Maury County’s Worst Christmas

This is where I live…right in my back yard. This Christmas day, we are blessed.

Historic Maury County

Maury County has seen many joyous Christmas seasons since its founding in 1807. With so many cheerful tales of Christmases past, it would be hard to single one year out as the best Christmas in local history.

But, one year is agreed upon as the worst Christmas Maury County has ever seen—Christmas 1864.

Frank H. Smith, in a special December 1904 edition of the Columbia Herald, wrote, “At this, the most prosperous Christmas tide that Maury County has ever known, it may be interesting to recall some incidents of this season forty years ago, the gloomiest and most depressing holidays our country ever had.”

SmithPhoto2 Frank H. Smith (third from the left) sits on the front porch of the Athenaeum Rectory with his siblings.

Why was this the “gloomiest and most depressing” Christmas? Simply, the Civil War was the cause of this county-wide depression.

After the fall of Atlanta, Confederate…

View original post 1,268 more words

Mother’s Day Gratefulness

I read a blog yesterday written by a woman who was condemning Mother’s Day. She said it makes women who are not mothers feel bad. She also said she’s raising her son to not observe Mother’s Day because she doesn’t want him to feel obligated to buy her anything.

First, I think the woman is a gigantic twit. What about all the other kids making special construction-paper gifts at school for their moms? Is he supposed to sit in the corner and not make one, because she doesn’t want a gift? She’s obviously got emotional problems that need to be addressed, and she’s teaching her son to be ungrateful. If we’re not grateful for what we have in our lives, then we are doomed to be chronically unhappy. Perhaps he can find another nurturer to give his dandelion bouquet to.

lambSecond, there are also maturity issues here because Mother’s Day is not about buying gifts or getting gifts. It’s about giving. It’s also not about being a biological mother and feeling bad if you’re not one. It’s about thanking the person who nurtured you, who pointed you in the right direction, who loved you unconditionally. Hopefully, we all have someone who did that for us.


From a mother’s viewpoint, raising children (even furry ones) is not an easy job. It’s often painful and sometimes feels futile, but we do it. Do you know why we do it? Because we love. And love is the most important thing on the Earth. I don’t expect or need anything from my family in return, but I know what they will do on Mother’s Day. My daughter will send flowers and/or chocolate-covered something because she knows I love chocolate. My son will call late in the day and claim he forgot it was Mother’s Day. He will simply say, “I love you.” I raised them. I know what they’re like. My husband will buy me something to show he’s thankful for the way I raised the kids. Obviously I’m not his mother, but he’s showing his gratitude. I don’t need anything from them, but the moments of acknowledgement are sweet. They tell me the pain and futility of the job was worth it.


lionBack to the woman’s blog. If you haven’t done that painful job, why would you feel bad when other women who have done the job get special treatment and you don’t? Doesn’t make sense. The holiday is not about getting, remember? Get off your immature, egocentric horse, and go find someone to be nice to. Buy them a flower. Give them a hug. Call them late in the day and claim you forgot it was Mother’s Day but you just wanted to say, “I love you.”


Sure, some people, like me, don’t have a mother any more. Some mothers have lost children and grieve them on Mother’s Day. Some people have mothers who they wished they didn’t have. No one’s life is perfect. But, that’s no reason to squash the love that comes out on Mother’s Day.

To all you nurturers out there in the blogosphere – Thank you for loving someone and making the world a better place. Happy Mother’s Day!



An Inaugural Anniversary

This year is the 225th anniversary of the inauguration of the President of the United States. I’m sure you don’t really care, but the first inauguration was quite interesting. Here are some facts:

washington-1789The inauguration happened two months late, because bad weather delayed members of the very first Congress’s arrival in New York, where they were voting. Travel was a bear in those days, but the inauguration finally happened on April 30, 1789.

George Washington was UNANIMOUSLY voted into office. When was the last time the House and the Senate did anything unanimously?

They had to borrow a Bible from the Masonic Lodge down the street.

This event set the stage for future inaugurations to follow. It was held outdoors. It included a Bible. The inaugural address was given to a joint session of Congress. The event was followed by a church service and festivities. We still do all those things today. There is one thing that is questionable though. Modern day presidents end their oath with the words, “So help me God,” believing they are following the tradition of George Washington, but there is no evidence Washington ever said that.

And just so you know, Washington served as President without pay.

Happy Inaugural Anniversary!

It’s Constitution Daaaaayyyyyy!

Well, how can you not be excited about that? …especially if you say it like the radio announcers waking Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.


What in the world is Constitution Day? I’m glad you asked.

It is the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution (this year being the 226th) and a congressionally-mandated law (passed in 2004), requiring all schools that receive federal funding offer an educational moment on the Constitution. Funny, of all the things the Constitution mandates, public education is not among them.


So, what IS the Constitution?

It’s a document stating how our country should be run, beginning with the Preamble (kind of a mission statement) and followed by seven Articles (the rules, if you will).

The first three Articles separate our government into three branches so that one branch does not have anymore power than the others.

The fourth and sixth Articles lay out the foundation for relationships between the states and to the federal government.

The fifth provides instructions for amending the Constitution. (Since its inception, it has been amended twenty-seven times.) And the seventh provides instructions for ratifying the Constitution.

It was written in 1787, and not everyone was happy with it at the time. A feeling that continues through today.

“I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.”
–Benjamin Franklin, 1787

You can get a FREE pocket-size Constitution (with $3 shipping) if you go HERE.

In my humble opinion, there are not more powerful words in America than the Preamble.

flagWe, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.