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A Peaceful Museum on the Natchez Trace

Sitting on a hill

the old homestead stood

living in eras past

porch has some chopped wood

 

In days of old

it was the habit of the caretaker

to hand lemonade out to guests

with ice cream from a wood maker

 

In those early days

explorers crossed the land

seeking a nights lodging

listening to nature’s band

 

Confusion reigned 

in the next centuries years

a great war raged 

there were many tears

 

After the war was over

magnanimous reconciliation occurred

as the culture was rebuilt

different sounds were heard

 

Coming forward

the house is a museum now

testament to the changes around it

ghosts of the past taking a bow

 

Sitting along a peaceful road

lessons from the past

one with its surroundings

resting at last

 

copyright 2019 Debbie Pierce

 

https://fivedotoh.com/2019/09/27/fowc-with-fandango-magnanimous/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/habit/

https://nuthousecentral.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/rdp-friday-confusion/

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Spring Travel: Natchez Mississippi

Spring is a wonderful time to travel in the state of Mississippi. The flowers are in full bloom and the weather is pleasant. I recently took a day trip to Natchez, Mississippi during its spring pilgrimage. During this time the antebellum homes are open for touring and the history of Natchez is presented. In addition to the museums several privately owned homes are open during this period. Each house has been a part of American history and tells unique stories. This is a brief summary of the events of the day.

 

Natchez is on the Mississippi River and is the oldest settlement. Founded in 1716 it has served Mississippi from a frontier capital to the tourist destination that it is today. The first stop on my tour began at Fort Rosalie. It survived an Indian massacre in 1729. The Rosalie house was completed in 1823. Nestled along the Mississippi River the old house has beautiful gardens and a stately appearance. The huge trees surrounding the house create a quiet serene haven. There is a wonderful view of the river through the neatly cut grass field. Photography is not allowed in any of the antebellum homes. Each one has a rich history of a succession of families who lived in these homes for the past two to three hundred years.

 

After touring Rosalie the next stop on the tour is lunch at the Carriage House on the property of Stanton Hall. The restaurant serves southern style food and has a blue plate lunch special. I had the deviled egg potato salad, shrimp poboy, and gumbo. It was a wonderful mix of spices and flavors. The staff is attentive and the tables are quite elegant for fine dining. The Carriage House is used for events as well during the year.

 

After a relaxing lunch the next stop on the tour was Stanton Hall. Built in 1858 the stately house is open for tours and used for social occasions in Natchez. The house has been used as bed in breakfast which included guests such as General Macarthur and his family. It  has also been used for filming movies because of its elaborate furnishings and flair. The bedrooms in the house were used in the mini series North and South. This movie is one of the many stories about the American Civil War. The docents of the house have served there for many years and are happy to share all of the history of this house.

 

The afternoon concluded with a horse drawn carriage tour of downtown Natchez. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and told many stories of the buildings in town. Natchez has some eccentric characters in its history which make for an enjoyable afternoon filled with stories. Many of the buildings downtown have had multiple uses through the years and serve as a reminder of the rich history of this town.

 

It was late afternoon as we left Natchez to make our way home. Memories of this rich historical town will remain with me.  Our tour guides were helpful in suggesting restaurants and other places to visit. I look forward to visiting again to experience more of the historical significance of this town.

copyright 2019 Debbie Pierce

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Negotiate: Adventures in a Box

free library clinton visitor

 

Negotiating a vacation

without too much time away

how to see the world

in parts each day

 

Sensing an adventure

taking a risk

borrowing a book

paper instead of a disk

 

Wonderful places

seen through new eyes

so much adventure

plans to devise

 

Some speak to the mind

others to the soul

always a journey

some are old

 

Living in the moment

my mind takes a trip

far off places

pictures painted with a pen tip

 

Solving a mystery

given many clues

must finish the adventure

before the book is due

 

Free libraries

a wonderful concept

savoring adventures

stories with depth

 

copyright 2018 Debbie Pierce

 

https://pipersadventures.blog/2018/06/06/negotiate-adventures-in-a-box

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/word-prompt-negotiate/

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Elemental Treasures

 

 

Earth, air, wind and water

gifts from above

beautiful elements

God gave us with love

 

Water and wind

represented by a geyser

hot water spurting out

sporadically like a miser

 

Earth and air

rocky canyons in a row

colorful and deep mountains

covered by a smoky fog and rainbow

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/elemental/”>Elemental</a&gt;

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/elemental/

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A Gate Meditation

Grand Canyon Survive

Hole in a canyon

gate to another time

the planet is living

the sun continues to shine

 

On this beautiful morning

meditation listening to sound

the gate is calling

birds singing in the round

 

The gate tells of a story

from long ago

the river was raging

carving as it goes

 

Things being created

God has a plan

sounds of life

from the river and land

 

It is peaceful now

gate continuing the story

calm changes in nature

no need to worry

 

Meditation is over

time to return to life’s gate

my soul is nourished

a story to relate

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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An Adventure at Mount Locust on the Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace Parkway begins in Natchez, Mississippi and ends in Nashville, Tennessee. The Natchez Trace has long served as a highway for explorers and travelers.  One of the oldest places to explore is Mount Locust which according to our paper map is located close to Natchez, Mississippi.

Jess and I took a road trip to Natchez, Mississippi via the Natchez Trace. On the way home we decided to stop at Mount Locust. This particular afternoon was hot and it seemed like a great place to rest and have a snack. We parked the truck and began to explore the grounds.

There is a large field that is lined with trees and a wooden fence. Glazing across the field I imagine what a comfort this must have been to weary travelers seeking lodging on the old Natchez Trace. In those days there were no paved roads just a path through the woods. This path was well-traveled until more modern modes of transportation powered by steam would arrive in this part of the country.

mount locust property april 27

We walk up to the information area and view the informative signs explaining the history of Mount Locust. The signs weave a story of the humble beginnings of this place to its current state. Mississippi is home to many interesting historical places that change as time moves forward.

Mount Locust was built in the late 1700’s and has served as an inn for weary travelers to changing into a working plantation. Today Mount Locust is owned by the National Park Service and has been restored to how it looked in the early 1800’s. The admission is free and open most days of the year.

Jess and I move along the path to the old house. The old house is small with a large porch in the front. We climb the steep stairs to the entrance and stand on the porch to reflect on the history of this place. It is easy to imagine the guests in this house sitting on the porch in the evenings exchanging stories of their adventures. The porch must have had a grand view of the property at that time.

Entering the house the dining area is the first room that we explore. There is a large table with plates and mugs carefully set. This room is small but the table fits nicely and one can almost smell the food cooking and being eaten by the guests of this house. History is wonderful and alive if one’s imagination will take you on the journey into the past.

mount locust dining hall april 27

Jess and I move on to the next room and observe a bed and a desk. The room is quite comfortable as we glance into the past. There is a fireplace in this room that would have served as a source of warmth in the cooler weather.

mount locust room 1 april 27

The next room is for guests with children. It is a larger room with two beds and a table. There are toys on the table for the children to play with. I can hear the laughter of young ones playing and enjoying the travel adventure.

mount locust toys april 27

Our next stop in this small house is a storage area. The sun filled room is home to dishes, shoes, and work tools. This small room has shelves and was more likely used for whatever was needed for the everyday life of the inn.

mount locust storage room april 27

We leave the interior of the house and move into the backyard area. There is a wooden soap making machine in the corner. The early pioneers in this area made their soap from lye. The site has a sign that explains how the soap is made.

In the middle of the yard is a closed cistern. These days it stands as a relic to the past when houses did not have indoor plumbing. The rain water collected in this cistern sustained people in an earlier time. I admire how resourceful the people of that time were and how they contributed to the ecosystem of the land.

mount locus cistern april 27

The back of  the yard is lined with beautiful trees and a trail. In later times Mount Locust became a working plantation when the power of steam made travel on the Natchez Trace less frequent. The trail leads to an old slave cemetery. This was a darker time in Mississippi history.

mount locust slave cemetery trail april 27

The day is hot so Jess and I decline to walk the trail. We take a last look at the house and begin moving up the path toward the truck. I am inspired by the beauty of the land and how it sustained so many people throughout history. Truly this is a wonderful place to visit.

Jess and I leave Mount Locust and head toward home on the Natchez Trace. We love these road trips and admire the beauty of the land surrounding the road. As the sun begins to set we know it will not be long before time to have another adventure.

Copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Angels Among Us

coins

The morning sun is beating down on this humid summer morning. We are about half way into our morning walk when I spot the shiny copper object. Bending down to get a better look I discover that it is a bright shiny penny. According to my mother an angel has just smiled on me.

My mother believes that angels show their presence in our lives by dropping coins onto the ground. She believes that the amount the coin is worth indicates how many angels are smiling down on you. It is a lovely thought that brings her pleasure.

Angels are often depicted in art, literature, and religion. They are messengers who connect us with the divine. Some angels represent good and others evil. I believe that angels walk among us and appear in different forms.

Many people have encounters with angels on a daily basis. The angels are there to help them in times of crisis or stress. These guardians enhance our lives and bring us closer to God.

There are times when an angel’s message can be heard by the words or actions of the people surrounding you. This may be a chance encounter in a store when you are concerned about an issue in life. In shopping you may hear a conversation where people are discussing a solution to the issue that you are facing.

You may be walking or driving in a car and hear a song that inspires a solution to the current issue. These are examples of the many ways that angels communicate with us.

I have had several encounters with angels over the years. It is a comfort to me to know that God has sent a guardian to watch over me. There is one time in particular that my life was spared due to God intervening.

One fall morning I was driving to Atlanta to visit my mother. He was a cocker spaniel that  shined in his golden coat and often travelled with me. I would restrain him in the backseat of the car so he would not jump into the front seat. We were about half way into our journey when things began to go awry. The car needed gas and I decided to stop at an exit before moving on to the next town.

The interstate was busy at this time of the day. This exit was at the crossroads of where two interstate highways intersect. There were a lot of big trucks and cars that were speeding along in excess of seventy miles per hour. The ramp to reenter the interstate was short and had a curve in it making traffic difficult to see.

After stopping for gas I came down the ramp to reenter the interstate. While at the gas station I had taken my dog on a walk and forgot to restrain him in the back seat when we returned to the car. When I began to drive back on the interstate ramp all of a sudden my dog jumped into the front seat of the car and distracted me. I pulled out into the traffic not paying attention and heard a truck blow his horn loudly. For a brief moment it appeared that time had stopped. The next thing I knew it appeared as if the truck passed through me like a ghost.

I pulled over to the side of the road shaking from head to toe. It was a surreal feeling as I  realized that no accident had occurred and I was still in this world. Everything was fine and life went on as usual. Thanking God for sparing me and the rest of the world I proceeded to move my dog and restrain him in the backseat again. The trip went smoothly and there were no further incidents.

This is just one example of how God sent an angel to impact my life. There have been other times when it seemed  angels appeared. Many of these times have been when life was in disarray and I needed guidance to solve an issue.

In life there are issues that can impact the way that we interact with the world. By listening to the world around us there are often clues on how to solve the issues that we face. If we make a conscious effort then listening for guidance is easy.

God is always with us and sends us help when we need it. Angels are among us and will often serve as the messengers. All we need to do is allow our soul to listen.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

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Alaska: A Tour of the Yukon

Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful place to explore and visit. The cruise ship had pulled into port and we prepared for our tour of the Yukon in Canada. The air was crisp and cold as we left the ship and got on the bus. The sun was bright as it beamed down on the snow surrounding us.

Our tour guide was a friendly fellow who lived in this small town. The small town had the appearance of an old west type of architecture. There were several buildings that were painted white with red trim that radiated in the sun as we passed by.

We passed through town and listened to the stories of how the people lived and survived the cold climate. Our guide was older and preferred to live in town during the tourist season and fly down to warmer climates during the harsh winter. He was proud of this town and his face shined with the telling of each story.

We passed over the Canadian border and there were beautiful snow-covered mountains and valleys to greet us as we made our way to the Yukon. The land was untouched by humans and the beauty of the land began to beckon me.

Our first stop was at a small park where people frequently camped and fished. It was an extremely primitive campground surrounded by trees with deep green leaves and a lake that had small animals surrounding it. The ecosystem was alive and drawing me into the stories of this land. The life cycle of nature was in harmony and it was beautiful

Along the way to the Yukon there are many animals in the mountains that are close enough to get a picture. Often the tour guide would suddenly stop and we would move forward in our seats with a jolt. There would be no napping on this tour. There were bears and wild goats that would pose for pictures in the distance.

The Yukon became famous in the 1800s for the promise of gold. People came from many places seeking their fortunes. The Canadian government would not allow people to enter the Yukon without a year’s supply of food and other life essentials. The ecosystem is harsh and the people allowed to enter were prepared. I loved this life lesson in planning and perseverance.

In the Yukon there is the world’s smallest desert. It is a beautiful piece of land that appears to blend in well with the ecosystem. The day of our tour it was covered in snow patches.

Alaska 2

It was time for lunch and we stopped at a small restaurant that was included in our tour. The food was wonderful and consisted of barbecue ribs, cooked potatoes, peas, and bread. Home cooking is wonderful in all parts of the world.

After lunch we walked across the street to view a beautiful mountain with a lake in the front. The lake had an interesting variety of colors that changed with the seasons. In the spring this lake is dark blue in the deeper parts changing to light green in the shallow parts of the lake. The mountains surrounding the lake have dark green trees below the higher mountain rocks. Truly God is an awesome artist to have created such beauty.

After taking photographs we left this wonderful place and proceeded to our next stop. It was a ghost town that featured a small gift shop and post office. The town was well-preserved with old abandoned buildings and railroad tracks. There was an old train car on the tracks outside the post office.

It was a wonderful experience for the soul to imagine how life had been in the times when this town thrived. The people lived off the land and brought their gold to be measured and converted to currency. An interesting time in the history of the Yukon.

We returned to the tour bus and began our trip back to the cruise ship. There were more stops along the way to take pictures and observe the wildlife. I enjoyed the peacefulness and harmony of the land. The wildlife has adapted to the seasons and thrive in the ecosystem.

Returning to the United States clouds and rain have descended on the landscape. A deep fog has developed and the roads are hazardous. Our guide is familiar with the road and we arrive back at our ship without any issues.

It has been a wonderful day to experience the beauty of the world God created. Alaska is a wonderful place to visit and full of adventure. My soul is nourished and at peace.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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An Adventure in Skipper’s Tall Tales

IMG_4191

Piper and I were in the yard playing ball. It is such fun for Piper to throw the ball and for me to chase it. Sometimes she can be good leader of this pack.  After returning the ball to Piper several times I notice a squirrel in the yard. They are more fun to chase than a silly green ball.

I laid down in the grass in a strategic position so the squirrel would not see me. Slowly I inched closer to the squirrel. The squirrel was munching on some bird seed in the feeder and did not notice me. At just the appropriate moment I sprang into action and began to chase the squirrel.

squirrel eating grass in park march

We ran across the yard until we reached the six-foot fence. The squirrel leaped to the top of the fence and onto the roof of the house. The squirrel turned around and laughed at me. I quickly spread out my large golden ears and began to fly onto the roof. The sudden realization that I could fly startled the squirrel and the chase continued all over the roof.

I almost had him until my ears hit a lull in the wind and I slid to the ground. Fortunately I was given a reprieve from the fall on the ground and was uninjured. Piper was upset with me flying onto the roof but calmed down once she realized that I was not hurt.

It was time to return to the park for the family’s Memorial Day picnic. I decided to let Piper drive this time since there was so much traffic. We arrived at the park and headed toward the picnic area. The table was filled with all sorts of great smelling foods.

There was the aroma of the barbecue sausage cooking on the grill. A piece of this wonderful meat fell on the ground and I quickly grabbed it. It had a slight spicy taste as I was eating it. These people have a talent for cooking.

The table had baked beans, potato salad, and several other great smelling dishes scattered in a pattern. Then I saw the most wonderful dish of all. It was an apple pie with a brown crust. Apples are my favorite snack in the entire world. That apple pie would be mine.

Sitting in the middle of the table it was going to be a challenge to get the pie. The wind was calm now so flying was not an option. But then I saw the trampoline sitting close to the table. I formulated a plan and sprang into motion. Jumping on the trampoline I began my routine. There were several children around so I decided to add some acrobatics to this adventure.

Skipper

First came the normal up and down motions and then I decided to spice things up a bit. It was fun to do somersaults high in the air. Jumping this way also made it easier to get to that apple pie. After a few extremely high twists and turns I aimed my next jump toward the apple pie.

Flying into the air I flew across the table and grabbed the pie. Landing on the ground with my prize intact I scurried to a spot behind a tree and began to enjoy my feast. Every bite was a joy to the senses. The aroma was of a freshly baked pie and the taste was super sweet.

Soon after finishing the apple pie I did not feel very well. All of a sudden my super powers seemed to have vanished as I fell into a deep sleep. The shade under the tree provided a cool space for my nap.

About this time Piper noticed that the apple pie was missing and came in search of me. She panicked as my breathing began to labour from eating all of that sugar. For a few minutes it appeared as if I might die. But God gave me a reprieve. My breathing quickly returned to normal.

I slept for eighteen hours and then awoke to find Piper gathering our things for the return trip home. The sun was shining brightly as we prepared for our trip home. I took one last trip down the path by the lake.

This time I decided to stand in the water and take a cool swim before returning to the car. Piper was ready to leave so I left the water with only a small fishing bobbin as a prize.

We made it home safely without any issues. It was a fun trip and I anxiously await our next adventure.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Skipper’s Tall Tale: An Adventure in Persistence

Skipper

The early morning clouds were scattering a sprinkle of rain from the sky. Things are being prepared for a Memorial Day visit with family in another state. I am Piper’s dog Skipper and things are getting hectic. Everything is packed and in the car waiting to begin our trip.

I am determined to drive on this trip. The back seat is boring with just my blanket and toy. Now if there had been a nice steak bone in the back we would not be having this conversation. Piper has put me in the back seat with the air conditioner running and gone to make sure the front door to the apartment is locked. That woman is obsessive sometimes.

I am determined to drive at least for the first part of the trip. While her back is turned I jumped into the front seat and have locked the doors. When she noticed the doors were locked she went into panic mode. It was so funny watching her face turn red and start running toward the locked front door. She even dropped her purse on the wet sidewalk.

I decided to honk the horn as she ran to the manager’s office to get an extra key to the apartment. The neighbors came to their doors and there was much laughter as she came back with the manager. The rain is coming down harder now and I turn on the windshield wipers. Back and forth they go spreading the rain from the windshield on Piper as the manager gives her the extra key to use for the apartment.

Normally there is a fee for this service of an extra key.  I honk the horn again and the manager is laughing so hard that she waives the fee and thanks Piper for the entertainment for the day.

Piper gave in to my desire to drive. She exclaimed that taking a nap while riding in the rain would be a great idea. I bark and we begin our trip for the holiday weekend. It is now pouring down rain and the roads are slippery as we drive down the interstate. People are staring at us as if they had never seen a dog drive a car before.

I see a highway patrol car and remember how fun it is to play a game of chase. Quickly I step on the accelerator and am now going one hundred miles an hour. The patrol car quickly enters into a chase which goes on for about ten miles. This is so much fun.

Piper wakes up from her nap and tells me to pull over. The officer is dripping wet as he approaches the car. His expression was priceless as he sees a dog driving the car. I tell him that he is dreaming and that dogs do not drive cars. Angry at first but then laughing he tells me to either slow down or let Piper drive. I agree to slow down and not cause anymore issues. It would be a shame for Piper to spend the weekend in jail.

We arrive at our destination and everyone is excited to see us. I am thrilled to see everyone and explore all the exciting new scents in the yard. We relax for the rest of the day and I am excited for the picnic tomorrow at the local park.

The next morning the sun is out and the rain has left a fresh scent in the air. The clouds in the sky are beautiful as they move slowly in the wind. Piper has decided that we will  walk in the park this morning. I see a bank on the river where some ducks have decided to rest. This is going to be fun.

red headed duck strawberry patch park april 24

I jerk the leash and make Piper fall on the ground and let go. The ducks are so close that I almost catch one before he dives into the water. Missing the duck does not phase me as I plunge into the cold water and begin to swim. There is a turtle on a drifting log in the way but I attempt to jump over the log and splash into the water on the other side.

turtle sunning strawberry patch park april 24

The duck escapes and I return to the shore to check on Piper. She is fine but a little annoyed at me. I wonder why because my adventure was fun.

I decide to give Piper a break until meal time. There is an apple pie on the table and it has my name on it. Someday soon there will be another installment in this adventure. You will have to wait to see if I survive???????????

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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via Daily Prompt: Survive