Last week, Bruce and I took a drive up to beautiful East Tennessee. Rocky Mount
State Historic Site was built by William Cobb in 1772 and served as the
territorial capitol of the S.W. Territory between 1790 and 1792. Cobb
hosted First Governor of the S.W. Territory, William Blount here until
Blount moved to Knoxville. Our re-enactor and Executive Director Gary
Walrath, and his wife were very informative. We thoroughly enjoyed the
journey along the trails of Tennessee. The small building is the
kitchen, where a slave, Ruth, shared her skills and recipes. Loved it!
Executive Director, Gary Walrath with re-enactors.
On the beautiful campus of Vanderbilt University, in the University Club where we meet monthly, my Fort Nashborough Chapter celebrated the last Daughters of the American Revolution luncheon of our season with an awards presentation. I believe Fort Nashborough received the most recognition for outstanding service of all the chapters in the state of Tennessee. We also welcomed several new Daughters including my friend, Kathy Saine, and her daughter, Katie, who is considered a new 'Junior.'
My song, "Wives of the Signers," a tribute to the wives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, won 1st Place in state and nationally in the American Heritage Music Composition category - which I sang as a salute to the wives of the signers.
Wonderful Ebraile and William Mwiserwa received our Community Service Award for their work with missions in Rwanda. Their heart wrenching, inspirational story of escape from Rwanda--but not without losing 70 members of their family--unfolded with not a dry eye in the house.
Toasting God and the wives of the signers singing my award-winning song, Wives of the Signers
Bruce, me, our Fort Nashborough Regent, Ellen Jordan, Ebraile and William Mwiserwa
Bruce, Susan Winchester, Helen Mackie, Debbie Laidlaw, my friend and new Daughter, (on my right) Kathy Saine, and her daughter, Katie, and Jennifer Watts-Martin.
Every so often the Lord speaks loudly to me in his still small voice. One ear is always tilted in his direction, but I'm generally preoccupied with the "here and now" rather than "hear, and then..." As I continue writing, working on several projects -- while others wait in the wings -- the Lord whispers through a book I'm savoring: On Writing Well.
My recent "find," On Writing Well, by William Zinsser is, of course, on writing well. Zinsser taught writing (non-fiction) at Yale back in the '70's. I stumbled on one of his audio cassettes and after listening to it several times, bought his book. It's invaluable. Zinsser, in his 90th year, now blind, is still teaching, talking to students, and expounding on his theme:
4 Principles of Good Writing:
One of Mr. Zinsser's favorite books is Walden;or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau. I just checked it out of the library. Having been a huge Ralph Waldo Emerson fan (did you know Walden's Pond was on Emerson's property in Concord Mass.? Neither did I.) I had resisted reading Thoreau because he seemed too 'wordy.'
While preparing snacks for watching the Superbowl, I stopped to look for something casual to wear. I couldn't find a thing! Bruce said, "Why don't you wear the tee-shirt you bought at Radnor Lake?" Great idea. So, I pulled the Radnor tee out of my drawer, and what do you suppose was written on the front below the Lake scene? A quote from Henry David Thoreau's book Walden....the same quote I just finished reading in his book...the one William Zinsser suggested as a study in On Writing Well. "We need the tonic of wilderness, - to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow - hen lurk..." ~ Henry David Thoreau.
The Bible says "He who dwells in the secret place of the Lord Most High God abides in the shadow of the Almighty"(Psalm 91.) I need the spiritual tonic of the Most High God, and God's natural wilderness on which to feast my eyes and refresh my mind. I'm inexpressibly relieved to know I have both along the trails of Tennessee and, through it all, still hear God whisper loudly and clearly telling me I'm on the right trail... a happy trail!