Saturday, May 27, 2023

Memorial Day and Recent and Upcoming Events


Photo courtesy

Hello everyone!  It's Memorial Day Weekend and I hope that each of us pauses to remember those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Several members of my family were in different branches of service both before I was born and after and I also thank them for their service. 

I believe I have mentioned before that, when I was growing up in West Virginia, Memorial Day was always referred to as "Decoration Day."  Families, including my own, would travel to the family graveyards and decorate the graves of deceased loved ones. I wrote about this tradition in an article published in "Goldenseal" a West Virginia magazine. In the article, I wrote about how my parents, sisters and I would make a family day of having a picnic and then walking railroad tracks and climbing a steep hill to get to the family graveyard where my Mother's parents were buried. It was a long and tiring day, especially for a little girl of 3 or so as I was at the time this picture was taken. But, it was also fun in its own way and I have fond memories of these trips. I plan to go back to West Virginia to visit family during this next week and will be visiting the graveyard where several of my family members are buried. Although this will only include a car drive, and not walking on railroad tracks and climbing a steep hill, I will have flowers to take and decorate their graves, continuing the long tradition of "Decoration Day."

My Mom and me, standing on the railroad tracks. Can you believe how she dressed for a long walk and hill climb? And her pocket book! Those were the styles women wore then. And how pretty is my Mom?!

My Decoration Day article is published in this edition.

This will be my first trip back since the passing of my oldest sister and I know that this trip will be both joyful and bittersweet at the same time. Time marches on and will bring new family memories and events. And speaking of time, here are a few pics of how I have been spending my time recently. 

The Mr. and I took a drive over to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park to scout out a few hiking trails for him and I must say the scenery along the way was just gorgeous! Along the way we saw pretty waterfalls and beautiful mountains and greenery.

It had been quite a long while since I had been in the park and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the scenery. We also took time to enjoy some of the historical buildings that are in the park such as the old Palmer Methodist Chapel, an old farmhouse long empty and an old two room schoolhouse long attended by children in the area before the park was formed in 1926. 

Palmer Chapel Methodist Church

The Mr. walking in front of The Caldwell Place

Beech Grove School

I found myself becoming interested in the lives of the people who were displaced when the park opened and they had to sell their land. One family of sisters refused to leave, however, and were given permission to stay on their homestead until the last one passed away. There were 7 Walker sisters and if you are interested you can read about their fascinating life here.  Although we didn't make it to their log cabin this time, I would like to hike to see it another time. The buildings we did see were so interesting. I simply can't imagine what it would have been like to teach in the two room schoolhouse. It looks like it was right out of the set used for the "Christy" television series that was on in the 90's that documented the life of Catherine Marshall's mother when she taught in this area. The small chapel is still used as a place for people who have ties to the area to have a yearly reunion. It reminds me of an old church that my family would attend when we visited my Aunt Beulah back in West Virginia. If you ever get a chance to visit The Smokies, you will see for yourself the gorgeous scenery and amazing history of the area. I certainly enjoyed this day traveling with The Mr. to see the sights. 

So, that's it for now. As I mentioned before, I will be traveling in the next week. I hope each of you is well and enjoys the holiday weekend and the week ahead. Leave me a comment and tell me what you enjoyed about this post and/or what your plans are for the holiday weekend or the week ahead. Or...anything else that's on your mind. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Until Next Time,

*photos of scenery/buildings in Great Smoky Mountains Park by Debbie Ross


Sharon said...

I enjoyed your memories and pictures of Decoration Day in West Virginia, especially the picture of you and your mom. This seems to be a perfect time of year to visit Smoky Mountain National Park. It's been a long time since I've been there. It really is a beautiful place to visit.

Iris said...

Oh, I love all your memories - brought back a few of mine. I loved the story of the Walker Sisters. There truly is some gorgeous scenery there. It's been a long time since I've been up there. Hope your travels are good ones.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you Sharon, Iris and Marge (who left her message via Mailchimp) for your comments. The Walker Sisters were definitely so interesting and I can't imagine their lives living in the Smokies as they did. I'm glad they were able to live their lives as they wished. And yes, The Smokies are a beautiful place to visit.