The Move to Tennessee

Our weekend was very eventful as we moved our son and his wife to TN for his new ministry at Cedar Crest Camp in Fairview.  When we left our home in central MS early Friday morning, it was extremely cold. OK, I know it’s not cold to a lot of you out there, but I live in central MS, people! It is unusually cold for wintertime here in the deep South. It was cold and the temp never got above 28 the whole day, no matter if we were in MS or TN.

photo 10

Russell had really done a good job of planning this entire move. OK, I’m his mom, and I can brag, OK??? Anyway, he had picked up the U-Haul on Thursday and used the college kids who work for him camp to start the loading. The weekend before they moved, he and Callie drove one of their vehicles and the camp truck and trailer loaded with bulky outdoor things, such as flower pots, patio furniture, and bicycles. They left their car up there and only had one vehicle to think about getting up there on moving day. Getting those outdoor things up there ahead of time really freed up a lot of time and truck space. As a matter of fact, Russell was so well-organized that he had a time line and jobs for everyone, even the dog, in an itinerary that he emailed to us. Yeah, he is a little like his mom, OK??? I put his schedule at the bottom of this post for those who are interested.

photo 6

Reed and Phil were two of the great helpers that Russell had that day. Obviously, Phil needed no cap like the other kids were wearing! Anyway, Russell told us that 85% of the truck was loaded by lunchtime on Thursday. They finished loading everything that they could on Thursday, so Friday morning when Callie’s parents and we got there, only a little loading was left to do.

photo 12

Of course, they had slept on their bed the night before, so that had to be loaded. In addition, various boxes of last-minute items, such as some clothes and cleaning supplies went on the truck.

photo 11

Callie had been really smart about loading her kitchen and had put a number of seldom-used items in Sterilite boxes. Unfortunately, she had done that so well ahead of time that they discovered them Thursday night after the U-Haul was loaded. Here they are in my car!


Russell and Callie had also purchased some muffins and things from a local bakery to feed the workers, and Wendell enjoyed hanging around with those big brown eyes waiting to be fed a bite or two. He is really hard to resist.


But apparently Will did resist since Wendell is sniffing around his feet.

photo 4

David did not have to do a lot of the heavy lifting since there were so many camp workers there. Russell relied on him to direct the last of the loading and all of the unloading, especially of the heavy furniture, when we got there. David enjoyed doing that and was happy not to have a lot of the physical stuff on him. As you can see, he had a lot of help.


Finally, David, Reed, and Russell closed up the truck and put up the ramp. It was time to leave!


Of course, time to leave also brings time to say good bye. Tears flowed easily.


When Darrell came out (camp director, Russell’s boss, and dear friend), both were quite emotional.


I held it together until I took this photo and saw their tears streaming. Russell started in the summer of 2004 and worked every summer while he was in seminary. Then he started full-time the day after he graduated from seminary. Ten summers and 6 1/2 years of his life, making lifelong friends, was hard to say good bye to.


But he did, and we were loaded and ready to go. Wendell was quite confused. He did seem to settle down when he saw Callie load his bed. Once she loaded him in the back of the car, he seemed to be a little nervous again until she actually got in the car to drive away. Isn’t this look pitiful? We had a 5-vehicle caravan: Callie and Wendell in their car, Russell and Reed in the U-Haul, Callie’s dad in his car, David and I in our car, and Jeff, Audrey, and Will (plus Jeff’s dog Solo) in Jeff’s car.


Goodby, Camp Lake Stephens! It was both a sad and joyous occasion to leave here.


Hello, Cedar Crest! New beginnings, new life, but first: unloading the U-Haul!


Russell was able to back the U-Haul almost right to the door. They had a very short pathway to take things into the house, which certainly made things easier.


I won’t go into all of the drama of finding a rental while the camp director’s house is being built, but here is the rental that they will be in for a year or more. Jeff and Solo are carrying some boxes. It is a really nice home with a very large yard and large enclosed garage; most important, it is only about 10 minutes from camp.

photo 14

With so many people helping, it did not take long to unload. All of the rooms filled up quickly and we ended up with a pathway of boxes through the house.


The kitchen/eating area at the rear of the home is very light and airy. It had double doors which open onto a deck. The views are just gorgeous!


Callie is excited about the island and the up-to-date appliances after using the old ones at Camp Lake Stephens.

photo 13

Here it is full of boxes.


Callie and her sister Meredith (she met us in TN) worked really hard unpacking boxes and had the kitchen almost completely set up by Sat. evening.


Callie wanted her hutch in the eating area. Here, Jeff and Will move the bottom of it in place.


Russell and crew grabbed the top.


I agree that Callie chose the perfect place for this piece.


By Sunday morning, the eating/kitchen area was almost completely set up.


Of course, some heavy furniture pieces had to go up the stairs. David directed the boys how to do this task safely.


This chest is pretty tall and heavy.


Apparently David taught them so well that Will was comfortable leaving Jeff hanging with it alone while he did something important, like, oh, I don’t know, maybe change the radio station or something.


Audrey was wonderful help all day, but especially when she volunteered to climb up to the top and hand down boxes. Exhausted after our long day on Friday, we went to a local pizza place and then went to bed pretty early.


Saturday morning after our breakfast we took a tour of Cedar Crest.  It was very cold, and my photos are not a good and detailed as I would normally take. It was just too cold to get out of the car much to take good pictures.


The old camp director’s house which has been deemed unlivable. Although hazardous to your health to live in it (black mold and other problems), Russell can still be in there every day since his office is through the white door on the end. Does this fact seem like a paradox to anyone else besides me? I’m just sayin.

photo 1

He and Callie plan to paint his office and put up some better looking shelves.


The pool is an important part of summer camp, of course.


The camp has 2 lodges, both of which are very dated and need a lot of love. Nickell lodge was the least appealing of the two.


However, both lodges have lovely back decks with great views of the lake.

photo 16

Cecil Lodge has a lovely vaulted ceiling and wall of windows looking out on the deck.

photo 17

The kayaks and canoes are visible from the deck view of Cecil Lodge if you look closely.


The lake was beautiful, and some of our crew walked down to it. I did not because it was too cold.


There were several attractive outdoor worship areas which I did not really get good photos of because I would have had to get out of the car. I did mention that it was cold, right? Russell assured me that the Chapel of the Roses is an ironic title since the deer have eaten all the roses.


The cabins are in much worse shape than the lodges. I’m not sure what Russell’s long-range plans are for them.

photo 18

The dining hall is the nicest building on the grounds. It has a large eating space with a fireplace, which is wonderful. The equipment is in good shape and up-to-date.

photo 15

Back at their house, Callie allowed Wendell to get on the couch, normally a no-no.


He was still acting kind of nervous, so she wanted him to relax. Relax he did!


However, once the living room was set up, no more sleeping on the couch allowed!

photo 20

We felt good when we left on Sunday afternoon. The living room, kitchen, eating area, laundry room, and master bedroom were almost completely set up. The other rooms had come a long way, and they were at the point in which they needed to finish up themselves, because only they can do the closets and so forth. We were not sad to leave and plan a trip up there next month. Russell’s first day of work was Monday, and he did go in, even with snow on the ground. Callie has enjoyed stocking the kitchen and doing other things around the house. She will restart her job search in a few days. So that is the move in a nutshell! We all felt very blessed and it went really, really smoothly.


Obviously, I have not done a current tablescape due to everything else that has been going on lately. I will simply post the pics of the buffet after taking down the Christmas décor. I decided to show off my Gail Pittman collection for a while.


I put the tray on an easel and placed the sugar bowl and trinket box in front.


The candlesticks, vase, butter dish, and trivet are on the opposite side of the buffet.


I really wanted to prop this large bowl up, but it was just too heavy. Even if I find an easel heavy enough to hold it, I don’t know if I would ever display it like that. I would just be too nervous that it would fall and destroy everything in its path!


So there is my weekend in a nutshell! Hope everyone stays warm and has a great week!

Russell’s email (edited for identifying details and brevity): {Most of the schedule played out as hoped, with a couple of exceptions, mainly the weather. We only wish the high had been in the 40’s! His friend Timothy could not make it due to the weather and his friend Matt was back in MS due to his grandmother’s death. A few other things did not follow exactly as planned, but the Casteel Moving Experience went almost exactly as he envisioned it!}

This email is to serve as a source of information and itinerary for our moving day from Camp Lake Stephens to our new home in Fairview, TN (and thusly, Cedar Crest Camp and The Tennessee Conference).  We have signed the lease and will sign a couple more documents in person as well as pick up the keys and pay our security deposit and first two months rent on December 28, 2013.  It is a beautiful home, and we are excited for you all to see it!
 On January 2, the day after the CLS Overflow Youth Retreat, we will finish the odds and ends of packing.  After that, we will pick up our 26 foot U-Haul here in Oxford and begin to pack it.  Interns and friends here at Camp Lake Stephens have been formally invited to help us do the heavy lifting, and we hope to pack as much as we can on this Thursday.  My hope and intention is that by sundown on Thursday, the Casteel residence is mostly packed on to the U-Haul.
What follows is our ideal itinerary for the weekend of January 3, 2014:
January 3
7:00-8:00            Come and Go Breakfast at Casteel CLS Residence for those assisting in packing.
8:00-9:00            Tighten things down in the truck, pick up odds-and-ends, say CLS goodbyes, prepare to leave
9:15-9:30            Depart for the Tennessee Conference and our new home in Fairview, TN
1:30-1:45            Arrive Fairview, TN
2:00- 6:00           Unpack, settle, make our new house into a home
7:00 -Until           Dinner with friends and family
8:30                      Bed Time.
January 4
7:00                      Morning Coffee and unpacking at the Casteel home
8:00                      Family breakfast at the Beacon Light Cafe in Bon Aqua
9:30                      Family Tour of Cedar Crest
12:00                    Lunch
1:00                      Finish packing and settling at Casteel home
6:00                      Dinner
7:30                      Enjoy first family fire at Casteel home
8:30                      Bed Time
January 5
7:00-8:30             Morning Coffee, Good-byes, and Thank yous at the Casteel home
 What precedes here is a rough but clear estimate of what our moving weekend holds.  We are grateful for all the help and support that all of you have provided thus far, and thanks in advance for your help and support during the actual move!   I have also extended an invitation to some of our CLS friends to tag-along and help us move, as many have mentioned that as a possibility over the past few months.  In addition, the TN Conference Camping Director has invited any of the Board of Directors who would be able to meet and greet us as well as help move, to do so.  I do anticipate a handful of them to show up, and meet you all.  That being said, we will have plenty to share in the heavy lifting with myself and Callie.  On top of that, we expect our friends Timothy & Matt to also be available for part of moving Saturday.  My hope is that Patriarchs David and Gordon can orchestrate and direct the movers and lifting without moving the elephantine stuff themselves.  Thusly, Matriarchs Bev and Lucy can help to unpack and coordinate the insides of our home.  Meredith, we shall rely on you to direct the aesthetical direction of the entire operation.  Wendell, you will be tasked to keep the morale of the move in check.
Our weather for moving weekend looks to be partly cloudy, highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 20s.
Russell C. Casteel, Co-Director, Casteel Moving Experience 2014


I am joining: A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday, Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life , Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady,   From the Farm at Sunny Simple Life, Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, Metamorphosis Monday, Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage ,  Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday,  Under the Table and Dreaming for Sunday Showcase ,  The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home, Brown Gingham Creations for Rednesday,  Cuisine Kathleen for Let’s Dish, Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours,  Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill , Cottage Style at Lavender Garden, Homemaking Paty at Hope in Every Season,   The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday, The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday, What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much,  Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, You’re Gonna Love It Tuesdays at Kathe with an E, Mop it Up Monday at I Should Be Mopping the Floor , Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style ,  Make it Pretty Monday, Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House,Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style,  Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately,   Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring,  Tuesday’s Treasures at Uncommon Suburbia,  Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters,Open House Party at No Minimalist Here Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage , Tips and Tidbits at The Stone Gable, Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner , Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design 

About Bev

I am a retired teacher who has only recently taken up tablescaping and blogging. For more information, see my About Bev link.
This entry was posted in Family, Vignettes, Winter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Move to Tennessee

  1. Vicky Hunt says:

    What a bittersweet time for you. I know you are so proud of your son and excited for him as he starts this new venture in life. Their rental home is beautiful! I love your Gail Pittman display…it looks really nice with the plates/platters on the wall in the background. I love your wall color too! We have had such cold weather the last couple days…..around 20 degrees Monday night and in the twenties last night too…brrr! It didn’t warm up much during the days either. Supposed to be a little warmer tonight…40 degrees I think! Beats 20 any day! Stay warm and be blessed…VIcky

  2. Margaret says:

    This was so entertaining and thought you all did well, even in the really cold weather. It was fascinating to read the “schedule” and see Wendall as he tried to acclimate to his new home. The simple use of your Gail Pittman collection was perfect (and wherever did you fine the time?). It was about then and 2 cups of coffee, that I realized you were from Oxford, MS (or close by). A small world if so as though we live in CA, we’ve got friends in both Oxford and Tupelo. We’ve spent quite a lot of time in your beautiful little city (staying at the Alumni House) and it’s just the best. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

    • Bev says:

      We live in central MS and have relatives in Tupelo; it was our son who was living in Oxford. Thanks for the compliment to Oxford; it is a great place. Even though we bleed maroon and white at my house, we have grown to like the town a lot. We just stay off the Ole Miss campus! As a matter of fact, the big joke in their offices at camp the past few years is that his has been decorated in maroon and white with bulldogs and cowbells amongst all the Ole Miss décor up there. Thankfully, another loyal MS State grad has been hired for Russell’s position and has promised to keep the maroon and white going in that office!

  3. Marianne says:

    Glad the move was a success. Hard to do in the extreme cold or burning heat, not to mention seeing children off into the world beyond. I know how cold you must be because it even made it to the 20s here in SE Texas, and that’s pretty cold for us. I grew up in New Jersey, though, and so my family there was experiencing extreme temps of single digits and below.


  4. I am glad the move went smoothly….moving is stressful enough. A schedule definitely helps! It also looks like they had a bit of fun, which is always welcome during those pivotal life moments….Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Bev, sounds like the move went great! Planning is the most important aspect for sure. It was cold so I’m glad you didn’t get out as much for photos! Thanks for sharing this at TTF!

  6. Sue says:

    I enjoyed seeing this and what a wonderful supportive family and friends you have. Hope it warms up soon for you down there. We are starting to get a tad warmer up north here too.

  7. suzanne says:

    Glad all went well! Happy VTT!

  8. moving
    is one of the most
    physically and emotionally exhausting
    things a person can do

    looks like the rental
    is very pretty and liveable
    whilst he’s waiting for the new house

    so exciting
    to be involved in camping ministry

    that was a job
    my husband and i almost too
    many years ago
    but at the time
    we were being led
    into youth ministry

    thank you for sharing
    this exciting move
    on Fridays Unfolded!


  9. What a fun post. the photos are terrific too. The best part is not the lovely home or even the new adventure but that there were plenty of people to help.Friends and family are such a blessing. Thank you so much for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop so much fun Hugs!

  10. Suzan says:

    Having just experienced a move from ” hell ” and living in close to that as well – I can so appreciate how smoothly everything went for you – what an organized move and a lovely spot to move to!!!
    Much love from Montreal

  11. Jan says:

    My Goodness! What a journey, and so much work involved in this move! The rental home looks beautiful — love those dormer windows on the second floor. Wendell has such personality. Anyone who thinks that dogs are just dumb critters has not a clue to how intelligent and emotional dogs are. They get attached to places, just like we do. He looked very happy, though, when “Mom” and “Dad” were sitting in the living room as he gnawed away on a chew-bone, LOL! I hope everything will go smoothly as the young couple settle in — sure looks like a lot of work has to be done around the camp. Whew!

  12. Kathy says:

    Wow, Bev! A Wonderful opportunity for your son and his wife. We were very active as sponsors for a Christian camp we attended for years – do so appreciate this ministry – I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

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