Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ruins of Windsor

"To me, there is no more haunted, complex terrain in America than the countryside between Port Gibson and the river..." -- Willie Morris, Ghosts of Mississippi

Indeed, Mr. Morris. The highway outside Port Gibson that leads to Windsor twists and turns, flanked on either side by seemingly bottomless ravines. You drive out of civilization, and perhaps time itself. In parts, the tenacious kudzu vines are reclaiming the very roads, narrowing them to one lane. And then rises the hulking ruin of Mississippi's once-grandest home.

Mark Twain and passing Union soldiers wrote of its glory, and the home survived the Civil War largely because of its excellent vantage point on the river. And perhaps its beauty.

Windsor's glory didn't last long after the war, though, as it burned when a cigar was left unattended. Today, it's once-stately columns are crumbling, its ornate ironwork is rusting. And its easy to feel Willie Morris' ghosts, the ghosts of time long past.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Happiness is a warm puppy, according to Charles Schultz.

Comfort is a sleeping dog, according to, um, me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Route 1, continued

The thing I liked most about this place was how much it reminded me of my own grandparents' homestead, land that has since been sold outside the family.

It's the lifestyle as much as the landscape here that takes me back to childhood afternoons, trailing after my grandmother as she tended her garden and fed the birds.

Every gardener should leave a few okra pods to dry on the stalk for interest!

Route 1, Box 111

Over Christmas break, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon outside Collins, Miss., on land where the Graves family has lived for countless generations. I think the shed held every license plate the family has bought since, well, since Mississippi tags were cheap.

From whence the post title comes.

Life springs eternal in the barn, despite winter's cold.