They Finally Tore Down the Rock Silo Tower in Spring Hill, Tennessee on Highway 31 on December 4, 2017

Yesterday morning at 9:30 AM as I was driving my daughter to her 18 month-old check up, I happened to look over and see a bulldozer clearing the brush around the iconic rock silo tower on Columbia in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Less than an hour later, as I drove back to my house which is just about a mile away from the silo, my speculations were accurate:

They had completely flattened it. Only rubble remained.

Later that afternoon, I kept getting notifications from the “i heart spring hill (TN, y’all)” Facebook group after a professional photographer named Rick Sweeney happened to also be driving by, and took pictures of the event.

It was somewhat of an emotional response that I was seeing in the comments of his photos. I feel like it was just an unspoken agreement for anyone who lives in Spring Hill, that we perceived that old rock silo tower as one of the town’s official landmarks; though we never really talked about it.

By the way, a very special thank you goes out to Rick Sweeney for allowing me to use his photos to illustrate this story. Here is a link to more of his work, beyond the silo:  Rick Sweeney Photography.

My family moved to Spring Hill three years ago. I always knew it was a matter of time before whoever has holding on to the property finally decided to sell their family’s land and instantly become millionaires.

So exactly three years ago I took my son out to the silo and took some pictures with him there. I wanted to provide a special way to remind him of that place years after it was torn down.

I also filmed an episode of one of my YouTube shows, Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest, on location at the silo.

After that, I made my peace with it; knowing it would probably be a few months later before the tower was destroyed.

Fortunately, I was wrong. It took a couple of years. Yesterday was the day: December 4th, 2017.

This event is the modern day Spring Hill version of, “They paved paradise and put a parking lot.”

We all knew this day would come.

I will miss you, old abandoned rock silo tower that no one really talked about until know.

We don’t know what we got ’til it’s gone.

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Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

6 years old.

Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

Dear Jack,

With your birthday and Papa’s birthday only being 5 days apart, we were happy to have Nonna and Papa up for the weekend; as we were able to celebrate both birthdays together.

You specifically asked for Nonna to make and bring some pumpkin pie. Friday was Papa’s actual birthday, so we had the pie instead of birthday cake. I’m glad you made that request because we all loved it!

After we had already eaten the “birthday pumpkin pie” and I was cleaning up, I heard Nonna say, “Jack turns 6 and Papa turns 60!”

I immediately attempted to correct her: “No, Papa is only 59…”

But then I remembered: A year ago I wrote a special blog post about Papa turning 59. Nonna was right!

So after spending Friday evening celebrating Papa’s 59th birthday, I realized we were actually celebrating his 60th birthday instead… What a major milestone birthday to get wrong!

Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

On Sunday after church, we all went to Grecian Pizzeria for lunch. Despite having lived in Spring Hill now for nearly 2 years, we only recently tried it out. I wish we would have sooner!

Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

It is an ideal place for our family to eat. It is very vegan-friendly and vegetarian friendly; which is vital to our family.

So now we don’t have to drive 30 minutes away to Mellow Mushroom or Whole Foods when we want to go somewhere fun for dinner.

You thought it was pretty cool that the waitress displayed your drawing on their wall.

You thought it was pretty cool that the waitress displayed your drawing on their wall.

During our lunch there, I realized this: Papa is 60 years old, you are 6 years old, and Holly is 6 months old. While that is pretty cool, I’m not sure I feel so confident about three 6’s…

Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

To officially celebrate your 6th birthday, we actually spent the whole day Saturday at Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. But since I took so many pictures of the event, you’ll have to give me about another week to get that all arranged…

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Celebrating Your 6th Birthday and Papa’s 60th Birthday with Pumpkin Pie and Greek Food

 @GrecianPizzeria

Dear Jack: Our 1st Time to Church as a Family of 4

5 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack: Our 1st Time to Church as a Family of 4

Dear Jack,

This past Sunday our family amazingly made it to church…early! I truly didn’t expect us to get there at all- with it being this soon; after your sister being born a month ago.

As Mommy is currently on maternity leave, I think she was especially inspired to get out of the house for an exciting event other than buying groceries or buying new “baby stuff” for Holly.

So we talked about it, planned for it, and actually made it out of the house on Sunday morning about 30 minutes before the service began, even though we only live about 10 minutes from our church.

Fortunately, there is a giant atrium leading up to the sanctuary, where there are sofa chairs adjacent to several monitor screens streaming the service through the closed doors. Mommy and I camped out there with Holly, who conveniently was asleep the whole time.

While in your class, you made an edible “torch” out of a pretzel stick and a Fruit Roll-Up as the craft. After the service, when we came to pick you up and asked why which Bible story featured a torch, you suddenly became forgetful about what you had just learned minutes beforehand.

Dear Jack: Our 1st Time to Church as a Family of 4

Or maybe you were just distracted because you were able to get away with eating a torch made out of a Fruit Roll-Up wrapped around a pretzel stick.

After we got back to the house, you were singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” which I had never you sing before. Granted, you were substituting the word “world” for “Lego”, as you were building a “giant tank for the bad guys”.

Every night for bed time since then, you’ve requested I sing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” in addition to the other songs I always sing you: “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”

Even if you don’t know what the edible torch symbolizes, you definitely paid attention in class while they were teaching that song.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our 1st Time to Church as a Family of 4

No, I am Not Tai Lopez

No, I am Not Tai Lopez

Sunday after church, my family was out running some errands in Spring Hill, Tennessee. A guy I had never seen in my life approached me and asked me, very excitedly:

“Hey, are you Tai Lopez?”

Having never heard of Tai Lopez, I somewhat strangely replied, “No, but I am part Mexican, so maybe I look like him?”

The stranger then explained to me that Tai Lopez has a blog and YouTube channel and talks about money management.

I explained that I do as well, but I am indeed not Tai Lopez.

After a quick Google search after I got home, I learned that Tai Lopez was a self-made millionaire by the time he was 30 years-old and a member of MENSA, the high IQ society.

I suppose it’s flattering to be mistaken for a more intelligent, famous, and multi-millionaire version of myself.

This may sound a bit weird but I’m not that aware of what my distinguishing features are other than dark hair and sort of yellow-tinted olive-colored skin. I mean, I know what I look like, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m just a normal looking guy.

Other than maybe Fred Savage, I hadn’t give much thought to anyone else who else in the world I might look like.

I do become aware of my inability to understand the outside world’s perception of what I look like when I look at my kids. I feel that neither my 5 and a half year-old son nor my month-old daughter specifically look a whole lot like either my wife nor me.

While I do see more of my wife in our kids, I get confused when I try to see myself in them; ultimately, because I’m not exactly sure what my distinguishing features are… other than being similar to those of Tai Lopez.

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

5 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

Dear Jack,

I know this might seem strange, but since moving to Spring Hill in January 2015 over a year ago, our family hasn’t stayed in town for the whole weekend- with two exceptions when we were snowed in and physically could not get out of our cul-de-sac.

With Mommy being 8 months pregnant, we decided it would be a good idea to purposely not leave the Spring Hill city limits. The less unnecessary running around, the better. (Usually we drive to Alabama for Easter, but again because of how pregnant Mommy is, we didn’t- for the first time ever.)

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

It’s pretty common for us to make the 20 minute drive to Cool Springs/Franklin on Saturdays. But this time around, I bought our groceries and dinner on Friday on the way home from work. That eliminated the temptation for us to leave town the next day.

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

So therefore, everything we had to get done on the weekend was able to occur in Spring Hill. Mommy got her “before I have the baby haircut” just down the street, while you and I explored the creek flowing around our neighborhood.

And on Easter Sunday, you and I got to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on its opening weekend. Meanwhile, Mommy had several hours to chill out at the house.

Parental Review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justic

But in the midst of all that, we made a point as a family to spend time together hanging out in the city we live in; where springs and hills are plentiful.

On Saturday afternoon, once you woke up from your nap, we headed over to Sweet CeCe’s because A) Mommy was craving ice cream, B) therefore so were you, and C) they have vegan sorbet there that I can have. We were very pleased!

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

Afterwards, we visited a walking park that we’ve been seeing in the distance every Sunday on the way to church. But finally, we checked it out.

It was one of my favorite weekends for us as a family. Staying in town all weekend is great!

With your sister Holly on the way in a few weeks, I’m pretty sure we’ll get to stay in town all weekend for most weekends for the next couple of months.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Our 1st Non-Blizzard Weekend Ever to Stay in Town

Dear Jack: We’ll Definitely Be Dangerous… We Just Won’t Get Hurt

5 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack:

Dear Jack,

I suppose it’s safe to say a new weekly ritual is in full swing. This makes the 3rd weekend in a row where you and I have gone exploring in the surrounding neighborhoods, using a creek that begins in our backyard
as our road.

Dear Jack:

Before Mommy left the house to get her “pre-going into labor haircut” and then to Kroger to buy groceries, she smiled and told me, “Be safe. Don’t be dangerous out there.”

I smiled back and promised her,

“Oh, we’ll definitely be dangerous- we just won’t get hurt.”

About 20 minutes later as you and I were about to turn out of our neighborhood in my Honda Element, I asked you, “Jack, where you want to explore today?”

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

We decided to pick up where we left off last week, this time following the creek in the opposite direction. You quickly found the wooden plank you discovered and left behind on Sunday, deciding to take it with us for today’s entire journey.

The plank served three purposes:

#1. A shovel to help you make “chocolate milk” in the creek.

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2016/03/24/dear-jack-our-new-canon-powershot-g7-x-camera/

#2. A portable table to help you see your instantly growing rock collection.

Dear Jack:

#3. A bridge to help you get across the creek when you didn’t feel like jumping.

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2016/03/24/dear-jack-our-new-canon-powershot-g7-x-camera/

The further down the creek we trekked, the more exciting and potentially dangerous things became.

You had to make your way across the rocks and the water of the creek by depending on half-rotted boards that were already placed there by other adventurers.

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

And then when we finally came across a more legitimate bridge, even it was crooked; like something from a cartoon movie.

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

Even as I’m telling you this now, it sounds like some kind of weird dream we both experienced.

When we go exploring together, we never really know what surprises await us. Well, fate would have it that we just happened to be aligned with these two tunnels leading up to the bank of a pond…

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

So we crawled through one. Once on the other side, you found an old pumpkin there in the water. I’m not sure why, since this is March, not November.

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

After that, we clumsily journeyed back to the street and found my car; you were exhausted by that point. But we still had about 45 minutes before Mommy would be home, so I talked you to in to letting me take you on a drive.

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

You and I have wondered for over a year now, since we moved to Spring Hill, about that that big blue water tower we had been seeing in the distance.

So we checked it out.

Dear Jack: I Will Be Serving as Your Guide to Danger and the Unknown

We were high up enough where we could even see our own neighborhood and church.

I’m glad you like exploring as much as I do. I suppose it’s becoming a mutual hobby for us.

And though we were slightly dangerous the whole time, we came back home to Mommy without any injuries.

Love,

Daddy

 

The McDonald’s Here in Spring Hill, TN, is Going Viral: Nativity Scene Proclaims “His Name is Jesus”

The McDonald's Here in Spring Hill, TN, is Going Viral: Nativity Scene Proclaims "His Name is Jesus"

I had just put my son to bed when I saw the news: The top story in Facebook news was about the McDonald’s just 3.9 miles from my garage door.

Thanks to Amy Basel taking a picture of the nativity scene painted on the front window of the McDonald’s here in Spring Hill, Tennessee (located at 5431 Main Street, right off the main road that runs through the town), the story has gone viral.

I love to dive into the psychology of a viral news story like this…

For example, why is this suddenly such a popular story?

The McDonald's Here in Spring Hill, TN, is Going Viral: Nativity Scene Proclaims "His Name is Jesus"

After all, I have to assume that even non-religious people who celebrate Christmas are at least aware that the official reason Christmas is celebrated is because Christians recognize the birth of Jesus; who lived and died to bring those who believe in Him eternal life and forgiveness of their sins.

I believe the reason people are fascinated by a McDonald’s with the nativity scene painted on the front window is because it’s refreshing to those of us who believe in the Biblical meaning of Christmas.

After all, we’re not talking about a mom-and-pop burger joint here. This is McDonald’s. This is America’s most popular burger restaurant that is allowing their franchisees to host such an explicitly religious scene on their restaurant.

The McDonald's Here in Spring Hill, TN, is Going Viral: Nativity Scene Proclaims "His Name is Jesus"

In such a politically correct version of America we now live in, it’s actually amazing to see “His Name is Jesus” painted on the front of a restaurant chain’s window.

It’s actually kind of… rebellious.

Seriously, it’s like we’re getting away with something here.

The McDonald's Here in Spring Hill, TN, is Going Viral: Nativity Scene Proclaims "His Name is Jesus"

I wonder where this story will go from here? Will the corporate McDonald’s office put an end to this? Or will they (wisely) embrace this movement and take advantage of the attention that such an overtly Christian statement is bringing them?

Please check out my video that I just shot about an hour before I published this story. You’ll be able to see exactly what everyone is talking about…

 

All photos and video footage by Nick Shell of Family Friendly Daddy Blog.