Friday, February 29, 2008

March Theme Day...Murals, Graffiti, and Street Art

This mural in downtown Memphis is actually an historic work of art, and you can find it on the side of Divine Rags, an upscale Italian clothing shop at 300 S. Main St. This work has been the center of some controversy during the past few years. You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.

"Taking Care of Business" was created under the direction of Memphis artist George Hunt in 1983, and is one of a series of murals created at that time (you can read more about the artist, George Hunt, here). It "depicts the emergence of blacks from slavery to freedom through education and entrepreneurial success." There are only two murals (of this series) remaining, and the current owner of this building originally wanted to paint over this mural due to its condition. This created a bit of an outcry due to its historical significance, and the civic-minded owner later changed his mind. You can read more about this mural and these events here.

I am so glad that this mural still exists for citizens and visitors to appreciate and enjoy.

There are 144 blogs participating in this theme day. Please drop by and visit each of them and enjoy their wonderful theme day offerings!

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,

Kellogg's Plant

This Kellogg's plant has been in south Memphis for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I have memories of riding in the car with my parents past this building and being able to smell Corn Flakes baking...and wondering if Tony the Tiger was there, too. This plant produces both Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes (and you can still smell them when you drive by), and this photo was taken from a bridge next to the plant. If you love your morning Corn Flakes, they possibly had their beginning right here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mitchell's Barber Shop, Collierville Town Square

This barber shop is right across the street from the fire station posted yesterday. I just love the old-fashioned barber poles. If this doesn't seem like Mayberry RFD and small town USA, I don't know what does. :) I'll bet that some good stories (and some fine tall tales) are told behind that door....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Collierville Fire Station #1, on the Town Square

Collierville's Town Square is one of the most charming spots in our area, and visiting there is almost like stepping back in time. It has won several preservation awards, all well-deserved.

This is Collierville's Fire House, or Fire Station #1. It is on the east side of the Town Square, and is one of the oldest structures in Collierville. It was originally built in the 1880s, and in its early years housed a blacksmith shop, and then a flower shop. It has been a fire station since the mid-1940s, and was renovated a few years ago. I think that they did a wonderful seems quite current while still retaining its vintage good looks. You can see part of the water tower just behind the building.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A First Bouquet of Spring...For You...

I wanted to share these as a "thank you" for your kind wishes for my father meant so much to me. His surgery went very well, and he's comfortable at home tonight--my sister is visiting with him this evening. His doctor said that "he's a very sweet gentleman who's also very strong inside", but my father said he's just a "tough old Marine." :)

While spending time with my father at his home late this afternoon, I noticed that the daffodils were blooming all along his fence line. He and my DH were watching something on TV, so I went out and gathered a bunch for my father, and one for our home. There are still a lot to enjoy in his garden. It is amazing how quickly they multiply; they were only planted a few years ago, and there are so many of them now. I wish that you could smell them...they have that lemony, clean aroma that fills the air as you walk by them. Spring can't be far behind!

I hope that you are having a good week so far. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness~

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Keeping Watch" Angel in Sunlight

I posted a front view of this angel here last month, and some people felt that she was a bit foreboding. I wondered if that might have been partially due to the dark, cold weather that we had when we took those photos, so we took a few again on a clear, bright winter day. Does the difference in the atmosphere change how she looks to you?

Annie asked if I had missed posting yesterday due to despondence resulting from the Tigers' loss to the Vols on Saturday night. *grin* Not at all :), although it was a disappointment. I hope that they see it as an opportunity instead....sometimes a loss can be the best thing that happens to a team. And the Vols deserve kudos, as they really did keep it together---the Pyramid was loud with an abundance of Tigers' fans.

We spend quite a bit of time with my father, since my mother passed away in October. He's 82 (and a lot of fun!), and we often visit with him, or take him out on the town with us when we are going someplace fun. So, if I occasionally miss a day at the computer, it is usually due to that type of family time.

My father is having surgery tomorrow, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I will try to post regularly, and hopefully I will have good time to visit all of you, too!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Graceland Shows Its True Colors....Tiger Blue!!

Today is the day.... (you can click on photos to enlarge them, and the words in color are clickable---and I apologize for the run-on nature of this post, Blogger won't let me separate the paragraphs for some reason).
~The #1 University of Memphis Tigers meet the #2 University of Tennessee Vols in the FedEx Forum! If you're a fan of college basketball, or college or Southern sports in general, you know that this is BIG stuff! Up for grabs are bragging rights as the true #1 team in the nation, and also bragging rights within the state of Tennessee. This is a long-time in-state rivalry, and many here are calling this the biggest sporting event in Memphis history. I only wish that I could post the city's energy in a way that you could feel it.
~Last night, we went to see "Operation Blue Suede Show", which is the lighting of Elvis' home, Graceland, blue! Blue, in honor of the University of Memphis Tigers. This is the first and only time that Graceland has been lit in blue outside of the Christmas season, when Graceland presents its yearly Blue Christmas.
~As you can see in the first photo, Priscilla Presley was there for the official lighting ceremony, here standing next to the Tigers' mascot, Pouncer. We missed being able to photograph her during the lighting ceremony, due to the crowd, but did catch a glimpse before she was whisked away. She seems to be a truly nice person, and is a wonderful ambassador for the city of Memphis. In the second photo, you can see one of the famous Graceland Gates, and the UofM Tigers board with the switch to officially light Graceland.
~Tonight, the game will be broadcast at 8pm (US Central Time) on ESPN. In the crowd, you will see Peyton and Eli Manning, Priscilla Presley, Cybill Shepard (another native Memphian--my father dated her mother for a short time before they met their respective spouses), and Justin Timberlake. Also, ESPN's College Game Day will be broadcast all day from the FedEx Forum, so you, too, can have your fill of this fun day!
~Who will we be rooting for, you ask? Well, I'm one of those people who actually attended both schools. I did most of my undergraduate work (and had most of my college fun :) at Memphis, and my professional training and my degree actually came from the U. of TN system. My sister and BIL both graduated from Memphis, and my father has a Memphis degree (he also has degrees from LSU and Mizzou, so he can sometimes be very torn!). I guess you'd have to say that my family's blood runs true Tiger blue!
~Go Tigers!!! (and best wishes to the Vol fans, too...).

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Little Bit of Green...

There are still no big signs of Spring here (although we probably have only a few weeks at most before we see our first blooms), but some things do still stay green in Memphis, even through the cold of winter. This pretty fern at Dixon Gardens (which I first posted about here) seems to be a perennial harbinger of the good, green things soon to come. I also am in love with that vintage iron planter!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Memphis, "The Bluff City"

After seeing the photo yesterday of the riverside park on Mud Island, Annie of Little Rock Daily Photo asked about Memphis' bluffs along the Mississippi River, and whether they are truly high enough to prevent flooding.
Memphis is known as "The Bluff City", and this area along the river was chosen specifically for the high bluffs, which are part of the Chickasaw Bluffs. According to the entry about the Chickasaw Bluff in Wikipedia, "The Chickasaw Bluff secured Memphis from river floods, while a rare shelf of sandstone below provided a secure boat landing, making this the "only site for a commercial mart" between the Ohio River and Vicksburg, Mississippi." You can read the entire passage about this bluff system here.

If you are visiting Memphis, you will notice that the highest bluffs center around the original downtown area---those early settlers knew which areas were most advantageous, didn't they? As you follow the areas more recently developed along the river---north and south of that original area of settlement---the bluffs sometimes aren't quite as high or dramatic. The park on Mud Island (shown yesterday) is more prone to flooding during the Spring as the river rises due to Spring rains and the snow thaws north of Memphis, although I rarely see the water rise past that first flat area of the park. The residential area to the right in the photo yesterday is actually quite a few feet higher than the park area next to the river.

In the two photos above, you can see the view (first looking north, and then south) from the higher bluffs along a residential area overlooking Riverside Drive. These photos were both taken from the same spot in Butler Park, a small park overlooking the river and the park on the other side of Riverside Drive. The Mud Island photo, shown yesterday, featured the area north of the M Bridge, the Pyramid, and the Morgan Keegan Tower (the brown building to the right, with the spire on top) as seen in the first photo. The Morgan Keegan Tower (including its spire in its height measurement) is the second tallest building in Memphis. You can read more about it here.

These photos don't provide the full impact of standing on the bluffs in person. They are actually quite high and steep, and allow a very nice view of the entire riverfront area. The next time I'm downtown, I will try to take photos looking up at the bluffs, to try to share a different view and the true majesty of the bluffs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have a Seat...

Here is a nice little place to take a break, right on the banks of the Mississippi River. This park is on Mud Island in the downtown area of Memphis. You can find more information about Mud Island here. In this photo, the river is to the left and the residential area is to the right. This park is usually very busy with people walking or playing with their dogs, jogging or skating, riding bikes, having a picnic, or flying kites. The day we visited it was windy and cold, so I'll have to take another photo for you during a busy Spring day (that's a good enough excuse to make a repeat visit!).

I apologize for missing a few days of blogging; I'm a bit under the weather. It seems that just about everyone around here is sick, or just recovering. I hope that you're doing great!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

FedEx Forum

This is the FedEx Forum, which is now home to the Memphis Grizzlies NBA Basketball team and the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team. It is also the main venue for music, circuses, and other performances.

The Forum, which is located at 191 Beale Street and Third Street, was the largest construction project in Memphis history, and was completed on time and on budget. The first public events were held in the Forum in September, 2004. The naming rights were sponsored by FedEx, which is based in Memphis. The Forum seats 19,000 to 20,000, depending on the event.

The Forum's presence, along with the Memphis Redbirds baseball at AutoZone Park (first posted here), has really revitalized and energized this part of downtown Memphis. There is always something fun happening downtown.

The photo can be enlarged by clicking on it, and featured links are highlighted in the bold color.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Pyramid Arena and Mud Island Marina, Memphis

Annie of Little Rock Daily Photo posted this great view of the M Bridge, taken as she was coming over the bridge from Arkansas coming into Memphis. It showed the Pyramid Arena on the left, and I thought that you might enjoy seeing a different view of that here today.

The Pyramid is a sports and entertainment/mulit-purpose arena that was built in 1991, and is jointly owned by the City of Memphis and Shelby County. The pyramid design was chosen as a reference to Memphis' namesake, Memphis, Egypt, which is home to ancient pyramids. It is the third largest pyramid in the world, and is higher---at 32 stories---than both the Statue of Liberty and the Taj Mahal. This photo was taken from the residential side of Mud Island, and you can see the Mud Island Marina, operated by the Memphis Yacht Club, in the foreground.

This arena was the home of the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team (currently #1 in the nation) for many years, and at that time was nicknamed the "Tomb of Doom", and it was also home for several years to the Wonders Cultural Series. It has been a popular choice for many local high school and college graduations. We saw both my sister (college) and my older son (high school) graduate there, and also took our sons to many ice shows and circus performances there when they were younger.

When the FedEx forum was recently built for the Memphis Grizzlies pro basketball team, the contract was written that the Univ. of Memphis Tigers would also play at the Forum, and that most major ice, circus, and music shows would also use that venue. I will try to post a photo of the Forum in the next day or two. Currently, the Pyramid isn't being used for anything, except occasionally for stage sets for movies being filmed in Memphis. Ideas for future use of the Pyramid have included an indoor theme park, a Memphis branch of the Smithsonian, and most recently Bass Pro Shops has expressed an interest in locating a superstore there.

I would hate to see this facility's unique to Memphis, and an eye-catching part of our skyline. What do you think might be a good use for this attractive structure?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Central Gardens Beauty...

This is one of my favorite homes in the Central Gardens district in Midtown Memphis. I first posted about this neighborhood here. I just love everything about this house...the exterior color combination, the Father Knows Best-traditional good looks, and the landscaping, which looks great any time of year. It seems that a lot of care and thought---probably a lot of love---has gone into this house. Everything about it says "home" to me. What says "home" to you?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day and cherubs just seem to go hand in hand, so I thought you might enjoy seeing this little one that we found along one of the garden paths at Dixon Gallery & Gardens. I first blogged about Dixon here, and it's one of my favorite places in Memphis.
I hope that you are having a wonderful day! My niece made the card on the left (is there anything sweeter than something made by a child?) and DH surprised me with a box of See's Chocolate---yum! Isn't he the best? Those of you on the West Coast know just how good this candy is! If you're looking for me after dinner, I'll probably be curled up with a good mystery and eating decadent chocolate! It doesn't get much better...

What says "Valentine's Day" to you?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The "M" Bridge, Up Close & Personal

This is a more detailed view of the "M" bridge (M for Memphis :) that spans the Mississippi River, connecting Tennessee and Arkansas. Memphians also call it the "New Bridge", but its official name is the Hernando de Soto Bridge, as it was named after the Spanish explorer who explored this part of the Mississippi. You can read more about this bridge and its history here.

I took this photo at the base of the bridge on Mud Island. This is the same bridge that you first viewed, from a distance, here. I find its shape to be rather pleasing to the eye...

Memphis actually has two bridges spanning the Mississippi River. I will show you the other bridge, older than this one, very soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Water Tower, Millington Naval Air Station...

I learned through Miss Mari-Nanci's blog, Photos City Mine, that Dot at Strolling Through Georgia had challenged us to take a photo of a water tower in our area. We happened to drive through Millington (just to the north of Memphis) on Sunday, and any time we visit Millington, my younger son--the military buff--loves to see the Naval Air Station. The Naval Air Station converted to Naval Support Activity (housing the national Personnel Center for the Navy) during the military reorganization a few years ago, so you don't see the planes coming and going as much as years ago, but this water tower is still standing on the old air strip. We found it to be quite nostalgic.

It isn't quite as pretty here today as it was Sunday. It's cold and dark, with a chance of a little winter precipitation this evening. A co-worker is out for a few weeks with an injury and we have a big deadline at work, so I'm going to be working some overtime during the next few weeks. I'll still be visiting you and saying hello when I have bits of spare time! :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Pink Whale Has Arrived...

On February 1st, Vineyard Vines---known for its pink whale logo and colorful preppy clothing---opened in The Regalia Shopping Center (Poplar at Shady Grove). It is one of only a few Vineyard Vines retail locations nationwide, the rest of their business being in catalog and internet sales. The other retail stores are located in Nantucket, Edgartown and Mashpee, MA, and Greenwich, CT.

Oak Hall, a Memphis tradition in fine clothing since 1859 (my father worked there while in high school) has carried the Vineyard Vines brand for several years, but this year partnered with Vineyard Vines to open a separate location for the brand in the same shopping center. The store carries both men's and women's clothing, and one of the features on the store's interior is a lovely old Chris Craft boat which has been used to create the main counter for the store.

Edit: I am still having trouble with Blogger comments, mainly on the same blogs as yesterday. The "comments" window won't open, as if it is still waiting for photos to download, etc. I checked my pop-up blocker and it is not on. Is anyone else having trouble with this? It is soooo frustrating, as I enjoy visiting and saying hello to you!...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows...One of 1000 Churches

Memphis is often called "The City of 1000 Churches" or the "City of Churches". There are many beautiful places of worship in Memphis, and one of those is Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church.

This congregation was first established to serve the community of "Frayser Station" in 1926, as the "Church of the Madonna". Two Dominican sisters from Nashville came to Memphis to operate the "Madonna School", which was closed during the Depression, and then later reopened (along with the Convent) under the supervision of the Poor Clares in 1932. The crypt of the present church was dedicated in 1950, with the present church (shown above) being built above the crypt and dedicated in 1957. You can read more here about the history of this beautiful church. Shown above are the sanctuary (front and side views), and also the Our Lady of Sorrows School.
edited to add: I've only been able to leave messages on about half the blogs I've visited today...Blogger isn't opening comments boxes for me on the rest. If you see me on your sitemeter today, I tried to stop by to say hi! :) I'll try again tomorrow...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Carriage Ride

One of the most popular ways to see downtown Memphis, in style!, is to take a carriage ride (shown here on Front Street). You can find them for hire in front of The Peabody Hotel and also on the west end of Beale Street. Isn't it fun to let someone else do the driving for a little while? Have you ever taken a carriage ride?

I haven't been able to visit everyone this weekend as much as I would like, as it is our anniversary today and DS1 came home to help us celebrate. I hope that you're having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Autozone Park

This is the entrance to Autozone Park (Union & Third), the home to the Memphis Redbirds baseball team. The Redbirds are the AAA affiliate team for the St Louis Cardinals. This ballpark opened in 2000, the previous seasons being played at the old Tim McCarver stadium in Midtown Memphis. This stadium is quite similar to Busch stadium in St Louis, and is one of the premier stadiums in the AAA system. It seats 12,300 (fixed seats), and can accommodate 15,000+ with its additional bluff seating and picnic areas and luxury boxes. The new season begins in early April, and we can't wait!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

BB King's, Beale Street

Here's the neon sign for BB King's famous club on Beale Street. There's something festive and fun about neon at night, that just makes you want to have a good time...don't you think so? He still occasionally plays here, and it's a thrill and an honor if you're one of the lucky ones who happens to be a patron that night.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

After the storm...

My photos today are courtesy of my sweet husband. I had to work a long day today, and he had access to some areas that had sustained damage but were closed off to the general public, and he took photos for all of us to see. The sign above somehow made me think that Mother Nature has a bit of a wry, if not ironic, sense of humor.

The photos just above show an industrial area, and a closeup and wide view of the Hickory Ridge Mall in Memphis, which was struck by the tornado last night. That is what is left of the Sears building, which is one of the anchor stores for the mall. This mall is where DH and I met 26 years ago (I worked for him...long story... :) , so even though we don't visit there often, it is a special place for us.

One thing that we've noticed about natural disaster damage photos is that they never seem to show the true scale and impact of some of the damage. There is just something about seeing it in person that takes your breath away. My son said the same thing about the devastation in the New Orleans area. I have all of the photos in an album...if you wish to see any additional photos you can see them here

There is a lot of damage around town, and also in the Jackson, TN area, and this was definitely one of the most active storm systems I've seen in my lifetime of living here. We are blessed to have gotten through it personally unscathed, and our hearts and prayers go out to all who were directly affected by the storms.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Stormy Weather

Well, today's photo is quite a contrast to the on I posted yesterday, isn't it? We are currently under a Tornado Warning, meaning that funnel clouds have been sighted within our area...the last one sighted being one block from our house. I wanted to post this while we still have power and internet, as we are still in the line of more storms coming from Mississippi.

I've lived here my entire lifetime, and I have never seen a weather system this active. Tornado Warnings aren't rare, but today---the first time ever---the weather service issued a "Tornado Emergency", meaning extensive storms and grave risk are imminent. There have been at least six tornado sightings within the Memphis Metro area over the past two hours, with damage reported at Hickory Ridge Mall in SE Memphis, in the airport area, in the Bartlett area, and also in the Oxford, MS area.

As much as I love trying to get unique photos for you, :) I didn't venture out into the storm to try to catch a tornado in all of its digital glory. We spent an hour huddled in our interior guest bath, Miss Daisy included, instead.

I hope that all of you in the line of this storm front are safe and sound tonight!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Signs of Spring...

When we were visiting the riverfront area this past weekend, we saw our first sign of Spring here...a tree budding and near leafing-out. This tree is located right on the Mississippi River bluff. I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, but any hint of Spring is a welcome sight!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Downtown Living, Fit for King Cotton...

For many years in Memphis, as in many Southern cities along the Mississippi River, cotton was king. Cotton was the leading cash crop of the South, and Memphis was one of the leading cities in the processing, classing, sale, and shipping of cotton, with its easy access to the Mississippi River shipping venue. The multi-level buildings along Riverside Drive in downtown Memphis, overlooking the banks of the Mississippi, were once the hub of the busy cotton district. My maternal uncle started his career in this district, as a cotton classer, and later in his career was a cotton executive and farmer.

Many buildings, such as this one shown, have been restored and are now being used as restaurants, shops, offices, and as loft and condominium space. Downtown Memphis has a unique urban energy and is a fun choice for those wishing to live "at the heart of it all."

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Mighty Mississippi

This is the Mississippi River as viewed from Mud Island (Memphis, TN), facing South. You can see the "M Bridge" (M for Memphis) and a barge in the background, and driftwood in the foreground. We have quite a bit of driftwood deposited during Spring each year, as the thawing snow and ice to the north of us raise the river level.