Monday, November 8, 2010

Tabitha's wedding, a barn coat, and the cold

Another weekend -- another wedding -- this one -- for a former student , Tabitha, who graduated from HHS in 1998, and then after she graduated came to work in the English department at KMHS in the fall of 2003, when I was division head, as an English teacher.

Eh, well, I think those are the dates. Maybe I should use the term -- circa?

What a blessing it was for me to have one of my students turn out to be a successful English teacher, and for me to be her supervisor and see what a natural she is.

Claire, I wish I could see you teach too!

Tabitha taught with me for two years before she "flew the coop" to follow her man, the one she married, as he took a job in Michigan. As her mother-in-law told me at the reception, Tabitha "followed my son 3, 223 miles and had 13 different job until he wised up and asked her to marry him."


I remember trying to act wise one time and making the comment: "For the man I love, I can live anywhere." That was not only rash, but young, stupid talk -- now, I know that I need air-conditioning and Publix. :)

So, Tabitha and Matt tied the knot ["noose" quoth David], and David and I attended the wedding at Kellum Valley Farm in Cleveland, Georgia, on a chilly, but beautiful day of November.


It was freakin' freezin'.

The Kellum's were one of the most prominent and wealthy families in the United States during the early 1900's. Mrs. Elizabeth Carnegie Kellum was the niece of steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. Elizabeth had inherited a trust fund worth millions and was considered the richest woman in the country.

While visiting the North Georgia Mountains in 1922, Mr. & Mrs. Kellum and their children fell in love with a valley, approximately nine miles north of Cleveland, Georgia. This area is now known as Kellum Valley. The family purchased over 1000 acres and established a working farm. They raised Arabian horses, angora goats and other livestock.

In addition to the farming operation, the Kellum's built a school and dormitory for underprivileged children. Students from as far away as California, Colorado and NewYork attended this progressive school.

As part of the Kellum estate, the school house and dormitory were impressive structures. Local craftsmen were hired to build the 3 story dormitory. The building was constructed with a full stone basement, two massive chimneys, water tower and indoor plumbing.

On July 4, 1923, the family invited the entire county to a barbecue dinner at the farm and about 1800 people attended. Guests were treated to store bought ice cream, movies in the private theater, dips in the swimming pool and a firework display costing thousands. In 1924, the Kellum's left the farm to make a trip around the world on their private yacht, the Kaimiloa. Only occasionally did they return to the area. In 1928, the school and dormitory burned, leaving the beautiful stone foundations and chimneys as testament to a bygone era. These ruins are still part of the original acreage known as Kellum Valley Farm.

--- above background information provided by
When we first arrived, I paused to take this photo of tough David, who carried his fleece, and jauntily placed a scarf around his neck to brave the cold.

We get to the seats which sit on the top of the hill and look back at the view.... and it is cold. I mean COLD.

I hunkered down in the seats, armed with tights and a barn coat that I bought from Eddie Bauer in 1995, and wished I had brought a stocking cap and a pair of gloves.


I knew it was gonna be chilly.

Forget fashion.

{which ain't hard since folks know if I am Birkensocked and jeaned, I am one happy gal}

Note: Folks at the wedding were leaving fashion behind pretty quickly -- one women had brought a lap robe from the car and one wore an American Eagle hoodie, obviously borrowed from her teenage son.


Speaking of fashion, the beautiful Tabitha, on her father's arm, climbed the hill in a strapless gown.


She told me later that the photographer, who was Russian and spoke with this cute accent, said, "Your skin looks like goose flesh."

Tabitha: Not a compliment, buddy.

After the nuptials, David said he needed "antifreeze."
He's so funny.

We eyeballed the reception, set up in the ruins -- so festive.

I caught Tabitha as she took a short break from her photo shoot. She covered up her chicken flesh with a gorgeous light ivory sweater and scarf.

Argh, this is the only good [relative term] photo I got of the couple -- that's Matt on the left.

David gave in to the cold and put on his fleece under his suit. He concluded, "if I just had a hat, some gloves, and some thermal underwear, I would be toasty."

Ya think?

After a delicious reception dinner of farmhouse salad, lasagna, three cheese pasta, and crusty, garlic bread, Tabitha came over to see me and my barn coat. She said, "I remember that coat from Harrison."

Me: Not funny.
{I left Harrison in 2001}

Isn't she precious?

ETA: Tabitha is really the synonym for resilient. In her short teaching career, she has been in five different schools in three states, and somehow, she just keeps on adapting, changing, and reevaluating as she meets those challenges.

Kudos to you, darlin'. You're my hero.

ETA 2: I was telling a friend of mine about the outdoor weekend in November. She said, "Who does that? Who plans an outdoor wedding in November?"
I responded, "Tabitha. She adapted. We all did. Her wedding will perhaps be more memorable because it was so cold..."


  1. It is so nice to finally put a face with all of the wonderful things you have said about this friend over the years. What a beautiful bride too.

  2. What a beautiful wedding! You've been to quite a few recently! I love that barn coat circa 2001 - fashion statement ;-)

    And David looks very dashing in his scarf! Miss you!