Hello! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed I was a little MIA this last week. In fact, I’ve never gone a day without posting on Instagram and lately got into a routine of posting here on the blog three times a week consistently. Well, last Wednesday I received a phone call that my grandmother had passed away. Naturally, blogging and social media became irrelevant and I just needed to be with family. I even contemplated sharing this personal story here on my blog, because I hardly ever get personal or share personal posts. I decided that it wouldn’t make sense to be gone for a week and suddenly reappear as if nothing had happened. In a way, I feel like this post is owed to my readers. So here it goes…
The call came Wednesday afternoon and I immediately made arrangements with work and bought a plane ticket. I was lucky enough to get a flight out the next morning at six am. I spent most of Thursday traveling and my Dad and step-mom were able to pick me up from the airport and we spent the rest of the afternoon driving down to the Gulfcoast. Later that night, we had dinner at the cutest little restaurant – Harbor View Cafe. It was there that I re-discovered my love for Southern Architecture. The south always has a way of bringing me home.
Friday we spent the day making funeral arrangements, looking at pictures, going to flower shops, etc. At my grandmothers house, while my aunt and step-mom were looking through my grandmothers clothing for an outfit for her to be buried in, I began looking through her photos. My grandmother or Granny Lola as she’s always been called, loved photos. There were photos of the whole family in every room of her house, they were important to her and she loved to make sure that everyone knew who was in those photos. One of my favorite photos was this one of her that sat on her dresser.
She was the most caring woman who loved us all deeply, as we loved her. When anyone spoke of her, they always mentioned how beautiful and kind she was. She had the most beautiful soul and it shined through in her eyes and smile. I will cherish this photo and her in my heart forever.
Later that night we ordered take out at the hotel and went to bed early after being emotionally exhausted from the long day. As we were leaving our hotel the next morning the sun was shining bright and I captured a photo of this beautiful southern house.
Saturday we had some free time while waiting for more family members to arrive. I, of course wanted to drive around and look at more beautiful southern homes, so we did just that. It became cloudy and rainy again, so some photos are a little gloomy.
I love imagining the history of these homes, if the walls could talk the stories they would tell, and the lives that are lived there. So much history. I also found my dream home…
We continued to drive and were on our way to an Arts & Crafts Festival, when we passed Beauvoir – the Jefferson Davis Home and decided to stop there for a tour. It was beautiful!
Still standing from the late 1800s and after being destroyed from Hurricane Katrina – most has been rebuilt or recreated. My favorite part was the back porch with the original doors and storage cabinets.
I later learned that these beautiful cabinets were for storing china, jelly, and dry goods. Just to the right are two dining rooms – one for the adults and one for the children. The cabinets have never been moved and have weathered perfectly.
Inside, the home was just as beautiful with gorgeous woodwork and moldings, trompe-l’oeil wall treatments, amazing pocket doors, tall ceilings and wonderful fireplaces.
After touring the main house, we walked around to the front of the house which has been severely destroyed by Katrina and they are still working on the rebuild. But, I cannot get over how amazing the porch is!
We then continued on to a schoolhouse and Jefferson Davis’ office. We were able to walk in and the library of books took our breath away!
Continuing on, we walked passed a building that was once the kitchen, but was not attached to the main house. Here was the original stove –
Then we walked to the museum and passed this beautiful carriage. By this time, it was pouring down rain and we were glad to be inside. A beautiful painting depicts what the house might of looked like back in the 1800s.
After the tour, we had lunch and then went to the mall to go shopping. It was a nice distraction, we didn’t have to think and got to spend some quality time together. Later that evening, more family arrived including my brother and sister and we all had dinner at Bull’s. Another storm rolled in and it was pouring down rain, so I was unable to take a picture.
It rained all night and all morning. We had the funeral service for my grandmother but unfortunately the funeral home advised us that because it had been raining so much, the ground was too wet to bury her at the cemetery. She will be buried later this week, when the rain stops and the ground dries up. Then, approximately forty of us went to Steve’s Marina for lunch. Another beautiful view, ruined by gloomy rain. The rain was a little symbolic to what was going on around us.
After lunch and back at our hotel, we played trivia games and talked until my step-mom had the idea to go out for ice cream. We found the Marble Slab Creamery and it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had!
The next morning, we were back on the road headed to the airport and I was on my way back to California. Even in sad times, spending time with family is the best medicine. I needed that little weekend in more ways than I could of ever expected and I’m grateful.