March 6, 2021

Our mountain home—briefly


It seems like a dream that we actually had a beautifully reconstructed log house on the Cumberland Plateau at Beersheba Springs, Tennessee, for a few years. Tucked in the trees across from the Methodist Assembly grounds and amid a row of summer homes—most of which had belonged to families of wealthy Nashville or Chattanooga families for generations—was the house we bought from Edna Davenport of McMinnville.  The chimney and the slave kitchen below were all that remained of the original structure, and she had reconstructed it from logs taken from other old homes.  

We spent long stretches of time there during the summers—and made briefer visits during spring breaks and celebrated several wonderful family Thanksgivings there.  Friends and families were eager to visit.

One perfect Easter break weekend we invited Val and Shannon Husley to join us at Beersheba.  Val was a graduate student of Tom’s and his wife Shannon was a strawberry blonde charmer from Louisiana.  I still have her handwritten recipe for Shrimp Gumbo.  “First you make a roux…” They brought along their large black French poodle, and we spent hours hiking around the mountainside with two-year-old Heather, sitting by the fire talking and feasting on some Tennessee and Louisiana favorites. Good friends, good wine, good conversation—always a formula for happiness!

Sally and Shannon at Beersheba

We had a Pack-n-Play set up in the living room for Heather—so she wouldn’t wander off while we were busy in the kitchen.  Once we were startled to hear her cry out—and all dashed in to check on her.  The big black French poodle had wandered in and was standing beside her—just at her eye level! She was terrified, and he was fastened up in the bedroom for the rest of the time.  He must have looked huge from her perspective!

There’s really nothing quite like springtime in the mountains—with friends.

Shannon, Heather, and Sally at Beersheba

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