After a tense night of watching news about a huge wildfire in a residential area close to our home, and finding ticks parked on both Spunky Monkey and my dad, we managed to get up and visit Helen Keller’s birthplace and childhood home, Ivy Green, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. What a charming place!
We are currently reading Helen Keller’s biography together, so it was fun to see places mentioned in the book, such as the cottage in the yard where Anne Sullivan and Helen lived for a time soon after Anne arrived to teach Helen. They had to take a 2 1/2 hour carriage ride around and around the yard to get there so that Helen wouldn’t know she wasn’t right in her backyard (she was quite the wild child until this time with Anne). We saw the room Helen locked Anne into shortly after her arrival, and the well where she learned her first word, “water”.
My favorite story about Helen that I learned here is this one: when Helen was nine years old, she went away for school. Her parents had never been able to tell her about God because they couldn’t communicate with her. While away at school, a minister visited her and told her, through signing, about God. When he was finished, she signed back that she had always known Him, she just never knew His name! I love that! Even in the dark and silent world of a young girl, God is there and makes Himself known.
Later that evening we stopped by the Wilson Dam, part of the vast Tennessee Valley Authority river system. Unfortunately, since 9-11 the visitor center has been closed, so all we could do was drive across it (a little unnerving to drive across a road with very high water on one side and very low water on the other and to realize that what you are on is also holding back all that water!
We tried to get close to the locks to watch the barges being lowered and raised, but the best we could do was to get pics as we drove by. On the far right you can see the barges ready to be lowered to the much lower level of water on the left (or maybe they’re heading the other way and have already been raised??).
In the evening, time for scooter races and watermelon & popcorn dinner! Yum.
How are YOU enjoying your summer?