Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Visiting the Kids

The destination for my trip last week was Chattanooga, where Philip and Kara live. How wonderful and strange it is to visit one's grown children who have set up house on their own!
The lovely painting is by Ann Calvert,
one of my mother's dearest friends.
And set up house they have. This is their living room. We watched Olympic events on that lovely TV screen. Kara has many beautiful books, the classics. Their home is tidy, neat, comfortable, quiet, peaceful. It lacks the clutter that comes with decades of thrift store shopping, a clutter my mother and I can't seem to rid ourselves of. I very much enjoyed my days with them.
The first night Philip drove us up Lookout Mountain to the college all three of us attended!
The Covenant College Chapel
Carter Hall
The college has been renovating the elderly matron of the campus, Carter Hall. It was a swanky hotel in the early 20th Century, and the main campus building when I attended in the 1980s. They are spending a pretty penny restoring the facade to its original look -- the dark windows, the stonework and crenulated tower.
Just before I came in the early '80s the building had been renovated then too. The look they chose then was more clean, sleek -- no bumpy stones or medieval edges. The back of the building still shows this look. However, this facade did not hold up well. The walls are stained and tired-looking, and the plain windows look particularly bad, like deteriorating government housing.
Interestingly, there are still portions of the old, original facade in the far rear of the building. I think they were never redone in the '70s either. Notice the textured exterior. That's the look they're trying to return to, at great cost.
Philip said portions of the building were actually falling off and crashing on the ground a few years ago, so it was absolutely necessary to do something. It does sadden me to think of how many students could have been offered scholarships with the money spent on the building. But it was money specifically designated for the repairs, I imagine, and it had to be done if the building were to be kept at all.
The lobby looks much the same.
I always loved the pool. What a view!
Here's the front, north end. The windows have such a pretty Tudor look. The tower looks a bit bizarre to me, but I do love the cap on top.

They've beautified the porch on the far north end. Sweet, sweet couple.
Philip and Kara just moved into their first "real" home together a few weeks ago. Philip had lived in a house in the city with some roommates, and then a duplex into which Kara moved with him when they married last year. But this is the first home they chose together. When her family came to help them move in, they left this sweet message on the refrigerator.
If you look closely, you'll notice there's a shortage of "e's." So I had to improvise with my message that I left for them:
We ate at the Yellow Deli, a Chattanooga landmark restaurant since the '70s. I never ate there as a student, strangely enough! I didn't get out much because I didn't have a car. And most dates I went on consisted of "Wanta to sit with me in chapel?" or hanging out in some hallway or stairwell until 2:00 AM. Or a sunset walk through woods to the bluff overlooking the valley.
The Yellow Deli has this cool dumb-waiter to carry food up and down. 
It rattled away gently, ascending and descending, as we enjoyed our meal.
We had yummy sandwiches and interesting tea. The restaurant is owned and run by some strange religious group called The Twelve Tribes. They have readily-available literature to be read. They are world-wide. They are gentle, soft-spoken folk with lots of hair and slightly hippyish clothes and good food.
I had a safe trip with lots of driving, and I got to see my two grown boys. I visited with a very dear friend in Chattanooga -- how good to see her! I relaxed. And I took all my old home movies and VHS tapes with me because Philip works at a company that transfers old movies, reels, photos, tapes -- anything you have hanging around in a box that you someday intend to see again -- onto DVD, CD or zip drive. Philip took a box full of audio and video and put it all on a tiny zip drive for me. I have it on this laptop. I have my sophomore piano recital. I have Mr. Halvorsen singing songs that he wrote. I have two years of Covenant Choral concert music. I have Peter's birth. I have our wedding, I have lots and lots of Julia as a baby and toddler. She missed the years of disposable cameras, so I lack photographs of her. But boy, do I have video! I'll write a separate post about the effect of all this viewing on me. Suffice it to say, it was emotional, as was this lovely trip. It's good to be home, but I was so happy to spend time with Peter, Philip, and Kara.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time! And so great to have all of those memories safely stored on a zip drive! :)

  2. I found this website about The Twelve Tribes. They're believers in Jesus, but I haven't gotten far enough into it to tell if they're "cultish" or just different. :)

  3. What an amazing time, and an amazing result! I am quite sure that I have never heard of the Twelve Tribes in Ireland. We do have Hari Krishna on their very own island in Lough Erne, complete with goat colony, on Lough Erne, and if you canoe across they will apparently give you a tour and a talk. Not good food though.

  4. How wonderful! I'm so glad you went!

  5. Wow - Your trip seems to me to have been very soul-nourishing in itself... and then to come back with all that video footage to process in your heart. It does sound like it could be an emotional workout :-)

  6. How lovely! And what a wonderfully eclectic collection of photos!

  7. Hi again! My Mt. Airy/Mayberry post is up now!


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