Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spring Creek and Shell Point

If you'r stopping by from Julia's Hooked on Houses home tour, welcome! You've caught me just after a family trip to Florida to see my Dad's place of birth and we saw some wonderful beach cottages on the way. Enjoy & thanks for stopping by! I love home decorating too, so look around for some inspiration and come back and see me. Our whole day of exploring led us out to Spring Creek which is near where my dad was raised. As we were driving out that way, we saw Vickers Drive and of course had to stop to take a picture. My maiden name is Vickers and I'm sure there have to be many relatives still in the area. My dad lost contact with all of his large extended family over the years, since when he was 12 his family moved to Panama City, where he grew up and graduated from high school. Interestingly, he was the only one of 10 kids who did graduate from high school and went on to college too. His parents could neither read nor write. My dad became a preacher after he went to Bible College and preached for about 40 years until he retired over 15 years ago.
My daddy, Mr. Vickers and Vickers Drive, how cute is that?

And this dirt road is Vickers Drive. He did remember that his uncle owned all this property back in the 30's, so I'm sure some of the kinfolk are still around. He also grew up on a dirt road I'll show you later. It hasn't changed a whole lot at Spring Creek in all these years.
While we were driving, my niece wanted to know all about what they call swamp cabbage, which my mom's family grew up eating. If you're at a fancy restaurant, it's called Hearts of Palm, but my mom's family grew up chopping the top out of the palm trees and harvesting that tender heart, cooking it and eating it. I never learned to appreciate swamp cabbage, but my mother's family sure have eaten a lot of it. My mom grew up on a farm too, near the Tampa area, but they were not nearly as poor as my dad's family was. My mom is showing Lauren where exactly the heart of the palm is located and how it was harvested.
And they used to chew on this grass, which I can't remember the name of. Lauren wanted me to take her pic chewing away on it. She is a city girl all the way, as are me and my sister. We moved to Atlanta when I was 6, so I have no idea what it's like to live out in the country like this.
He drove us out to Shell Point, which is one of the few developments in this area with million dollar beach homes. It was a pretty drive.

There were some nice homes on Shell Point.

Here's me with my flat-ironed hair. Lauren flat-ironed it for me & I've never had it this straight. I think I like it and will have to practice doing it with my flat-iron.
I'm the one with the very thick, curly hair in the family (they are both mostly straight hair), so I had Lauren do it for me. She pinned it up and did one section at a time. I'll have to practice straightening it and I'm sure I won't do it all the time, but it will be fun for a change.
Over the years, we have heard my dad tell many stories about where he grew up and all the things they did. One particularly great story is when my dad had a taste of his first Coca-Cola. Remember, this is all back in the 1930's when the Great Depression was going on. My dad's family was very poor and lived off the land, farming and fishing and not ever making much money. They traded eggs at the local store to get groceries, butchered their own meat and hunted in the woods for food. My Grandpa saddled up the old mule, put my dad on him and sent him to Spring Creek for a "mess of fish" for dinner. He gave him 25 cents for the fish and an extra nickel for a "sodie water" for Daddy. So, dad rode down to the store, got the fish and ask the man for a sodie water. The man asked him what kind and he said...just a sodie water. So out from the cooler came a bottle of Coca-Cola, he snapped the top off and gave it to my dad. Daddy turned the bottle up and took a big long swig of coke, not having any idea what to expect. He said it came out his nose and eyes and just about blew his head off....we have laughed and laughed at that story over the years and now for the first time, we saw the old store where he bought his first sodie water (above). It is owned by a family that's been there many years and they now live here in the old store. He was disappointed that this Spring Creek area has not been developed into something nice and useful, but rather just left to deterioriate. There used to be restaurants, a big fish house here, and lots of activity going on, but it is long gone. Gone also are the springs that used to boil up in the bay here in Spring Creek. We were told by a lady here that it's been about a year since the boils stopped boiling. That really made my dad very sad to hear that. He said that right out here in this bay used to be several boils that were as big as a house. You could see the water churning from the shoreline and the fish were abundant around the boils. Many years ago, they outlawed net fishing, so that put a lot of fisherman out of business.
We found the cutest little puppy running around at Spring Creek and I had to pet her.
This big rooster was strutting around too.
A pomegranite tree growing by the shoreline. Next, we headed to the old dirt road where my dad was born and raised. It's still not paved. His old house has long been torn down, but we did find the spot it was on. A brick house has been built way back off the road on the same piece of property his family once owned. There were many aunts and uncles all around this area too. His dad had 40 acres here during the Depression until they sold it all to move to Panama City. My Grandpa developed some very bad skin cancers at the time and my dad's 2 older sisters had married and moved to Panama City, so they encouraged the family to move too. There were 4 siblings still at home at that time (including my dad) and they all moved to PC to live. I think things were a little bit better in the bigger city. My dad sure has a lot of fond memories growing up in these woods and on the bay though. My parents were down this way about 5 years ago and had stopped by a neighbor lady's house when they saw her outside. She was so friendly and glad to see them & remembered my dad's family fondly.
So, we decided to stop by Mz. Rosetta's house to see if she was at home and she was. She came out and we all got out and met her. What a sweet lady! During the 30's when my dad's family & extended family lived in this area, they had a couple of black families as neighbors and all the kids played together. Mz. Rosetta's late husband was a playmate of my dad's and she remembers all his sisters and parents very fondly. They were all a community at that time. I asked Mz. Rosetta how old she is and she said she really didn't know, that she doesn't have a birth certificate.
We had a full, interesting day in Spring Creek, seeing where my dad was actually born and raised. I'm so thankful for my parents, for the legacy they have given us. It's amazing to me to see how far removed from our roots that we can get in just 2 generations. My sister and I didn't grow up rich, but we know nothing of going through the Great Depression like they did. We had a rich and colorful heritage on both sides of the family and I can so appreciate going back there at this time of my life to see where we came from. I didn't know my dad's family all that well at all. All I knew was going to Panama City when were were little to visit my Grandma and Grandpa (and some of the relatives) until they both died and they both lived well into their 80's.
I'm SO thankful to still have my mom and dad around to enjoy. They are both doing well and we hope to keep them for many more years. It was a blessing to take this trip with them. I've got one more day to share with you.

Hope you're not TOO bored with the history lesson of my family!

A BIG thank you to Layla of The Lettered Cottage who sent me a new banner. I just love it & will keep it up through the Fall season. If you haven't been to Layla's, go on over, she's a talented girl with a very fun blog.

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28 friends stopped by:

Anonymous said...

Great photos Rhoda, your Dad looks so happy to be there.

I think you resemble your Dad :)

Thanks for sharing,
kathy :)

Lady Katherine said...

What a wonderful post on sharing your dad's memories, by going down memory or Vickers land with him. i loved the old house and the pomgranite growing, first time for me. The cabbage, I am told is really good, I have friends in Cross City, FL and they keep saying when I go the will cook some up. What a blessing to have this trip , with your family.

Christina said...

Love your post about you dad and his growing up and the trip back to his stomping grounds. My dad loves to ride by the old home place when he goes back home (to Athens, Alabama). We took many drives with him while we were growing up and the few times we have made it there as adults. Funny, those drives often included stopping at a tiny store for a RC cola and some peanuts.

Your dad looks very happy. I know that must make you happy too. What a wonderful memory.

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

glad the comments are working again, I tried a few times and thought oh no my computer is playing up!

such a wonderful trip down memory lane, you guys look like you had such a beautiful day, oh what fun it must have been stopping by all those places like that...

I love the old houses, fantastic colours

and of course you look gorgeous and so like your dad!


Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your family trip and the beautiful images; love the photo of the rooster and hen. This journey must be a joy for you all and especially for your father. Karen

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Rhoda, I love the history lesson. This is a special post, and I appreciate you sharing it with us. Cherish every day you have with your parents. You'll always be glad you did, but I think I'm preaching to the choir here. :-)

I've been MIA, but am back for a few days.



ROXY said...

OMG!! Those houses are beautiful!! I'd love having that view every morning!! Thanks for sharing:)

MIMILEE said...

Wow, Great photos, Rhoda! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!!!....Great Post and btw I love your flat ironed hair! Looking good, girl!

Glenda said...

Oh I loved this story. Reminds me of when my Grandparents were still alive and we would go to the different places they all lived in Missouri. They were farmers and they had lived in a few houses not to far apart from one another and some of the cousins and aunts. It was a wonderful time to see the history behind my mother and her family. Wonderful old farm houses, some standing barely and others torn down. Thank you for sharing a story of your family and being able to share it with your parents.

Sandy said...

Loved the family history story!
Love your new blog header as well and your straight hair!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I'm loving going on this journey with you. Some of those homes on the beach look amazing. I can only imagine how they look on the inside!!

Your new banner is very nice too. Layla is very talented and I love her blog. I've gleaned many great ideas that I'm going to put in my own home.

I have to say though, the picture of your dad and Ms. Rozetta is precious. I can almost hear them talking about the "old days".

Susie Q said...

Could never be bored! This was such fun to read and to see! I love that you share these memories with him and your niece. That makes it all the more sweet.
I love you rhair...but then, you always look beautiful!


Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Well, I'm glad I can finally leave a comment. Blogger wasn't allowing me to earlier.

What a wonderful opportunity you had to go back and see where your dad was raised. It's so insightful to see where we came from to understand where we are and where we are going. I adored, as a child, hearing stories from my dad of being raised with 13 brothers and sisters, being so dirt poor, living off the land. It gave me such an understanding of why my dad tooks such pride in what he had and earned and took such wonderful care of everything he worked for.



Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the tour of your daddy's old stomping grounds. I loved the pictures and the background stories...I believe I will now start calling Coke...sodie water!!! Keep up the enjoyable posts...all your topics are things I'm interested in.

Sheila from west Michigan

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Honestly, I loved this post so much I devoured every word!! I love learning and reading about the histories (yes; plural -- there are many) and cultures of our country. Thank you so much for sharing your family's history (and contribution!). That Spring Creek area looks pretty charming to me -- I can't understand why it's not been developed (mind you, I'd hope to not see it *too* developed).

P.S. - I have never, ever heard "swamp cabbage" -- only Hearts of Palm. Love it!

sandra/tx said...

I like your hair straight, Rhoda. I'll bet you could get the hang of it.

What a fun post. It's great to know more about our parents' roots, especially as they get older.

Ms. Tee said...

I'm trying to get caught up on all my reading - this post is wonderful! :)
I love all the stories you shared - especially about the swamp cabbage and also the sodie water. I shared them with my son - he loves to hear stories from 'the olden days'. haha
Hope you have a great weekend.

Kristen said...

Loved the story about the Coke!! I have one Diet Coke everyday and that little can really does make me grateful for the little things. It would be strange to taste it for the first time!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Hey, Rhoda, I hope you'll consider linking this post to my Hooked on House Tours blog party. These houses are so cool to look at--I think my readers would really enjoy them--as well as the trip down Memory Lane with your Dad! -Julia :-)

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

Awesome adventure! Thanks for sharing!

Rue said...

Hi Rhoda :)

I don't know why, but I got really sentimental reading this post, so I can only imagine how wonderful it was for you and your family. Your dad is so sweet lookin' :)

I absolutely loved this tour. Thank you.

Maya said...

What a tease..., these great beach homes are to me. I just imagine it to be so Southern, warm and air filled will scents and salt different from New England..., a place where (eventually) I would love to live!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

What a great day for all Rhoda! We enjoyed hearing all of your stories - and we are so glad that we got to go along to meet Ms. Rozetta - how fun was that - we can see her slapping her knee as your dad told her who he was...reminds us of days hanging out with our grandparents....they seemed to know everyone!!
Have a great weekend!
Karla & Karrie

Linda Merrill said...

thanks for the tour - love the houses on stilts and your Daddy looks so sweet!

Heather said...

What a great trip down memory lane! Thanks for sharing.

KVC said...

What a great trip down memory lane! I really enjoyed reading this post and looking at the pictures. KV

Donna said...

Thanks so much for sharing that with us! I grew up going to the beaches in PC and love hearing about the old days. You're very fortunate to be able to spend time like that with your parents. Enjoy it!


Anonymous said...

what a wonderful post. i love trips like this. doesn't happen very often, but i love hearing old family stories. and it's great that you have these photos and have "written it down" for the future.