Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas spirit in Nashville and at The Farm

Last weekend we enjoyed Holiday and Christmas festivities in Nashville and rural Tennessee.  Saturday December 7, 2019, was the 92nd Nashville Christmas Parade.  This Christmas Parade has been a yearly tradition in Nashville since 1927.  Elaborate floats and giant helium balloons slowly went down Broadway.  Nashvillians lining the streets applauded 15 high school and university marching bands from nine states:  Tennessee as well as Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan.  I watched the morning parade at home on television and took photos from it (they are not too sharp.)  Click on collage to enlarge.

There were also mass performing groups of singers, dancers and choirs.  A group of 74 dancers from 7 different states came as a single team to perform as America's Clogging All Stars.  They learned their clogging routine through social media and came together to dance in Nashville.

Of course Nashville being "Music City" there were many artists' performances, mostly "country music."

Then the parade ended with a float carrying a waving Santa Claus.

In my last June post "Walking in my Nashville neighborhood..." I explained that my house is located in the Hillsboro-West End section of Hillsboro Village.  Most homes there were built in 1910-1935.  Hillsboro-West End has the largest, cohesive collection of early 20th century houses in all of Nashville.  The neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and much of it is protected by Conservative Zoning.  In 1975 an association, named Hilsboro-West End Neighborhood (HWEN) was founded to preserve its character and enhance the community.  On that Saturday and Sunday they offered "A Holiday in Hillsboro Village," with 30-minute tour rides to see festive homes decked in holiday decorations, proceeds going back to preserving the neighborhood.  They urged the community to place lights and decorations outdoor around their homes.  I did not have any in Nashville so I ordered some and paid extra shipping so they would get to me in time.  I also volunteered to serve cookies and hot cider at the hospitality center before the start of the tours.

Early on Saturday afternoon my daughter and grandchildren came to help me decorate the house.  The decorations I had ordered never showed up.  As I was leaving to go to the hospitality center my daughter was driving to the village hardware store to buy some outdoor Christmas lights.  At the hospitality center cookies and hot cider had been brought on a long table but I was the only one there serving all the riders before their tour.  I was quite busy from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Then I met with my daughter and her family to take a ride on the "Jolly Trolley" as the horse and carriage tours had been sold out.  There were no windows in the trolley and a bit nippy!  A young country singer with a guitar lead the passengers into singing Christmas carols as we passed many homes decked in dazzling illuminations.

Walking back to my house after the ride I took more pictures of the decorated houses as I went by.  I almost passed by my house as there were many lights there and I did not recognize it.  My daugher had done well with little decorations and time.  My house is shown on the bottom extreme right of the collage below.

On Monday morning I tried for several hours to find out what had happened to my decoration package.  Finally I talked to a human who told me that it had been delivered.  I then checked with the delivery service and was told that it had indeed been delivered on Saturday morning and they sent me a picture.  I recognized the white wall and baby stroller from my next door neighbors (the ones who kept trespassing in my back yard last summer during their garage update.)  I looked and there was an opened package on their front porch.  The babysitter was outside and I asked her if it was mine - my name and address were on the box.  When I asked why they did not let me know or bring me the package, she answered that they were all busy people and certainly did not have the time to fuss with packages.  When I told her I saw them walking outside during the weekend and even going on strolls, she gave me a bad look  and said that they must not know my address.  Really?  Mine is the same street as them with just a number down?  I thought that the holidays brought the best in people ... well, not this time.  It showed pettiness and Christmas no-spirit, no kindness, don't you think so?

I did find plenty of kindness and friendliness on Sunday December 8th, 2019, at The Farm.  My daughter, grandchildren and I decided to drive to Summertown, Tennessee, about 1 1/2 hours down from Nashville where The Farm is located.  That weekend they were having The Farm School Holiday Bazaar with all proceeds to benefit the school.  My two youngest grandchildren attend one of The Farm School satellite campus in Brentwood.  My late husband and I visited The Farm several times to see our friends from San Francisco (click here and here to read about it.)  Their site says "The Farm is an intentional community of families and friends living on three square miles in southern middle Tennessee, founded on the principles of nonviolence and respect for the earth.  We started The Farm in 1971 with the goal of establishing a strongly cohesive, outwardly-directed community.  We want, by action and example, to have a positive effect on the world."  In 1970, 300 hippies from San Francisco lead a caravan of old school buses across the country.  They settled on 1,750 acres of land in Summertown, TN, and created a commune which has now evolved into an "intentional community."  It is the oldest commune in the USA.  The bazaar was in two school buildings.

For lunch we shared a small pizza.  While we waited for it the three grandsons were actively tree climbing.

They were still hungry, so we went to the kitchen in the Solar School that had been transformed into a cafe with beverages, desserts and more.  Live music was being played there by local talent.  My grandson ordered a large burrito.

Then we walked back to various rooms in the building where vendors from throughout Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia offered unique gifts.  Local artisans from the surrounding area also brought one of a kind stained glass, tie-dye clothing, pottery, plants, jewelry, knitted woolens, handmade dolls, hats, scarves, books, ornaments, posters with quotations and more.

A Santa was selling attractive photographs.  The vendors donate a percentage of their sales to The Farm School.

An older gentleman was selling little pewter figurines that he had crafted.  I bought a tiny camel to add to my collection.  I walked outside, looking at the solar school painted walls as I passed by, then waited for the family.

While I waited for my daughter and grandchildren at the Hippy Gift Shop, I took some pictures of the old school buses that had been stationed there since the 1970s (part of the 80 buses that had left San Francisco.)  They showed their age.

The Farm community, now with a couple hundred of residents, mostly baby boomers (some younger, some older,) with some having lived there all their lives, has survived and prospered as a free-thinking community.  I talked to more people there in an afternoon, all friendly and kind, than in Nashville in more than a month.  But it was time to get back to Nashville and get ready for my upcoming return to Georgia.


Elephant's Child said...

I am sorry about your neighbours total lack of Christmas Spirit.
And very, very glad that others made up for it.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

I hope you got your lights.
Festive post, thank you. The lights are nice to see, so many houses together like that. It reminds me of the 1950s outside Boston.

Marie-Anne said...

Désolée pour la conduite de tes voisins! Je n'aimerais pas du tout d'en avoir de pareils !!!
Mais tu as eu un séjour bien rempli de festivités avec ta fille et tes petits enfants!
Joyeux Noël, chère Vagabonde et un bon bout d'an!!!

Divers and Sundry said...

Basic courtesy shouldn't be too much to ask any time of year. They do sound like a self-centered petty bunch.

I like hearing about and seeing photos from your neighborhood. Nashville's a big place with a variety of different areas. Thanks for sharing these :)

Nadezda said...

Hello Vagabonde!
How pleasantly you have spent time with your daughter and grandchildren. I see that they are very grown.
Beautiful photos of decorated neighboring houses and it is sad that you have such unfriendly neighbors who did not give you the package on time. Your daughter perfectly decorated your home!
I liked the house where waved Santa was sitting.
Have a good weekend!

DUTA said...

Very impressive parade!
Thanks for sharing such a variety of beautiful photos.

DJan said...

Such a wonderful and uplifting post, VB. It is too bad that some people never find the holiday spirit in their hearts. They are the ones who lose out. Your pictures make me glad to see such intentional communities doing well. :-)

David said...

Hi Vagabonde, We have a big Christmas parade here in Knoxville too...and another over in the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area. They get a lot of attention with folks getting in the Christmas spirit. Santa in a Gingerbread House is a nice switch on the usual.

Sorry about your Grinch type neighbors! I've only had nasty neighbors once and it wasn't fun...always adding a little tension to life.

It sounds like you're enjoying a lot of Holiday family time...always a great thing! As for the hippy commune, aka The Farm at Summertown TN, thanks to your post, it gives us another place to explore/visit in TN.

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Thérèse said...

Tu es vraiment unique dans tes descriptions de l'esprit de Noël. A noter en particulier la façon de se comporter de tes voisins...
Quel exemple que Summertown!
Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année Vagabonde, surnom que tu portes si bien.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

How wonderful that your daughter decorated your home; how sad it is that you live next to the Grinch.

Your pictures of the festivities and parade are terrific. Merry Christmas to yo and your loved ones.

Jeanie said...

I would expect Nashville to go all out for a parade but the one I loved most was the neighborhood event. I'd want to live in your neighborhood! The houses are wonderful -- all different and I loved how people went all out. That's ridiculous about your decorations. Honestly, the least they could do is drop it off on your porch -- or call you to say come and get it! That's nuts.

The farm looks fascinating and the bazaar fun. I love things like that and great timing for the holidays. What a fabulous weekend! Safe travels to Georgia!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Hello Mireille!

How are you?

Love this post with beautiful photos.

Today I read again the poem you sent me on e-mail.

"Memories of You"! This beautiful poem brought tears from my eyes.
I miss so very my husband Carlos every day.
He passed away in 18-8-1918 but seems it happens yesterday!

Did you had some news from our dear friend Naomi?
I haven't heard from her from a long time and I miss her so much.

Sending to you a lot of hugs and Love,

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I enjoyed the parade pics, but most of all the neighborhood ones. Bah humbug to those most unfriendly and discourteous neighbors. Why they could not have at least dropped them off at the correct address is baffling...oh wait, they were "so busy." I hope that your holiday spirit was uplifted by the other wonderful events you posted about here. I know that mine was just reading about them.

Nadezda said...

Dear Vagabonde,

Roderick Robinson said...

A noter en particulier la façon de se comporter de tes voisins... Ah yes. For a decade we had a second home in Loire Atlantique. We were objects of curiosity and I was surprised that French villagers didn't hold back. I enjoyed their questions. The traditional view of the French by monoglot Brits was that you never got invited into their homes. And I thought of Mme. Nicolas, wife to the village menuisier, chatting over her kitchen table to me about her adult son who'd got divorced ("Il a refait sa vie."). And an elderly man who asked if I'd like to come in and watch the TdF on his telly.

The bad behaviour of your neighbour seems all the more reprehensible given that the US, in my experience, is the most hospitable country I've ever lived in.

Magic Love Crow said...

I am so sorry about your neighbour! Sometimes, I just don't understand people? But, I am truly happy that everything else went well! I so enjoyed all the pictures and all your story telling! Big Hugs!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...