Although incredibly tardy, my next episode of On the Road covering my trip to the Piney Woods of East Texas is finally here. If you missed the previous installment, click here.
The next day on our trip was to be filled with some family business, but we wanted to squeeze in some family memories too. But first, breakfast! Yum, there is nothing like a breakfast at the Waffle House, when you are on a road trip. It is only surpassed if the waitresses chorus together and break into one of the Waffle House songs. I'm not kidding. Check some of the tunes out for yourself.
But back to my story...
Our first stop was at what we still call the New Lake...not to be confused with the Old Lake which was discussed in my last installment. The New Lake was named so because it was, well, newer (bet you saw that coming) than the old lake. The New Lake was developed in the 60s and took over as a family gathering place from the Old Lake which was built in 1915ish. My mom and grandparents played as children at the Old Lake, but the place of my childhood memories is the New Lake. We sold the New Lake when my grandparents died, but feel very fortunate to have sold it to a childhood friend of my fathers who had always loved the property and has settled on the property as a permanent residence. My brother Chris and I were excited to see what had changed since we saw it so many years ago.
The lake is still a beautiful and peaceful piece of land located outside of Marshall, Texas.
Some of the memories of my childhood, like the pontoon bicycles and the raft that was anchored in the middle of the lake, are gone. But the smells and sites are still so etched in my mind that it felt like coming home.
But my brother and I immediately noticed that the new owner has done an amazing job of making use of the land. Where the house was once surrounded by woods on all sides, the new owner has cleared land on one side to create an immense vegetable patch.
And lurking on the edge in the woods...ninja cattle.
Sort of freaky, right? I mean, since when do cows lurk in the woods. But back to my story.
He has blueberries and blackberries growing
And I noticed around his tomatoes he had an unusual substance
HAIR! He said he heard from a guy on the radio say it helps the plants grow better. My thought is that maybe it inhibits some pests from getting on them. Maybe contributes some minor nutrients as it decomposes. I say whatever works for your vegetables, go with it.
We saw some areas on the other side of the house where beavers have been at work. He says he can't find anything to stop these guys.
After leaving the lake, we traveled to Elysian Fields to visit the grave sites of my fraternal grandparents. I still had crinum lilies carefully packed, waiting to be planted next to their graves. We installed the lilies and I hope it will be a wonderful tribute to them for years to come.
We still had a few crinums left so my father suggested we drive out to the Woodley cemetery and plant them by my great-grandparents' graves.
Like many small cemeteries, this one began as a family cemetery for the Woodley family in the mid 1800s. There are at least a dozen Timmins family members in this cemetery including my fraternal grandfather's parents, Eliza Missouri Anderson Timmins and Frank Bracy Timmins. I was happy to be able to contribute the crinum to add to this lovely setting.
Even though it was not the main purpose of our trip, having the time to explore some family history was certainly the highlight. My father has done an immense amount of genealogical research on our family and it brings it all to life seeing burials spots and old homes and gathering places of my family.