Last weekend we went to stay in the "eco-villas" at Montgomery Bell State Park with mom and dad. This was a long awaited trip--intended to be a birthday present for Dad (for a looong past birthday). We've all read Widow of the South and wanted to visit the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN, which is the setting of the novel. We got up Saturday morning for the drive from Montgomery Bell to Franklin, and Dave was sick. Really sick. Dave is never sick. Talk about terrible luck. The rest of us carried on as best we could, and this is what we saw.
The story of Carnton is a great one because the family (the McGavocks, I believe) didn't hesitate to open their home as the Battle of Franklin unfolded. While they wouldn't have had a choice, in the end, the evidence does seem to show that they were very willing and involved caretakers for the hundreds of wounded men who filled their home. After the battle, they allowed their land to be used for a cemetery, and supervised the creation and organization of the memorials so that families could visit their dead.
There were slave quarters and tombstones and blood stains on the floors. And the story includes a 9 year old named Hattie whose bedroom was used for surgery. Any guesses as to how many questions Meredith had about these things? I'm not sure you could come close. At one point, after a barrage of unanswered questions, Meredith said, "If I were Hattie, my life would have all the answers."
After appropriately somber reflection at Carnton, we headed into Franklin for lunch at Merridee's and as much shopping as 2 worn out girls would tolerate (turns out that's about 23 minutes). I'll go back to Franklin anytime anyone would like to take me.
This photo of Merridee's Breadbasket is courtesy of TripAdvisor
On Sunday morning, we were blessed with a perfect weather occurrence. It rained hard throughout the early morning, lulling us all into a deep sleep--even those who consider 6:30am a "lie-in." Then, after we got up, it switched to snow...huge, beautiful flakes that we could watch fall all through the forest, thanks to the floor to ceiling windows in the "eco-villa" (sorry, that phrase has to have quotes every time I use it.)
A pretty perfect trip, with the exception of Dave's mystery illness, which will provide an excuse to go back. So all's well.