For a relatively 'young' country, the USA has a rich history. They also understand how to protect and preserve it. It is not at all unusual for ordinary Americans to conduct their lives in the midst of that history, in towns and indeed their very homes.
Yesterday was, by my standards, a very short ride, a little over ninety minutes. Down the I95 and then branch off to Courtland VA where I was to catch up again with Frances and Tammy.
Frances runs a small hairdressing business from her home and she sees it as her ministry to cut the hair of the elderly as well. Her sister-in-law Betty Ann was just leaving as I arrived and after a brief chat she invited us over to see her home later in the day.
Frances then cut my hair. She is really good and I regret that I am averaging only one cut with her every ten years. Soon after that Dennis arrived for a haircut with his wife Susan. They have a Harley and also belong to the Christian Motorcyclists Association. They are going later this year to Vanuatu as missionaries, she to teach and he to set up a feeding program for children. They offered to pray for me and as mentioned before, I greatly value Divine assistance.
Frances' husband Ron arrived home after his golf and Tammy also returned from her morning job. Frances then drove Tammy and me to visit Betty Ann and her husband Frank, who is the brother of Frances and Myrt.
A few years ago Frank retired and the left Northern Virginia to return to the south; and they bought the Historic home pictured above. It was built in 1790 and although updated with modern plumbing, electricity and bathrooms and a kitchen, much of the interior is pretty original. For example, the ceilings are 14' high, there are no built-in cupboards and the doors are rather large and heavy and 'lock' with a wooden plank in brackets across the opening. Lath and plaster construction dominates and of interest was the staircase in 'Jefferson' style.
The dwelling block has been subdivided from the original plantation, but in the absence of fences and other boundary demarcations it appears still to be part of the plantation. Being familiar with the old song 'Cotton fields', it gave me a little buzz to see the cotton fields surrounding the house with the white of the swelling cotton bolls punctuating the greenery.
Frank gave me a tour of the outside as well, and while looking across to the family graveyard of the former family, gave me some more history of the house and the region.
Back inside the house we experienced cool relief from the outside heat and humidity, helped along by a slice of cold watermelon.
After returning to Courtland I said my farewells to Frances, Ron and Tammy, put the bike in gear and headed for the North Carolina border and Murfreesboro where I was to stay the Labor Day weekend with another old friend, Jennifer, who owns a bed and breakfast and wine bar. This building dates back to 1808 and has a notable history from that time. Just another example of real history being part of everyday life. More on The Commons and Murfreesboro in the next few days.