Named in honor of English Ivy growing on the grounds, IVY GREEN was the childhood home of Helen Keller.
LAYOUT OF IVY GREEN
Built upon endless acres of beautiful southern land in the state of Alabama, I found the town of Tuscumbia to be both nostalgic and reserved.
REMAINING FAMILY CHINA
(Helen broke most of the missing pieces)
I found the house and her surrounding grounds to be simply lovely and I can't begin to tell you how glad I am for having made the trip. Knowing how I longed to visit this plot of earth since my own childhood, my Mr. AGPMan planned a short get-a-way for the two of us and helped to make a tiny little dream of mine come true.
While visiting the birthplace of Helen Keller I learned much more about her life than I ever thought possible. Many books have been written about her childhood and the 'miracle at the pump'. But, what I truly found interesting was the life she lead after leaving her Ivy Green home.
Helen became a passionate defender of the disabled and she believed had it not been for the fact her family had money she would never have been afforded the chance to learn. Had the funds not been available to hire a teacher (Annie Sullivan) or had she been poor (or a slave?) she believed her eyes and ears would have remained shuttered. She became a member of the Socialist Party while still a young woman as well as a Suffragette.
Now...I'm certainly no Socialist. Not hardly. But...I do know these were different times and back then women had no rights. Maybe today Helen would make different choices. One will never know. Regardless of the political views she embraced as an adult I believe her lifetime accomplishments are to be honored and celebrated.
The front door at Ivy Green opens onto a wide hallway and staircase. I learned it was constructed in the Virginia-cottage style, with four rooms downstairs, two on each side of the hall. Each room has it's own fireplace and is fully furnished in the period style.
CLOSET UNDER STAIRS
(Helen locked her Mother in this closet!)
As I shared with you yesterday approximately 80% of the furnishings belonged to the Keller family. Upstairs, there are three additional rooms connected by a hallway.
A small center room upstairs was designated for luggage (can you imagine?). One upstairs room was for Helen's siblings and one was Helen's and Miss Sullivan's.
SEWING MACHINE IN LUGGAGE ROOM
AUNT EVALINE'S ROOM
(Now a small museum)
HELEN'S CHRISTENING GOWN
(I loved seeing this!)
AN OLD PHOTO
THE MIRACLE WORKER PLAY
On Summer weekends during the months of June and July "The Miracle Worker" play is performed on the grounds of the Ivy Green Estate. I found the scenery fascinating and I hope next summer we can return to Tuscumbia with our Miss K. I think she would LOVE to see the story of Helen's life unfold for herself.
AMAZING SET DESIGN
COMPLETE WITH PUMP
PLAY WATCHED FROM BLEACHERS
I have many more photos I could show you but for now I will leave you with just a few more.
While driving down the Hwy, close to the town of Tuscumbia, I caught sight of something that took my breath away.
ALABAMA COTTON FIELDS
Being a native of Southern Cal I had never seen cotton growing in person so I asked my guy to stop by the roadside so I could get a closer look. As my eyes scanned the land before me I was truly overwhelmed by the burgeoning fields that were white unto harvest. I stood there for a long time and thought about life in America more than a century ago... As hard as I tried I couldn't even imagine the back-breaking work of hand picking cotton...
BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL COTTON
I snapped off a few tufts of the fluffy white stuff (hoping it wasn't illegal) and brought it home to show our Miss K...
A PLACE OF HONOR
For now I've placed my cotton under glass as a gentle reminder of my trip and how truly easy my work (which I love!) really is...
Now...I've shared with you before that I don't believe in coincidence. I never have. I believe my steps are appointed by the Most High and I trust Him to bring encouragement to me no matter where I am or what I may be doing. I've learned to pay attention to the things God places before me for in doing so I am reminded (sometimes in the strangest of ways) that my life is right on track and I'm doing the very thing I was designed to do...
As my guy and I headed north out of Tuscumbia towards the Tennessee border I caught sight of an aging storefront that bore an almost identical name to my business, A Gathering Place...
Discount it if you must, but for me it was just another way to hear the sweet, consistent voice of the Father.
"You are right where I want you to be, Rebecca! Continue to trust in Me and I will show you more than you've ever thought possible! I love you and promise to direct your every step."
Thank you for allowing me to share with you a little of my recent journey. While making our way through a bit of Southern America I believe my own eyes and ears were opened to the very blessed life I have!
Blessings and love to you this very day...