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

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Nashville New Homes: Happy Thanksgiving

Remember back in nursery school when we all wore funny black  hats, or a headband of feathers?  Yep, the days of the Pilgrims and the Indians celebrating their first Thanksgiving.  They got along beautifully, and we pretended to be them, thankful to find a new home and plenty to eat.

Then, as we get older, and much fatter, we forget about the black hats and feathers and concentrate on a day for families to gather and enjoy each other’s company, and get fatter too.

Regardless of the real origin of Thanksgiving Day, we all really do need to take the time to give thanks to God for our families, our friends, and the life we enjoy.  That is the whole point and lets take time to do just that.

But before we start, lets all make plans to help those that are less fortunate.  Local support networks, such as Second Harvest Food Bank, church and local food pantries, the Nashville Union Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army, and others have serviced growing numbers of individuals and families as a result of our economic times. 

This holiday season, all of us at Ole South are collecting new, unwrapped toys for the Toys For Tots program along with new and used shoes for the Soles 4 Souls organization.  We need your help too! 

Our model homes will be open daily to receive your donations.  Please visit www.OleSouth.com for the location nearest you, or visit www.toysfortots.org or www.soles4souls.org for other drop-off locations.  Together, we can, and will make a difference.

We all have problems, but there are always others with larger problems.  We do have a lot to be thankful for.  So, give thanks, be a glutten, and watch the parades!  In the meantime, here is discussion about Thanksgiving, according to history.com.  All those years of silly hats were wasted.  But the turkey won’t be!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thanksgiving Controversies

For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

Thanksgiving’s Ancient Origins

le the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot.

 

It should be Veterans Day every day!

November 11th is the day we as Americans celebrate and honor the sacrifice of all U.S. Veterans.   This isn’t one of those holidays created by Hallmark.  It isn’t one of those holidays to give bankers a day off. 

It is a official day for all of us to say, “Thank You” to a veteran. 

Let’s carry the tradition one step further and say ”Thank You” to the active-duty soldiers too!  And remember, those “thank-yous” aren’t confined to November 11th, they are deserved and appreciated every day!

But why November 11th?  

Back in 1918, on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, an armistice, or treaty of sorts, was signed to end hostilities in what we now call World War I.   It was called the Great War back then because no one was planning a sequel at the time.

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

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20101110/pl_ac/7163596_veterans_day_history_background_and_key_dates

Many are not fully aware of the differences between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.  Here is another link of interest:

http://www.military.com/veterans-day/history-of-veterans-day.htm

These are official days set aside to honor, celebrate, and remember.  But there is nothing at all wrong with doing that every day. 

So, to all the Veterans out there, Thank you! 

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 home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Just why are new home starts so critical to our economy?

Wasn’t it great to hear some positive news over the nation’s airwaves this week?

Although high unemployment is still a grave concern, there are signs that we could very well be in our next “recovery.”  Slow, it may be, but that beats what we’ve been hearing for a LONG time!

Like it or not, we are in a World Economy, and many European countries have far greater financial issues than the US. to deal with.  This past week brought optimism that those issues are being addressed.  News released last week was positive enough for many to “call-off” a predicted “Double-Dip-Recession” in the US.

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/10/27/no_double_dip_recession_u_s_gdp_growth_2_5_in_third_quarter.html

And there was positive news for new home starts too!

http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf

That brings us to today’s question…. “Why are new home starts so critical to our economy and it’s recovery?”

Could it be that new homes are one of the few remaining items that are built here in the US?  New homes aren’t built in a factory overseas and shipped in….well, not yet anyway.  New home construction provides immediate jobs to the very area where they are being constructed.  It is said that each new home start creates 3 full-time jobs for one year!

Everyone that has purchased a new home recently can be proud they have contributed greatly to our economy.  (Those that have purchased their new home from us at Ole South have contributed even greater!)

Jobs in this country are still hard to come by, but there are a lot of things that each one of us can do to make a difference.  Buy products made in the US whenever possible.   Not only will you be saving existing jobs, but creating new ones as well.  From the tube of toothpaste, to a kitchen table..it still is possible to find!

A friend forwarded an email to me this morning that opened my eyes even more.  It is about a behemoth container ship used to transport goods from China to the US.  Please read below:

The Emma Maersk, part of a Danish shipping line, is shown in the photos below.

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What a ship….no wonder ‘Made in China ‘ is displacing North American made goods big time.

This monster transports goods across the Pacific in just 5 days!! This is one of three ships presently in service, with another two ships commissioned to be completed in 2012.

 These ships were commissioned by Wal-Mart to get all their goods and stuff from China . They hold an incredible 15,000 containers and have a 207 foot deck beam!! The full crew is just 13 people on a ship longer than a US Aircraft Carrier (which has a crew of 5,000. With its 207′ beam it is too big to fit through the Panama or Suez Canals ….

 It is strictly Transpacific. Cruise speed: 31 knots.

The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China-toCalifornia run. 91% of Wal-Mart products are made in China. So this behemoth is hugely competitive even when carrying perishable goods.

The ship was built in five sections. The sections floated together and then welded.

 The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11 cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously unloading the entire ship in less than two hours.

 Editorial Comment!

A recent documentary in late March, 2010 on the History Channel noted that all of these containers are shipped back to China, EMPTY. Yep, that’s right. We send nothing back on these ships. What does that tell you about the current financial state of this country? Just keep buying those imported goods (mostly gadgets) until you run outof money.

Then you may wonder what the cause of unemployment (maybe even your job) in the U.S. and Canada might be????

‘Nuff said ??

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WOW.  And that is just ONE of thousands of container ships.  Something to think about for sure.

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, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

There really is a God, and he really does listen.

I have been nervous about today for quite some time.   Tomorrow morning, we depart for Mobile, Alabama with approximately 50 close friends for the last sailing of the Carnival Elation from Mobile.   Over the next seven days, we’ll visit Cozumel, Belize, and my second favorite place in the whole world;  Roatan, Honduras.

The weather is looking a bit crummy, but that is not why I have been somewhat apprehensive about leaving… that is until just a little while ago.

The past year has been a tough one for many of our close friends.   Four of our very close friends were diagnosed for various types of cancer and underwent painful surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  In the past few months, three of the four have been declared cancer-free.  The fourth friend was to find out the outcome of his surgeries and treatment today, right before all of us leave on vacation.  

I received a text message late this afternoon from his wife and could not believe my eyes!  It turns out that what was Stage 4 just weeks ago does not show up on the scans at all now!  

What about the magic of modern medicine!  More importantly, what about the power of prayer?

We can now leave for the next seven days in a mood of celebration!  Even though the seas will probably be rough, it is going to be much smoother sailing now!   It is always great to be reassured that God really does listen… we just have to ask.

Good Night!

 

 

Nashville New Homes: The 2011 Parade of Homes – the “inside scoop”

On Thursday, the Sales and Marketing Council of the Home Builders Association of Tennessee had the pleasure of touring the 2011 Parade of Homes. 

Yesterday’s blog focused on the exteriors of the magnificent homes that are on display, through tomorrow, October 9th at Annandale in Brentwood.

Today, I’d like to show you some interior scenes from these featured homes.  Again, the disclaimer that my photography skills leave much to be desired.  Why not visit the 2011 Parade of Homes and see everything in person!

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If you are in the market for a true luxury home, this is one event you do not want to miss.  Even if you are not in the market for a new home at all, you will see many fascinating decorating ideas that can be used for any home.

One popular feature is the trend toward outdoor living areas.  Another obviously is having a wet bar of some type in every area of the home.  One home even has a wine cooler in the master bath!   Lots of diferent flooring products are used, including porcelain. 

With a little creativity, most any dream can become a reality.  With a little fresh paint, any home can begin a dramatic transformation.   Get those ideas at the 2011 Parade of Homes!

 

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, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: The Parade of Homes is back!

Every day, the national media tells everyone just how bad things are arond the country.  I know there are many places in our great country that are suffering, but Middle Tennessee simply is not one of them!

This year, Middle Tennessee celebrates the return of The Parade of Homes.  This year’s parade takes place at the prestigious Annadale of Brentwood and is open daily through October 9th.  Click here for details  http://www.hbamt.net/

Triton Stone Group is the title sponsor of the Parade, which showcases the magnificent craftsmanship of four Middle Tennessee Builders.   These builders, and Triton Stone Group, deserve a round of applause.  Their efforts add solid evidence that the Greater Nashville market is in full recovery!

Adding more exciting evidence to our market… each one of the four featured homes are already SOLD!

Let’s take a look at the exteriors of the four showcase homes for this year’s Parade.  But before we do, please know I make no claim to great photography skills.  You really have to see each of these homes, and Annandale, for yourself!

First, from Legend Homes, a great combination of contemporary and traditional design:

Next, you will appreciate the elegance and charm of this showcase home built by Carbine and Associates:  (The brick was from an old building from 1800’s Chicago)

Across the street, you will be wowed by the European styling of this showcase home, built by Grove Park Construction.

Next door, you will appreciate the beauty of the showcase home built by Hidden Valley Homes, a design rich in “Old World” look and feel.

These homes were made even finer through the efforts of Interior Design Firms and their designers.  Featured in these showcase homes are the design efforts of Jennifer Jones of Jennifer Jones Design, Kathleen Evers of K Evers Interiors, Julie Couch of Julie Couch Interiors, and Bob Deal and Jason Bradshaw of Bradford’s Interiors. 

Not in the market for a million-dollar-plus luxury home?  Visit the Parade of Homes anyway!  There are many ideas out there that can easily adapt to any price and size of home.  At the Parade site, you will also find vendors representing many different home improvement products. 

The weather this weekend is going to be picture-perfect, so why not take the short drive out to Brentwood and visit the Parade of Homes at Annandale?

When you get there, you will feel even better about our Nashville economy.   Builders are building, people are buying, and jobs are being created. 

You don’t have to purchase a million-plus-dollar home to experience the best values in a new home.  These builders, and other member builders of the HBAMT (Home Builders of Middle Tennessee) offer the best values in every new home price range imaginable.

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, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.