My wife and I don't really get too caught up with the Christmas holiday. I know it's important to many and that's fine. A few years ago, we made the agreement to not purchase Christmas gifts for each other. Instead, we have a few simple traditions. This helps to avoid the stress of all the shopping and makes for a more simple holiday. Our family is also understanding of this decision and we do not expect presents from them either.
In years past, we have always tried to make a day trip to see our families for Christmas. With the snowfall this year and a trip over the mountain, we figured it would be best to just stay home for this year's holiday. My wife and I enjoyed each other's company by cooking a nice lunch and then we set out in the car to do a little driving through the Middle Tennessee countryside. The roads turned out to be fine. We drove along some of the backroads that I tend to frequent on some of my longer bike rides. We also ventured out to explore a few new roads. Along the way, we came across a really old church that has been standing since 1832. We made a brief stop and took a few pictures of the church and its cemetery.
Further on down the road, we visited the town of Bell Buckle. This is a really neat little stop. This town must have been an old train depot and has now been turned into a little country tourist destination. With it being Christmas Day, there was not a soul in site. All the store fronts were lit with holiday lights. We made a brief stop, considering the cold, and took a few more pictures.
Our drive continued to take us further into the countryside at which point the snow began to fall some more. As we were driving, we came across a sign that said "Confederate Cemetery". Curiosity got the best of us and we again made a stop to look around. The cemetery was on top of a steep hill. This turned out to be an amazing and tranquil place to spend a moment. There were a few marked graves with standard headstones. And then there were unmarked Confederate graves with stones stacked about three feet high on top of them. The fresh snow lightly dusted the graves and gave an eerie appeal. This sight got me to thinking. I was fixed in the moment thinking about the death of these soldiers. They died by the bullet and here they lay beneath the frozen tundra. It was a moment of solitude and in a strange way, quite peaceful.
My wife and I got back into the car and began discussing our day thus far. We were really happy with how our holiday was going. We continued to drive back towards Murfreesboro and journeyed onto some more backroads. We ventured down an old dirt road for a moment until the road crossed a stream. We decided to turn around and not push our luck trying to cross the flowing stream in our small car.
This decision played for the best as it brought us to the next highlight of our day. As we were driving, we noticed a pull off to the side of the road and you could see the Stones River below. We pulled over and parked the car. We followed a faint trail that led to the river. At the river was a beautiful scene that captured the essence of the day. The snow was gently falling into the water and we just paused to capture the moment. It was just my wife and I. Alone. We were happy and at peace. It was a moment that was not planned but just happened. It was perfect!
My wife and I got back into our vehicle and proceeded back into town. We decided to catch a movie. We don't normally go to the movies as they are typically overpriced but we figured we could make this exception and enjoy a flick. The movie was True Grit and actually turned out to be pretty good. I have always enjoyed movies that Jeff Bridges is in. Matt Damon's part was ok but he has definitely done better.
The night ended with a glass of eggnog and a nap with each other on the couch. These words vaguely describe our wonderful holiday. It was truly the best "Christmas" I've spent in years. The day was not filled with hustle and bustle. No concern of gifts and guests. We lived for ourselves. I am thankful!