little River as it runs through the valley.

And the sights and sounds of Spring are all around us.

We were looking forward to driving the eleven mile loop road through Cades Cove.  

From the Smoky Mountains web page:

"The first European settlers arrived in Cades Cove in the early 1820s. They quickly built log homes, barns, corn cribs, smokehouses and cleared land for farming. The land was rich and fertile and provided the settlers with abundant crops, such as corn."

"When the states of Tennessee and North Carolina begin to purchase land for the creation of the national park, the first large piece of land purchased in 1927 included most of the land in the mountains north of Cades Cove. A few families welcomed the state's effort to buy land for the park; they willingly sold their land and moved out of the Cove.  Some residents signed life-leases that allowed them to live on their land for the rest of their life. As residents left the cove and the community dispersed, there was no longer a need for facilities and services. The last school in Cades Cove closed in 1944 and the post office closed in 1947."

"Today, the National Park Service manages and maintains Cades Cove as it looked in the early days of the settlers. In 1945, the National Park Service designated Cades Cove as a "historical area" and restored several of the older log cabins and barns. "

After learning about Henry Lawson on Tuesday, we weren't totally surprised to learn that the Dan Lawson family once lived at Cades Cove. DH's grandparents were farmers in rural Amelia County Virginia. Now we're even more curious about possible ancestral connections to the many Lawson families who farmed here.

When you sit quietly and look out over these mountains, you realize how well the name "Smoky Mountains" fits them. They are every shade of blue and gray.

"The Smoky Mountains are a rare jewel…Why not have a place where you can still see the stars? There is value to keeping things primitive." – James Dawson

If you look carefully, you can see mountain roads on each side of the Little River down in the valley.

Later in the afternoon, we passed yet another "Lawson" home and business; this one belonged to Paul Lawson (DH's brother;s name).

Again, DH went to the door to introduce himself. But the house was closed up with shades drawn as if no one had lived there in awhile.

DH was disappointed to think that maybe Paul Lawson was deceased as well. We would have like to say "Hello" and ask about possible relatives in Virginia.

We're so thankful for this trip and the opportunity to watch Spring arrive as we travel through the South. What a beautiful part of the country!

"You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way." 
– Dr. Seuss

Who knows what today will bring?
We're off on another Tennessee adventure!

This post is linked to:
Thursday Favorite Things at the Eclectic Red Barn
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Road Trip: Townsend, TN

Late Monday afternoon, we arrived in Townsend, Tennessee, "the quiet side of the Smokies".

On our way in from Rt. 40 , we passed the Bush;'s Baked Bean factory (and Bean Museum!) in Dandridge, Tennessee.

Since we live right near the OTHER baked bean company, B & M, we just had to stop to check out the competition.

The Bush's beans weren't bad, but, being from New England, our loyalty will have to remain with B & M, the ones we grew up counting on n Saturday nights. The general store and cafe at the Bush complex were well worth the stop though. 

We finally arrived at our campground, which is right on the Little River (tubing headquarters) in the Smoky Mountains town of Townsend. The Internet is a bit "iffy" here because of the mountains so I may keep my "Tennessee" posts a little shorter than usual. Hopefully, the pictures will tell most of the story.

Yesterday we took a ride. It's been 14 years since we last stayed in Townsend so we wanted to get our bearings again.  We hit the brakes when we passed this old gas station.

Since DH's name is Henry Lawson, he decided to get out and introduce himself to the "other" Henry Lawson. 

Sadly, the other Henry Lawson, who owned the place for years, passed away in 2004. But the new owner was thrilled to meet DH and tell us the story. 

She even shared with "my" Henry Lawson a pgoto of "her" Henry Lawson. I guess he was a fixture in the area. That's him on the left. We only wish we could have met him!

There are antique shops around every corner here in the Smokies so I'm in my glory. We stopped at a few yesterday and will visit more tomorrow. (I'm seeing lots of gorgeous old tobacco baskets here!)

As well other favorites like  linens . . .

And vintage kitchen items. (Since I still use my original 1970 Betty Crocker Cookbook, like the one in the photo, I think I might now be considered "vintage" as well).

Everywhere you drive here is beautiful. Here are some scenes we passed on our way back to our campsite.

The Little River in Townsend is popular for tubing in the summer. We did it when we were here fourteen years ago - so much fun. You can tube downriver for miles. Just before the falls a bus picks you up and takes you back upstream for another river run. It's still a little cold for that this trip but I hope we can do it again someday!

Little white churches dot the valleys.

 I don't know why, but I love dilapidated old buildings!

                                     All of the flowering trees are in bloom here.

And roads lead to "hollows".
(Guess we know what we'll find in this hollow!)

We got back just in time for a campfire.

And a few quiet moments with our books before bed.

Tomorrow we;ll explore the Smoky Mountain National Forest and Cades Cove.
Hope you'll follow along with us!

This post is linked to:
Thursday Favorite Things at The Eclectic Red Barn
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
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