I’m not sure why I didn’t share these photos of the last leg of our 2008 vacation when I shared all the others. I think I just got bored with writing about the trip, or maybe it was taking me too long. Anyway, I recently connected on Twitter with a friend of my brother’s, and someone I knew when I was about nine years old, Pastor Dolton Robertson. He now lives in Alabama and I mentioned on Twitter that I had been to Helen Keller’s home which is located in Tuscumbia, Alabama. We passed through there on our way home from visiting my sister in North Carolina just to see this historic site. It really meant a great deal to me since I had spent many happy summers listening to my mother read The Story of Helen Keller . Mom always got choked up when we got to the part where Helen finally understood that the words being spelled out in her hand represented things. W-A-T-E-R was the cool, wet thing she felt coming out of the pump as her teacher spelled the word into her hand. It was the moment that turned Helen from a wild, animal-like child to a civilized human being. In a way, she received sight that day, because the darkness in her mind was suddenly taken away and she was connected to the world in which she had previously only been existing. She went on to attend college, graduate, and live an active and inspirational life despite her blindness and deafness. If you are ever in the area, and assuming you love history (and why shouldn’t you?), you should stop by this lovely home and learn about Helen Keller. On a side note, Dolton recommended a restaurant called the Woodpecker Cafe in Florence, Alabama, which I’d like to try if I’m ever back in the Heart of Dixie.

So, after eight years, here is the finale to our 2008 vacation, our trip to Ivy Green:



Mitchell was so little eight years ago…well, all the kids were!



The dining room where Miss Sullivan wrestled Helen for control of her very strong will.


I don’t know if this picture adequately expresses what I was feeling! I was so excited to see something in person that I had imagined so many times in my childhood. I only wish my mom could have been with me, since she is the reason I know anything about Helen Keller.



Lauren, age 8.


Mitchell, age 5.


Leslie, age 3.


Laci, age 1 1/2.

I now own the well-worn and well-loved copy of Lorena A. Hickok’s book that Mother read to me. I have read it to my own children, even before we took this trip, but they were all pretty young.

I think I should pull it out one more time.

With love,


3 thoughts on “Vintage Valerie: Vacation 2008 Finale

  1. Carolyn Courtney says:

    Oh, those are special photos and special memories! I would love to visit there also. It’s a lovely home, and those adorable children are precious. They have grown up so quickly. Leslie’s haircut looks so cute on her. All of you look fantastic!


    1. We need to plan a family visit! Especially now that Dolton told me about that restaurant!


  2. elnasmith says:

    Thanks for sharing such a special place and happy memories! It’s always nice to look back and see old photos. The kids were smaller and so cute, too. Oh and I love the not-so ‘vintage’ 😉 photos as well.


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