On the way home from Disney, we stopped for gas around Gainesville, and I realized that we were only about 10 miles from the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park.
I encouraged Mike to indulge me with a little literary excursion.
The Yearling is a fantastic novel about Florida living, and the movie adaptation is one of mine and my Daddy’s favorites to watch together. A few years ago, I stumbled upon an early edition of her biography, Cross Creek, in Amelia Island and was utterly impressed with Rawlings’ melodic, yet raw writing style, as well as her ability to find beauty in a most rugged and dangerous of natural surroundings.
My family is Old Florida, so I appreciated her vivid descriptions of her neighbors. After all, my people were not all too far away from Cross Creek in White Springs.
We arrived about 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon. A tour was just beginning under the homestead’s barn, but we did not have any cash on us. I was intrigued about the tour guide, who was dressed in period clothes, but we had the kids and I knew they would be a distraction. The coolest thing, though–as I was inquiring about the tour, a lady from Hilliard (Susan Hallman) called my name and offered to pay my way! I was tickled to death to run in to home folk!
The kids and Mike were happy to run around her grove, and the kids loved seeing the chickens in their coop. We even got to take a few oranges from her trees home with us as we left. It was a great experience, and I would like to go back and spend more time if I’m ever in the area again.