Dogwoods grow and bloom naturally in our wooded areas, but the abundant trees found in the neighborhoods and parks came to exist from a comment by a travel writer in the 1940s. John Gunther made a stop in Knoxville, at that time very much a railroad, industrial city. Gunter made a remark in his book, Inside USA that Knoxville was one of the “ugliest cities that he had ever seen."
By the 1960s, after 13 years of planning, planting, and organization the Dogwood Arts Festival was born in Knoxville and the surrounding areas followed suit. This first group of civic-minded individuals wanted to show Gunther and others who visited this part of East Tennessee that we were much more that buildings and sidewalks. Today with miles and miles of beautiful dogwood trails in neighborhoods and parks, we truly celebrate the beauty of our southern city and its outlying areas in this month-long celebration.
Now that you know how beautiful it is right now in our neck of the woods, I will fill you in on what has been going on with us. Last weekend was one that was filled with cleaning, planting flowers, catching up on odd jobs around the house...just one of those beautiful ones that you hate to see come to an end. Tori was invited to a tea party themed birthday for her China sister, Emma Grace. Wow! Did all those little girls have the best time. I can't wait to host one for Tori (as I have been planning one in my mind for years), but I may have to wait until her sixth birthday because she is asking for a Chuck E Cheese's party. Oh, well...
This week has been a bit overwhelming with the end of school routine for me...trying to work my way to the end point of my curriculum, graduation responsibilities, etc. Jonathan's Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Tests have begun, and in the midst of all of this, one of my parent's dearest friends passed away from cancer. Bill was not only a friend to them, but his grandson is one of Jonathan's friends. Of course our hearts go out to the family, but this has really hit J.J. pretty hard. He has started to think about his own grandparents, and it has really hit me too about my parents...something I hate to ponder for too long. Please pray for this sweet family that they will find strength and encouragement in the days to follow.
And yes, it's that time of the year...my 41st birthday. While I don't relish getting older and enduring what time does to your aging body, it really doesn't bother me to age as far as number. I can't complain too much...I feel better since I have been exercising regularly and my type I diabetes is under better control. My exercise buddy (and also a teacher friend) and I have been dedicated since January. We really can't get over how much better our clothes fit, and I am enjoying getting into some things that were a bit too tight to wear before I started. Anyway, I digress...Tomorrow is a day to celebrate me, and I plan on doing it with a smile on my face! Happy Birthday tomorrow to Mamaw Sandy (Chris's mom) and my dear friend Diane...I am honored to share this special day with both of you!
It's almost the weekend. Hooray for that two-day reprieve!