Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Creek Runs Through It

Life Changes

My husband and I have always wanted to build a house on a lake, and at this stage in our lives we figured it's "now or never." After spending a couple of months in search of the perfect place to build our house, and after considering several options, we came across what we think is as close to perfect as we can find.

This past week we closed on the purchase of a 5.5-acre lot on a lake in Madison County, Mississippi, which is north of Jackson. There were three key factors which helped us make our decision:

Location, Location, Location! It is located about 20 minutes away from where our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter Avery Grace live (versus an hour from Vicksburg, which is where we currently live);

The 80-acre lake is a "trophy bass lake." Of course, my husband was sold from the start when he heard those three little words ... trophy bass lake; and

The lot is covered with huge old hardwood trees, and it even has lagniappe in the form of a creek running through it. Now, I ask you, can it get any better than that?

My husband always tells me to be careful what I wish for, because I just might get it. I have to admit it's scary, and building a house is always stressful (this will be our fourth) ... but I couldn't be happier, and look forward to the experience of not just building a house, but building a new life style for us and our family.

I plan to chronicle our "journey," and have created a new blog especially for that purpose called, "A Creek Runs Through It."

In the meantime, I'd like to share a few pictures of our new "sanctuary." Perhaps you'll be able to see why it was love at first sight.

View of the lot taken from the road looking back toward the lake, which doesn't show in this picture.

This picture was taken standing in the middle
of the lot looking back toward the lake.

The Creek

Sanctuary Lake,
also known as the "Trophy Bass Lake"

The next three pictures are panoramas I created. You can click on the images to enlarge them, if you'd like. The first shows the house site.

View of what will be our "front yard"

View of future "back yard"

I'm looking forward to our house-building adventure, and I think that word describes it perfectly. According to Webster's, the word adventure is defined as: (1) An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks; (2) An exciting or remarkable experience; (3) An enterprise involving financial risk. If you've ever built a house, you know that the experience includes one, if not all, of those factors at one time or another during the building process. And, of course, your emotions come into play, too, as you get involved in all the decision-making that goes into making the house your home.

I have often thought that building a house is very similar to having a baby. It requires your attention almost every waking hour of every day, and there are always unexpected complications that arise and emergency "on-the-spot" decisions that have to be made ... which all add up to stress. But when the house is finally completed and you move into your new home, the labor pains experienced during its creation fade away and are replaced with pride and satisfaction in having created a house that is uniquely YOU.

I look forward to the memories that are going to be made during our building experience ... and the memories yet-to-be-made in the years to come in our house on Sanctuary Lake.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Houses of Edwards, Mississippi

This is the second part of my photo tour of Edwards, Mississippi. If you would like to read the first chapter, A Place Called Edwards, Mississippi, you can click on the link.

Today, I am featuring pictures of some of the old houses in Edwards. This first house is a beautiful antebellum Victorian-style house perched high on a hill overlooking "downtown Edwards." It is called the A. J. Lewis house, but, unfortunately, I could not find any information on its history.

Closeup of the side porch ...

I did a double take when I saw this house, or actually, when I saw the little Snow White and Seven Dwarfs figures lining the sidewalk.

It looked as if Snow White was giving them an etiquette lesson on how to properly greet visitors.

This old house had to be a beauty when it was in its prime, but, sadly, it has fallen into disrepair.

I love its lacy "gingerbread" trim ...

And the pretty columns on the front porch ...

Just down the street is another faded old beauty.

I love the "homey" look of this house, with its picket fence and hanging baskets welcoming visitors.

This house sits at the foot of the bridge, on the opposite side from the stately Victorian on the hill. I wish that old oak tree could talk. It looks as if it has been there a very long time.

And last, but not least, is this pretty house with green shutters lining its double verandas. Notice the different size windows across the front porch.

I love exploring little towns like Edwards. You never know what treasures you might find, especially the old houses like these that are "off the beaten path."

And speaking of treasures, I almost forgot this one, which looks like it is in the process of being restored. I love its lights, and can picture their beams bouncing across a cotton field at dusk, after a hard day's work.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Place Called Edwards, Mississippi

My latest photo shoot found me in the little town of Edwards, Mississippi, which is about 16 miles east of Vicksburg, in Hinds County ...

Edwards' claim to fame is that the final scene in the movie Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? was shot there. Here is a clip of that scene, if you would like to see it. Be sure to notice the bridge in the background.

That wonderful old wooden bridge was torn down in the name of "progress," and replaced with this new one.

I don't know if you can tell by looking at the pictures, but that bridge goes almost straight up and straight down. In fact, it is so steep that right after it opened, an 18-wheeler's trailer was teeter-tottering as it went over the crest. So much for progress!

One of my favorite landmarks in Edwards is its rusty old water tower which is located near the bridge.

The "downtown" area of Edwards consists of one block which is home to the Town Hall and "Grandma's Ice Cream Shop."

This old building caught my eye, too.
The sign says it was established in 1899.

These two signs welcome visitors to Edwards.

Here's another interesting sign that caught my attention.

Another one of my favorite landmarks in Edwards is the picturesque Edwards Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1869.

We were blessed to attend this beautiful little church several years ago when we lived in the country east of Edwards.

We spent a year and a half building our "dream home" on 80 acres, and lived there for two years until my husband's firm transferred him to Shreveport, Louisiana. You know what they say about "the best laid plans of mice and men ..."

The last two pictures are of the Methodist and Baptist churches of Edwards.

I'm going to end this part of my tour here. I hope you will join me tomorrow to see some of the beautiful old antebellum homes in Edwards.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Water Towers

One of the first things you usually see when you're traveling the backroads and approach a town is the water tower. They come in all shapes and sizes and condition -- from old and rusty with lots of character, to bright and shiny and colorful.

Here are a few I've captured during my ramblings ...

RAYMOND, Mississippi,
located in the center of the "town square."

FLORA, Mississippi

This old tower at BOVINA, Mississippi, is one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, it was torn down and replaced
with this bright and shiny new tower.

This tower, located at the old Bonner-Campbell College,
can be seen for miles from Old Highway 80,
between Vicksburg and Edwards, Mississippi.

EDWARDS, Mississippi
I will be featuring Edwards in a post later this week.

This is a new tower in Edwards. I hope the old one won't be torn down. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Edwards.

This colorful tower on Highway 61 South, greets visitors as they approach VICKSBURG from the south, and reminds me of an ad for Purina ...

And this one is on I-20 ...

BOLTON, Mississippi, on Old Highway 80
between Edwards and Clinton, Mississippi

You've got to love a town with a sense of humor.
I found this unique tower at a little town in
the Louisiana Delta called TRANSYLVANIA.

I hope you enjoyed my collection of water tower pictures. It inspired me to try to capture more of the older towers for the sake of posterity. Their days are probably numbered.