Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Get Out and About!
I have spoken many times about my hubby in my blogs. We’ve been married thirty years (a life sentence? Not really, more like a life of joy and memories). As you get older you tend to fall into routines, the same thing day-in and day-out. Our son is out of the house and we kind of fell into a rhythm of doing the same things on the weekend – go to Huntsville, shop for things we didn’t need, eat out and go home. Same stores, same restaurants…then suddenly we looked at each other and said, “Are we getting boring or what? We used to do things besides shop.” What did we do back then, before the child came along and consumed our lives?
Well, that was a quandary for us. We talked and decided that we needed to do some interesting day trips, something to get us out of the rut and learning. Now, I am a notorious list maker, Stephanie understands. I sat down and made a list of thing I wanted to do. Not to be hoggish, I told him to make a list, handing him a pad. I got one of those deer-in-the-headlight looks – “You want me to help?” Sure, this is a joint effort I told him so he immediately went to the Internet. I, however, knew of some local things I wanted to see. I bought a little pocket calendar and for each weekend I put my name or his to denote who was in charge of the trips. (He came up with the BCS game – I can’t top that!). We began…
This last weekend I discovered a local treasure that I wanted to share with all of you. Burritt on the Mountain. I’ve heard about the place, mostly from the local news, but I had never ventured up Monte Sano in Huntsville to take a look. It was my weekend so we went on Saturday. I knew next to nothing about it but it was a place on my list. There is an admission cost - $7.00 for adults and I think $5.00 a child. We paid for our stickers, grabbed a map and took off. Beginning with the mansion.
Dr. William Henry Burritt, a local Huntsville physician and inventor, died and left the mansion and 167 acres to the city of Huntsville. The mansion has fourteen rooms and is built in the shape of an X. What struck me the most about the house was it was mainly constructed of concrete (after a fire had burned the house the day he moved in, Dr. Burritt wanted it fire-proof). I also learned that he used hay bales as insulation, something people are doing today – everything old becomes new again. It was a 1930’s house, comfortable and to me, welcoming. I loved it!
Then we went out to wander the grounds and I became more excited. There are houses behind the mansion, dating from the 1840’s to about the 1890’s. They are furnished in the period and are absolutely charming! There were many artifacts in those houses which I could identify from seeing the things used when I was a child. It amazed my husband – he grew up in New York City and had no idea what a lot of the farm implements were. I was having a field day, reminiscing about my childhood and simply enjoying the exhibits. There is also an old country church which had the men’s and women’s doors (remember those? Maybe not, most of you are too young.) The pews were the exact same ones I have sat on many a day, anticipating the dinner on the grounds after a hell-fire and brimstone sermon. Ah, memories…
I also discovered that the museum sponsors events, more fun! They have demonstrations of things like basket weaving, a blacksmith, spinning, weaving and other things from daily life in the 1800’s. I want to go back and catch some of those. And, I found they are having a play this week called “Appalachian Witches” in the old church. It’s acapella singing covering the legends of the Appalachians from the viewpoints of three women. The cost is $20.00 a ticket. Sounds fun! (I hear my husband groaning now…) It’s a very well run and knowledge-oriented place which I intend to visit again. (More groaning – but it’s my weekend!)
There is also a barnyard, complete with a mule, goats, miniature horses, sheep and chickens. I noticed a lot of kids were really enjoying the animals. So if you have little ones, this might be entertaining for them.
Then, I discovered the gift shop, Josie’s (Named after Dr. Burritt’s wife). There were many interesting and novel things in there. I brought home a brick red Satsuma-type cat that is now lounging in my master bath. They also had some wonderful lotions and soap…perfect gifts for your friends. Plus, some pretty baubles… Hubby had to drag me out.
So if you are interested go to their website www.burrittonthemountain.com. Check out their events and what they offer. It’s really a wonderful place.
After dragging hubby around for most of the afternoon, we tried a Cajun restaurant that was new to us. A perfect end to a nice day (anyone who knows me, knows I love New Orleans). As I leave you, I want all of you to think of you daily lives. Have they become humdrum? Get up and out! Do different things. Shake it up.
Do you have any local places you might want to share with me? I need to fill some of my weekends. Hubby is still struggling…