Fall Days at Home

Posted on November 7, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Raking leaves has replaced mowing the grass. Mornings are too cool to enjoy that first cup of coffee watching the sunrise from the porch swing. And a blazing fire in the fireplace adds a delightful ambience as well as coziness in the evenings. It is good to be at home after almost constant travel over the last two months. We are enjoying our brisk morning walks and looking forward to catching up with fall yard work.

One of the delightful surprises in moving back to Mississippi was to find our house only one block from the Clinton Nature Center. This is a 35-acre wooded area close to the middle of town that has been preserved and features over three miles of walking trails. Our grandchildren especially enjoyed an excursion in the woods, exploring gullies, swinging on vines, checking out hollow trees for bears and looking out for the white- tailed deer we occasionally see on our walks.

The trails have recently been extended to the Quisenberry Public Library on the other side of the property. Bea Quisenberry was the editor and gossip columnist in our weekly newspaper when I was growing up. Her sons, William and John, who were my classmates, sponsored the project of building this state-of-the-art library in her honor. It is the second largest public library in the state and we discovered is a wonderful place for reading and media resources. Although a two-mile drive from our house on city streets, we can reach it with a 10-minute walk through the nature center.

It is notable that the original Natchez Trace runs through the nature center. This is now a beautiful paved parkway from Nashville to Natchez that passes on the northern perimeter of our city, but the original road is almost in our backyard. In the early 19th century the road was used by settlers going to the Southwest. Workers hiring on the riverboats down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers would walk back home on this trail after completing their journey in New Orleans. There are markers identifying trading posts and places treaties were made with the Indians.


The nature center was the large wooded area where I used to explore and camp out as a Boy Scout. It was between Mr. Hesterʼs large farm that eventually became the neighboring sub-division and the backside of Joe Priceʼs dairy. There is a lodge for classes in horticulture and community events as well as an outdoor amphitheater. The ruins of a 19th century missionary school for black children and the site of the old Clinton trading post enhances the sense of history as circumvent the trails under a canopy of fall foliage.

Donʼt miss the movie, “October Baby!” This film was recently released at theaters in Mississippi and Alabama but distribution will soon expand to other markets. It is a gripping story of the adopted survivor of a botched abortion and has a powerful and emotional Christian message on pro-life and forgiveness.

2 Comments on “Fall Days at Home”

  1. Bettie Rose Addleton

    What a lovely natural setting you have around you. And, plenty of room for those grandchildren!

    We spent a little time with Todd and Susan who were in town for an Acts 1:8.

    Let us know if your travels bring you our way.

  2. Jerry Rankin

    Bettie and Hu, we were Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring, GA last Sunday and were delighted to see your picture while perusing the Georgia Baptist Index! Would love to see you.

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