Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grand Old House - Picture Heavy

Anyone care to take a walk with me.  It's not far but it feels like it's a thousand miles away.  We'll start out taking a right at the end of my drive. And through the gates of Harbor Point.

Feel that?  Yeah, right beneath your feet.  It's a cattle crossing.  If we blew away the leaves and removed a little dirt that's built up over the last 3 years you could see it.  Jacksonville's original name was Cowford way back in the day.  

Well let's keep going another 100 feet and we can see the destination.  I love how this is such a hidden jewel.

Almost to the back door now.  The front of these old homes always face the river.  So you drive or walk up to the back first.  That first tree blocking the porch is a Camellia, can you believe it.  They are so slow growing.  This is certainly very old.

What a lovely old two story porch.  It's starting to look a little haunted now.

Oh' Alice what a collector you have been.  You knew the beauty in old before it was ever chic. 

I wish I could go in an introduce you but Alice had to leave her beloved home a few years ago and go into assisted living.  Everything is as was.  
Before she left the home was re-roofed and repainted.  She was very loved by Alice.  She and her husband bought it years ago and lovingly and painstakingly restored it to original condition.  She spent countless hours stripping wood and bringing it back to it's former glory.  Of course years passed and so did the sheen.  Now as it sits empty for 3 years the stillness has taken over.  Dust and cobwebs seem to be her caretakers.

Pine cones collected in.........wait is it, could it be a witches cauldron?  Oh' probably not just another get piece collected years before.

Ahhh....now around to the wrap around veranda on the front of the home.  So wide and welcoming.  Let's see, an old school desk, not so old bench.  Would you like to take a break?  It seems the wicker table is waiting for your feet to be propped up.  We'll catch our breath and take in the view.

Alice always did appreciate the seclusion of her home although it is a bit overgrown now.  Sitting here you're troubles just melt away.  It's so quite and peaceful up on this bluff.  You'd never even know that you were less than a half a mile from one of Jacksonville's busy streets.  You can see one of the bridges over the St. Johns river that heads downtown.  
Our beloved St. Johns river is a unique waterway - one of the few major rivers in the world that flow to the north (backward).  Our property and Alice's are located between 2 of our busiest bridges.

I've been trying to find my direction lately.   Praying and reading the Lord's word last night.  I felt lead to share this passage with you.

Palms 107:
1. Say "Thank You" to the Lord for being so good, for always being so loving and kind. 
2. Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!  Tell others he has saved you from your enemies.

I'm searching for my true authentic life.  I'm not there but my trust is growing stronger and I know he is beside me.  I never doubt our Lord.  I only doubt myself.  I'm trying to rely more on his strength.  I hope you do too.

Next time lets remember to bring our own tea as we spend the afternoon relaxing.  We never did go out to the old porch swing that hangs under a mighty oak tree.

Well we should keep moving before it gets dark and the ghouls come out.  The sun has set but the sky is still the most beautiful blue.  We'll walk out to the river.  If you look back you can see the front of the house.  Notice the tradition blue for the arched balcony.  I love that window.  I would definitely have to put french doors there though.  Actually, I would make many changes.  The inside is still the tiny rooms of the ill layouts of old.  But I adore the outside.

It's such a shame to see this house fall into despair.  As you can see the porch floor is sagging.

A tree has fallen and just lies there waiting to return to the earth it came from.

Let's take a closer look.  Yep, that's one huge oak tree covered in silvery Spanish moss.

Lets head out on the dock.   Deep dark water that's a beautiful blue now and can get black as mud as the darkness comes on.

As we walk back up to the property, look at how the water has wash away the rivers edge and and how the roots of the oak trees have grown down. Oaks have very shallow roots but they are very strong trees.  Because of their shallow roots and strong sturdy branches, they tend to not bend and give to the wind as the tall pine trees do.  So a strong (very strong) gust up wind and they can be pulled right out of the ground, roots and all.  Not much breaking or snapping here unless the branches or old with rot and water logged from rains.

Another view of the fallen Oak.

 The original sidewalk worn by many souls/soles (I couldn't resist after saying it) over the ages.

Green moss claiming this space home now.

Florida's typical Palmetto bush ( which is a dwarf palm).  You find them growing in woodland areas and in the shadows of the oaks.

Circling the house are the thin strip of woods on the side which separate a bend in the river.

Let's take a closer peek into the overgrowth.  What a unique old fountain/pond.  I love hidden treasures.

Look over here.  It's a monk lovingly watching over the wild life.

Thanks for spending time with me today.  I hope you're feeling peaceful and relaxed.
Be Blessed Dear Friends.
Hugs...Tracy :)


  1. Oh my, what a beautiful walk...thanks for inviting me Tracy. I am praying you find your direction and peace when you do.

  2. So pretty. I just love old houses like that. I doubt I'll ever get to live in one, but I can enjoy the photos.