Lucy: Miss Christy, I love you and love having you here so much I forgot to ask where Dad and Mom went?
Miss Christy: My sweet Lucy, (*whispers* You know you are my favorite girl.) I love being here, too.
Your Mom and Dad just needed a little break, so they went to stay in a cabin in the middle of Norris Dam State Park.
Chia: You said a bad word!
Miss Christy (ignoring Chia’s comment): It’s a huge park with lots of trees and trails and sits on the mountains surrounding Knoxville, Tennessee.
Chia: But what are they doing at the dam state park?
Miss Christy: *sigh* Let’s see…Friday night they got dressed up and went to a ballroom dance studio. They said the music was really good and the people were all very nice and welcoming. There is a dance there every other week, and your folks will probably be going back several times throughout the year and spend the night in Knoxville. The drive is only a little over two hours. But don’t worry, I’ll come and stay with you sweet pups.
Lucy: If that’s all they did, why aren’t they home yet?
Miss Christy: No, they rented the cabin for three nights and during the day, instead of exploring trails, they explored restaurants and historical places.
Chia: I’d a rather done the trails. I coulda’ run like the wind through those forests and maybe even caught a squirrel or a rabbit!
Miss Christy: Yes, you are very fast, Chia girl! But it was too cold for them, down in the 30’s and 40’s. So they did indoor stuff. Since your Dad is very allergic to foods with gluten, corn or soy, they tried out a restaurant called Benefit Your Life Bakery. Absolutely nothing in it had gluten, corn or soy.
Lucy: That was good for our Dad, right?
Miss Christy: So good, your Mom said he was standing at the front looking in the case and seemed to be having something like a religious experience. He was saying, “I’ll have one of those and one of those and one of those and oh my, this is so wonderful, and one of those, etc.” She was on the verge of being embarrassed.
Chia: That’s nothing new. I embarrass her on most of our walks! And it’s always ’cause I’m so excited about something, too.
Miss Christy: Yes, Chia, I understand that. Anyhow, on Saturdays they serve breakfast, so yourDdad got a biscuit and gravy and your Mom, who doesn’t always like GF baked goods, got a bacon, egg and cheese GF biscuit. They were both so impressed they vowed to eat there every time they spent the night for a dance.
Xena: Are they bringing us any?
Miss Christy: Your Dad bought several of the sweets to bring home, but I don’t think they were for you pups. Sorry XeXe.
After that they went to the University of Tennessee McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture. The stories of the first exhibit they saw told of what your Mom felt were the Native American artist’s existential experiences and understanding of life movement through each “season.” The plaques next to each painting had explanatory quotes.
They learned a lot about the generals and tactics used locally during the Civil War.
Your Mom has always loved the Egyptian exhibits, where they saw a real mummy case, hieroglyphics, and lots more.
There were more, but these were some of their favorites. Your Dad said that something in this last exhibit reminded him of you, Chia.
Chia: Was I the mighty hunter?
Miss Christy: Ummm, more like one of the predators in the origin of all mammals, ummm, so yes! You were the mighty hunter.
Chia: *whole body wiggles*
Lucy: Tell us more, Miss Christy *wags*.
It was cold and raining when they left the museum, but decided to press on to their next destination. The Historic Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope, for Francis Alexander Ramsey. The home is constructed of Tennessee pink marble and blue limestone. It was known at that time as the finest home in Tennessee. The structure is significant for its original interior and exterior architectural features and its period decorative art collection.
The Ramsey Family was one of the first families to settle the Knoxville area. They played vital roles in developing civic, educational and cultural institutions. Colonel Francis A. Ramsey was one of the founding trustees of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee. Mr. Ramsey lived there through the marriage and death of two wives, from whom he had several boy children. He then married his third wife, who had also been widowed twice. They were together less than a year when he died of malaria, leaving her pregnant with her sixth child, a girl. One of his sons, Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey authored an early history of the state, The Annals of Tennessee. Another son, William B.A. Ramsey, was the first elected mayor of Knoxville and the Secretary of State for Tennessee.
Xena: *yawn* This is boring. Can we see pictures?
Miss Christy: Here you go, baby girl.
Riley: *yawn* I’m going to take my after breakfast nap now. They’ll be back. They always come back.
Xena: I miss Mommy and Daddy. Hold me, Miss Christy.
Chia: I’m gonna go take a nap on Lucy’s back now.
Miss Christy: Let’s all go take a nap in the bed together and then we can get a snack and play when we get up. Your folks will be home tomorrow.
Chia: That sounds dam good!