Merry Christmas! It’s never too late to get in the spirit!

It’s been really hard to get in the mood for Christmas this year.  Preventing the spread of good cheer have been many tragic events throughout the country, and the world.  Let’s not go there right now.  After all, It’s Christmas.

Whether it is time, talent, or treasure – giving and sharing is what Christmas is supposed to be all about.  We look around and see the ones sharing and giving the most are the ones that can least afford to do so.  Those are the truly blessed.

Enough negativity, I’ve got to get in the mood for Christmas – and quick!

Feel-the-Christmas-spirit

The one thing I love about Christmas is music.  Every style and genre – even some of the Christmas Rap is cool.  But my favorite Christmas music are the classical pieces and traditional hymns of the season, especially when played on a massive pipe organ.

It is hard to believe that the largest operational pipe organ in the world is the Wanamaker Organ of Macy’s Department Store in Philadelphia, and it is played daily throughout the season.

MacysWanamakerOrgan

CLICK HERE for the history of this amazing instrument, whose pipes occupy five full floors of the building!

Now listen to this.  You’ll have no choice but to be filled with the Christmas spirit!

MerryChristmasGrinch

Good Times, and Bad Times that will get better!

Have you ever had one of those days when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry?

LaughOrCry

Well I had two of those days this week!   And they both seemed to go something like this…..

BadDay

Well maybe not quite THAT bad!

The week had been extremely busy, but quite pleasant up until Thursday evening, when I arrived home to learn that our dear Ruby, the Blue Doberman, had destroyed a couch looking for her damn ball.

Ruby Blue Doberman with Santa Hat

Now lets go to the kitchen to learn that a clogged sink had evolved into a loose drain fitting flange and a heck of a mess – with a house full of company.

cloggedkitchensink

But no big deal, I’ll just run to Home Depot and have it all fixed in no time!  Then the phone rings – my aging mother’s legs are seriously swelling for no reason, so off I go to help.  After getting the swelling to go down, we scheduled an early Doctor’s appointment for her the next morning.  She would have rather died than visit the emergency room anyway.

Okay, making it short…..back home, back to Home Depot, got parts I needed, forgot wallet, back home, back to Home Depot, back home, fixed sink and then realized the grill needed propane.  We finally finished dinner around 10:30 pm.

Friday was going to be much better, I just knew it.  Mom’s appointment was early and would go smoothly, and the rest of the day would fall into place perfectly.  That was the plan.  I open my car door only to see the interior in shambles.  My Ipad was gone, along with my laptop, and briefcase..and who knows what else!  Yes, I left it unlocked.

bad things happen

So true.

 

After spiraling out of control, life pulled back together and all is now well again.

But it isn’t for everyone.  There really are people out here having a tough time, with problems that cannot just go away over night.  Although our economy is on the rebound, there are many still on the cliff.

GOOD NEWS!  The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) has extended its KEEP MY TN HOME program where it can help many more people keep their home.  If you are unemployed, or underemployed with a 30% decrease in income since 2008, with household income less than $92,680, you may be eligible for up to 18 months of mortgage payment relief – as long as you don’t owe over $275,000 on your home.

If you know someone that is struggling, please let them know of this program.  For more information, visit www.keepmytnhome.org or www.THDA.org.   When someone loses a home, everyone loses.

There are still a few days before Christmas.  Please make the most of it with your friends and family!

have_a_happy_holidayTrey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Gallatin, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Sunday.

Hopefully, everyone got through Halloween night without incident and now its time to move on to Halloween Sunday, accurately known as “All Saints Sunday.”

All Saints Sunday is always the first Sunday of November.   When I was growing up, I always referred to it as “Halloween Sunday.”   All Saints Day always falls on the first day of November, which was Thursday.  But who wants to go to church on Thursday?

Who really knows exactly how Halloween evolved to be the debacle that it is, but the evening before All Saints Day,  ”All Hallows Eve” was definitely its origin.  Who knows, or really cares, just how that evening became one where we are encouraged to scare the doo-doo out of people and dress up like fools.  It is what it is.  And it also can be fun.  You can’t beat fun, right?

Now back to the topic…   ”All Saints Day” is always falls on November 1st and this Sunday, churches all over the world will be celebrating “All Saints Sunday” to honor those that have lived and died in faith.

We are fortunate to have had all those departed souls that came before us.  They made a difference in our lives.  Without their presence here on planet earth, we would not be who we are today.   Whether a parent, a sibling, family member, friend, or acquaintance, or a total stranger, many people have played a part in shaping our lives.

So, let’s pause a few moments today.  Let’s remember everyone we miss, their presence and the difference they made while they were here.  

And don’t forget, we’re still here on planet earth, which gives us all time and the opportunity to influence the lives of others.  

Another way to do that is to VOTE next Tuesday!

Peace.

P.S.  After you have paused and reflected, this is a perfect afternoon to search for a new home!  Start now at www.OleSouth.com or by calling me at 615.593.6340.

 

Election 2012: Its all about the trough.

The current political state of our country sickens me.  Everyone just has to blame somebody.  Thank goodness for George Bush.  Without him, Democrats and Republicans alike would have no one to blame.

And they all say “after this election things will be different.”  Everybody that runs for anything says it, and has been saying it for years.  Now days, they simply make up facts as they go to substantiate their position.  Why tell the truth when a good lie will do?

And we, the American Electorate, don’t seem to care.  If we really did, things might change.

It is all about the trough.

Even the most sincere elected officials are corrupted by the trough.  They arrive on the scene with the best of intentions.  Then they see the trough.  “If another state, or special interest group, is grazing at the trough..then mine should too.”

So, the candidate you should vote for is the one that will get the trough money to the one that will do YOU the most good.  But first, think about a few key issues:

1)     The MEGA-RICH people that actually have the ability to do whatever they want without consequence, will NOT pay any tax they do not want to pay.  They have the ability to take their marbles and go home.  They can shut down their factories and they can hoard their money.  They don’t have to invest if they don’t want to.  They can hunker down and ride out any storm without missing any cocktail parties.

2)     The “rich” actually make affordable housing a reality for many families that would otherwise be homeless.  Ever heard of the “Low Income Housing Tax Credit?”  LIHTC for short.  Read about it here.

3)     The “rich” are also the ones that fund tax-free bonds that finance the homes that many families live in.  In Tennessee, a family of 3+ with household income less than 92,680 can purchase a $275,000 home under down-payment assistance programs that these tax-free bonds make possible.

A QUESTION…..

Do we really want to close all of the tax loopholes that benefit the rich?

Most of us probably consider our employers “rich.”  Do we really want government taking more from them, leaving less for them to invest in us?

I for one take great comfort knowing that my employer has more money than I do.  If that weren’t the case, I would be very uncomfortable.  Therefore, I am not for anything that would lessen his financial abilities.

One thing for certain, nothing substantial in government will ever change until we hide the trough, or quit refilling it!

Just what is a BLUE MOON?

Folks, tonight is the night of BLUE MOON!

But just what is a BLUE MOON anyway?

Is it a former famous floating restaurant at Rock Harbor Marina that is scheduled to reopen in March 2013?

 

Is it a brand of beer?

YES.  It is.  But it is really more  than that.  CLICK HERE to find out everything about tonight’s BLUE MOON.

What are your plans to celebrate?  Here is a neat idea to consider – PaddleBoarding on the river:

Check out the details of this cool event:  http://www.paddleuptn.com/blue-moon-paddle-boarding-on-the-river/

Yes..you can sip on a BLUE MOON while you are at the BLUE MOON looking at the BLUE MOON from the Cumberland River.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

But if you can’t get there in person, just look up to the east!

 

 

A New Riverboat is Christened in Nashville!

Many people were downtown this weekend to welcome the brand new Queen of the Mississippi to the Nashville Riverfront.  This riverboat carrying 150 passengers made it’s Inaugural Call in Nashville, which was also the destination of it’s very first passenger voyage.

Read more about it here.  http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2012/08/queen-mississippi-paddle-wheeler-nashville-/831156/1

The Queen of the Mississippi is owned and operated by American Cruise Lines.

We caught our first glimpse of the Queen as it rounded Cockrill Bend, traveling much faster than I expected it could, my guess approximately 10 knots.  She is on her way to Clarksville, Paducah, and St. Louis.

There are only two overnight passenger paddle-wheelers plying the rivers today.   Nashville is proud to have hosted the Queen for her Christening and we look forward to seing her here again soon!

 

Busier Times! (Part 2)

Picking up where we left off in Part 1, with the boat moving decision made, we enjoyed our remaining time at Blackjack Cove.

Years ago, we met a very special family in Honduras, one that has been instrumental in our involvement with the Rotary Club of Choluteca Honduras service projects.  We were very fortunate to have Sergio and Karla Salinas, and their two sons Sergio Jr. and Mario join us for several days

They arrived on the evening of July 2nd, after visiting other Rotary Clubs in Northern Alabama and Middle Tennessee.   AFter their time with us, they would visit more Rotary Clubs in Martin, TN and Lawrenceburg to show appreciation of our district’s involvement in Honduras. 

On the morning of July 3rd, we gathered at the Blackjack Cove Ship Store for a farewell breakfast with Harry.  For those of you that haven’t experienced Harry’s home cooking in the Ship Store, you have missed out.  Catch him Tuesday – Saturdays for breakfast and lunch!

Quite a few friends joined us for the ride down river too.  Everyone is fascinated by the locks, which is basically like a toilet tank we would pull into and be flushed to the river below!

Today’s drop would be over 60 feet due to the lower Cumberland River levels.

We made great time down river, passed the General Jackson, and decided we would stop downtown and fix lunch and wait on it to get there and turn around, a great site to see.

Mario did a great job as Captain and we arrived at Rock Harbor Marina around 3:00 pm.

Rock Harbor Marina lost its famed restaurant, The Blue Moon, in the May 2010 Flood.  We were pleased to see construction nearly complete on the new restaurant facility, to be opening soon…more on that later.

The evening of February 3rd, the Rock Harbor Yacht Club hosted The Rotary Club of Spring Hill, The Salinas Family, and others for a great evening meal – prepared by Sid Neuhoff and Keith Clodfelter.  Those two guys are always doing something good for others and we raised over $1400 for our future Honduras project that evening!

The evening of July 4th, we headed back upstream to downtown Nashville for “Let Freedom Sing” and its awesome fireworks display.

We were fortunate to have radio personalities Doogie Vance and Dagwood Buzz join us with tunes for the evening.  They made the evening rock!

And then……

Boom, Boom, Pow.

The next morning, we said goodbye to Karla, Sergio, Sergio Jr. and Mario.  Ruby, our Blue Doberman, was there this time and enjoyed meeting them!

July was a busy month, with Ole South ending the month with 42 sales and 35 closings!  Our great sales force, construction team, and administrative staff all pulled together in this period of extreme temperatures to make everything flow smoothly!  For every new home that sells, we’re starting more and we remain very optimistic about new home sales in Middle Tennessee!

As you can see from the many postings of this blog, Nashville is a great place to call home.  We at Ole South are ready to build that home when the time is right for you!

Until then, Good Evening!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2012 – Busier Times! (Part 1)

So far, the Summer of 2012 has been one of extremes!  Extremely high temperatures, extremely dry conditions,  extremely busy, and best of all…extremely fun.

First off, it is great to see our new home market maintaining momentum into the summer.  In June, we posted 41 new sales and are already at 32 as of July 15th!  I feel truly blessed to be a part of the great team at Ole South – Tennessee’s #1 Home Builder, and thankful for the support of our area Realtors and homeowners for believing in us.

The busier we all get, the better we have to be at managing our priorities and time.  After all, there are only so many hours in a day.

Everyone that knows Beth and I know that boating plays a key part in our personal, as well as business life.  Weekends off simply don’t happen often and the boat is there for a quick evening reprieve from the daily grind.  It is not unusual to see us on the boat most evenings during the week!

Summer 2012 brought on some decisions that had to be made.  Beth started a new position in Thompsons Station and I moved my office to Spring Hill, which made it increasingly difficult to spend as much time on the boat as we would like.  

On Memorial Day weekend of 2009, we pulled into Old Hickory Boat Dock with many of our boating friends from Rock Harbor Marina to spend the weekend. 

The marina had just been acquired by Angela and Bart Bagsby and renamed Blackjack Cove.  During their first week of operation, the marina was devastated by a large storm and work was going on everywhere!  At the end of the long weekend, we were so impressed with the people, progress and plans for the new marina that we decided to stay.  With Beth working in Mt. Juliet at the time, we had even more time for the boat!  We hated to leave our friends at Rock Harbor, but would still have many opportunities to stay in touch.

Over the past 3 years, we watched the transformation of this boat dock into a first-class marina.  New friendships and acquaintances were formed.  The facilities and atmosphere is beyond description.

And it was a great place for the wedding of Jessica and Brian Clark, who got married on Jessica’s family houseboat..and I had the honors to be Captain during the ceremony!

And after the ceremony, we returned to land for an unprecedented wedding reception at Blackjack Cove Marina, catered by The Black Pearl.

If you ever want to feed a lot of people in a fun way, call Blackjack Cove about a “Cajun Boil” dinner!

Back to making decisions. 

When we purchased our current boat in 2004, we brought it to Nashville from Louisville and stopped in at Rock Harbor Marina to spend the night, and would then take the boat to Elm Hill Marina on Percy Priest Lake, where I had been boating for 27 years.   Our overnight stay at Rock Harbor lasted 5 years!

One of the hardest things I have ever done is watch my mother grow older.  She is now 91 and living independently at Park Manor, an incredible facility for seniors.   Our new working logistics were making it harder to spend time with her, time that I will regret not spending.

With Rock Harbor being only 5 minutes from Mom, and 15 minutes from our home, the right decision was clear.

After all, Mom enjoys visiting the boat too!

In Part 2, we were joined by great friends from Honduras for the ride down the Cumberland from Blackjack Cove Marina to Rock Harbor, where festivities for the 4th of July were already underway.  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Independence Day 2012 – Fireworks on the Water

Nothing beats a beautiful fireworks display around water, and the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake will certainly be bright at night over the next several days!

 

Saturday, June 30th – Old Hickory Lake, Mt. Juliet, TN – Enjoy the spectacular fireworks extravaganza courtesy of the Cedar Creek Yacht Club.   Access to the club is private, but there are many surrounding coves and public access points offering tremendous views of the show, which begins approximately 9:00 pm.

Saturday, June 30th – Cumberland River/Cheatham Lake, Ashland City, TN – Just minutes from downtown Nashville at Ashland City’s Riverbluff Park will be an evening fireworks display to mark the end of their 2012 Summerfest.  CLICK HERE for more information

Tuesday, July 3rd – Old Hickory Lake, Hendersonville, Tennessee – July 3rd Freedom Festival at Drakes Creek Park.  CLICK HERE for more information.  Drakes Creek on Old Hickory Lake features many places to anchor and will offer spectacular views of the display.

Tuesday, July 3rd – Cumberland River, Clarksville, TN – at the Clarksville Riverfront, you will find a huge celebration in McGregor park from 6-10 pm, with another huge fireworks display to end the evening.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Wednesday, July 4th – Old Hickory Lake, Gallatin, TN – Picnic in the Park starts at 6:00 pm at the Civic Center.  Although not directly on the lake, there should be some spectacular views from Fairview Plantation and Station Camp Creek, just off of the main river channel.

Wednesday, July 4th – Cumberland River @ Riverfront Park, Nashville TN – “Let Freedom Ring” begins in the afternoon and ends with the most spectacular fireworks show you will ever see.  CLICK HERE for more information.  For those viewing by boat, the main river between the pedestrian bridge and Woodland Street will be closed to boat traffic.  Visiting boaters must anchor above the Korean Veterans Bridge, or below Woodland Street bridge.

 

Over the next few days, families and friends will join together to celebrate.  Let’s not forget just what it is supposed to be all about!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Its called Memorial Day for a Reason.

Monday is Memorial Day, a day for many that includes a celebration of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, chicken, and basically anything that can be cooked on a grill.   It is also the holiday weekend that signals that summer has arrived!

But it is a lot more than that also.  Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that have died serving our country, was originally called “Decoration Day.”  It was first observed on May 30, 1868 when the graves of fallen Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery.

It was not until after World War I that the day became “Memorial Day” to honor the fallen soldiers of any war.  In 1971, Congress passed the bill proclaiming the last Monday in May as the official recognized “Memorial Day.”

Here is a link to the history of this all-important day:

http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

There are a number of ideas that come to mind on what to do this weekend.  With record high temperatures forecasted, the lake is probably the best place to be!

Two-Foot Cove is a popular cooling off spot on Old Hickory Lake.  There is a volleyball net to keep things jumping!  Don’t worry, the channel is clearly marked and just the volleyball area is the “two-foot” deep part.

While you’re at Old Hickory Lake, why not visit Blackjack Cove Marina, and The Black Pearl Restaurant.  They are already on their second batch of Captain’s Punch and the weekend hasn’t even started yet! The Black Pearl is open all weekend and you will not want to miss it’s awesome Sunday Brunch, a great atmosphere accompanied by steel drums.

Here are more scenes from Old Hickory Lake for your enjoyment.

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Everytime I see Ingram boats on the river, I am amazed.  In the above picture, the HB Stewart is pushing 6 barges filled with coal.  Hard to believe that it would take 318 tractor-trailers to haul the same amount.

Another fun and inexpensive outing would be a boat ride from the legendary Cherokee Steak House, near Gallatin.  Visit www.cumberlandrivercruises.com for more information.

So get out there, fire up the grills and ice cream churns, slice some watermelon, and enjoy this weekend.  But please, take a few minutes for remembrance and tribute of those who died protecting these very things we enjoy.  And if you get a chance, thank a living soldier or veteran too!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee