Memphis, with Maddie, Will, Mike and me

I was home for 10 hours after returning from Israel, before I had to board a flight to Nashville, Tennessee. My feet were still swollen, and my eyes had huge bags. Somehow Mike had made these travel arrangements without double-checking the dates.  I had never been to Tennessee, and so I was looking forward to exploring this part of our country, with our son Mikos and his family.

By the time I arrived in Nashville my family was two days ahead of me. They had walked miles visiting the Johnny Cash Museum, eating at Martin’s Bar-B-Que, and touring the Belmont Mansion. I was still acclimating to the time change, and all I wanted to do was sleep. What I did find interesting about Nashville was the restaurants, as they were not only cooking up some good grub, but the live music was the personality of this beautiful, clean city.


Maddie, Mikos, Will, me, and Mike

The following day we visited the Country Western Museum, and from there we drove Graceland. On the way to Graceland we listened while Mikos read about the historical battles that took place. As we got closer we listened to Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” I am very glad that Mikos and Jenny engaged Maddie and Will in the tangible history lessons. Maddie and Will are the “Selfie Generation” (I coined that phrase). They were mostly on their devices, with the exception of the tours, and they have proven to be great travelers.

Elvis’s Graceland

Elvis’s Graceland was opulent, and it displayed his personal touches. Throughout the tour Elvis’s soundtrack could be heard. He was a simple man with a big heart and a lot of toys, including his private airplane and jet.  No man will ever reach his fame or fill his blue suede shoes; there will always be just one Elvis, and  I will forever remain an Elvis fan. He had everything with the exception of peace, may God rest his soul.

Jenny and me at the church of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last sermon
Room 306 and the balcony where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot
The signs carried by the striking sanitation workers

National Civil Rights Museum

The museum was commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther Jr.’s  death while we were there. I was 15 years old when this great man was gunned down. I got this eerie sensation as we looked up to the Lorraine Hotel, and the room where Martin Luther King Jr. last stood. I remembered seeing it on the news. My respect for this powerful, godly man grew deeper as we walked through the maze of of the heartbreaking events that changed the course of our fellow man forever. I love Martin Luther King Jr., because he never took his eyes off the mission that God gave him.  His spirit was filled with love, and he knew that he was chosen by God to lead the way,as  he was the modern day Moses. Martin Luther King Jr. and Moses both led their people out of slavery. Though he witnessed hate at many levels, he never delivered a hate message. His words were articulate, and moving, and never putting another human being down. His speeches were inspired by the still small voice of God. If only politicians could follow this great man’s example, our country would be a much better place. The National Civil Rights Museum was a reminder and eye-opening place that every American should experience.

Memphis Food

Memphis food was ribs and more ribs, dry or with sauce; either way it is pleasing to the palate. My preference is still up in the air. The fried chicken was exceptional, having  golden brown crust with a hint of some secret flavor that did a Mexican hat dance in my mouth. There was no conversation during this meal because it left us speechless.

We did, however, encounter an interesting food experience. After a late lunch we decided to have a light dinner at Friday’s. Our waitress’s accent was so thick that we needed an interpreter. When it was time to take our order, she sat at the table next to us and pulled out her pad. She lethargically took our order. She was so far from where I was sitting that I almost had to yell out my order. The photo of the French Onion Soup looked enticing so I ordered it. Jenny ordered a house salad. When Jenny’s salad arrived it was just a plate of lettuce. Jenny’s eyes widened as she asked for the rest of the salad. The slothful waitress looked surprised that Jenny would question her service. The picture showed tomatoes, red onions, cheese and cucumbers. I carefully watched as the conversation went sour. I knew then that my soup would  suffer the same consequences. Sadly, this dreadful service was just the beginning. Our poor grandson Will ordered sliders, and when they arrived the waitress lifted up one of the buns with her bare fingers and announced that there was indeed cheese on the burger. Will’s mini burgers were cremated to the point that if left on just another minute they would have turned to ash. After witnessing his mother’s ordeal, Will kept quiet. By that time my soup (which looked nothing like the picture) was set before me. As I suspected, it was room temperature. Will’s meal was sent back and my soup was taken off the bill. I shared one of Maddie’s chicken nuggets.  With such bad service, all we did was laugh in disbelief. We never complained, I guess because it was after all entertaining.

Traveling with my family was a joy and getting closer to Maddie and Will was an added blessing. I love the diversity of our nation, and learning more about the history was an education for my soul.  We have come a long way and still we have not arrived.

Colossians 3:13-14 New International Version (NIV)

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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