This is a tipical front porch set up in Tennessee. I even noticed that the really trashy mobile homes there had a porch swing! It was awesome. You will be driving, and see a beautiful, huge country home. Then about a hundred yards away a shack where some real hillbillies live. It was an amazing thing. Our friends said it's like that all over Tennessee.
We had a great time. Really missed my boys though. The ministry we went to see is amazing. Quit unique too. It's a boys ranch. There are 13 boys there ages 12-18. They live on the ranch in a dorm. The boys were very impressive. They say, "Yes Ma'am. Yes Sir." They are more respectful than the average teenage boy in California not having problems.
The Ranch has a house on the property for the director and his family. We got to tour it, the current director and his wife live there now. It was beautiful. There were a few other houses on the 100 acre ranch property as well where other staff live.
Can you believe it. I only took TWO pictures while in Tennessee!! What was wrong with me?! Well, we were so busy with church and their missions conference. And eating. All the time eating. I wasn't complaining. I love food. But my gallbladder sure did. I had an attack Sunday afternoon. Luckily I had pain meds and was able to rest and I felt better for church that night.
The southern food was so good. Very rich, thick, buttery, and delicious. I would get full off 1/4 of my plate! Too bad most of the time I didn't listen to my body, and I kept eating. Davey was like, "Who are you?! Why are you eating so much?" hahaha. I didn't know why! I really wanted to experience the south I guess!
The home we stayed in was so beautiful. We stayed with the couple that started the ranch 35 years ago. They once lived in the house on the ranch. It was a true country home. No one in TN has back yard fences. So odd to me. Neighborhood dogs roam free. Is this weird to anyone else? They thought it was funny how I couldn't get over it. They also thought it was hilarious when I found out the name of the town in TN the ranch was in. Calhoun. I said, "Cowhoun??!" They laughed and laughed. I also amused them when I couldn't get over all the trees. When we saw the ranch I said, "This is more like a forest than a ranch." They told everyone I said that!
To me that is the forest. It has more trees than bare land. The house on the ranch is nestled up against a hill with trees all around the house.
The church, staff, and pastor were all so awesome. As soon as we met the boys I wanted to hug them all. After the first day we met them they kept asking us if we could move there. :) It was so sweet. One young boy Carlos said, "Can Davey be our dorm supervisor?" I said, "Well where am I going to live?!!" he thought, and said, "There is a double wide trailer on the ranch!" hahaha. So cute. Then when we were leaving they asked us when we will be back.
The boys have some issues, all different reasons why they are there, but I believe they have so much potential to be used greatly by God.
A few things I'm concerned about are, adjusting to living in the country, 30 minuets from town and from church. Also, the protection of my boys. There is a pond on the ranch. The ranch boys do swim in it, but there are water snakes. Also they have Copper Head snakes on the ranch and they are deadly. One of the staff boys was bit by one, thank God he had on snake bite boots. We were also warned about poisonous spiders all over out there. These things may seem very insignificant, and they probably are, but as a mom I don't want my boys to get bit by something. Obviously. That's a mom's job. They comforted me that in the 35 years they have never had the snakes or spiders be an issue (except the one time). Typically the snakes don't want to be bothered. Plus I'm planning on bringing 100 mongoose with us. That should help.
It's really awesome how we could have chickens and cows and horses, and I can have a garden. But again there are big huge black garden snakes. Harmless, but I'm a city girl. If I see a snake, I will faint. The boys will have the biggest playground ever when they are big. Quads and horses for riding around it. And, I think it would be good for me to learn how to get my hands dirty. Some good old fashion hard work. But.... dun dun dun.... 30 mins to a gym and school for the boys. Yikes.
Whatever God's will is I want it! I know He will not lead us astray. He cares about us and our boys and our future. I know I would be super homesick for a while, but God's grace is sufficient. We are really praying and seeking counsel from our pastor and others about this.
Love, The Curvy Housewife