Yes, Anne, I believe

Published 7:05 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The wizened old tree stands stately and strong, shading the white front porch of my daughter’s Tennessee home. Fragrance from her lovely white blossoms floats along the gentle breeze filling my nostrils as I inhale the mountain air. Neighbors chat on their front porch across the street, as vehicles intermittently add to the sounds of a sleepy, sunny afternoon.

Of all things, a rooster crows right in the middle of this established residential area. Then, another responds with an answering crow as if to say, “This is my block buster!” Well, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised since I’m writing from Cocke County, Tennessee.

The pace is definitely slower here. Yesterday, I spied a big red tractor make its way down a busy street in town. Odd as it may seem to those of us not from the area, no one seemed to mind. There was no rash of honking horns and rude gestures as people impatiently tried to speed around the farmer. This overalls-clad gentleman traveled along on his way while others patiently took a breath and kindly waved to fellow passersby.

This morning, my daughter, Melinda, and two of my grands, Jasmine and Melody, trekked to Morristown, a neighboring city, for a girls’ day out. We got in touch with our artistic side as we painted at the Pink Pig Pottery Studio. Melody and Jasmine love art, so it was a great choice for them. Melinda and I, along with her friend, Erin, tried our hand at creating a little magic with the brushes as well. Next week, we’ll pick up our treasures after they have been glazed and fired.

Then, it was off to lunch at a lovely tearoom in the revitalized downtown area. I just know the squash soup had curry in it, but such a secret recipe could not be pried from the owner’s tightly clinched lips. That fact in itself will keep us, along with other customers, coming back for more. Everyone, I suppose, likes a little mystery from time to time.

The historic Rose Art Gallery completed our day. There, we experienced a treasure trove of color and texture splashed on canvas, paper and fabric. Our senses heightened with delight at the beauty around us. We left inspired by others’ abilities and ideas. You’ve heard it said that players leave it on the field, I’m sure. These artists surely left a little of themselves in their creations. As I drank them in, I could almost feel the heart of the artist connect with mine.

Although the gallery boasted innumerable paintings, sculptures, handmade jewelry, and quilts, my favorite was a simple verse a young art student created for the Holocaust exhibit. It read:

“In spite of everything I believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank

Old Glory waves proudly from her place of honor on the porch. Too often I think of all the evil in the world; today, I think of my family and all the truly good people I know who love God, others, and their country. Yes, Anne, I believe.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at