dug enough daffodils to make Wordsworth proud. A trunk, brimming with the spoils of Spring, and two, crazy women, enthusiastically blissful, wielding shovels as we cheered ourselves on. Now that was fun. Both Kathy and I are lovers of all things pretty, old and a little rusty. We enjoy treasure hunts and can usually be found exploring some small Southern town, searching for the feeling of our childhoods. Kathy and I grew up in our Grandmas’ kitchens: fried pies, old cookie tins regrettably filled with sew-
hile searching Craigslist for an antique dresser, I met Kathy Sawyer and made an instant friend for life. She’s the kind of girl that dreams big, laughs big and likes a big adventure. We once threw shovels in Kathy’s trunk, rolled up our sleeves and
The Belle of Belle Isle
ing spools and sticky recipe boxes covered with flour. That’s a bond worth sharing, and it runs deep if you have the memory. We also share the bond of historic salvation, especially when it comes to a house in need of rescue. A hairdresser for thirty-six years, Kathy is the owner of The Hair Biz in Hermitage, Tennessee, By Melissa in a wonderful, century-old stone Wickline cottage she rescued with her husband, Keith. “The stone cottage has allowed my decorating skills to evolve and come to life, while hairdressing evokes another talent I dearly love,” she said. It was the next renovation that changed the Sawyer’s lives forever. Kathy fell in love with Belle Isle the moment she saw pictures of the stunning property. To the former 406 acre estate of Cracker Barrel founder, Dan Evins, Kathy says she was initially drawn as soon as she turned in the drive. “From the moment you enter through the stone pillars and tall gates at the front entrance of Belle Isle Plantation, you can hardly wait to see what’s at the end of that gorgeous, tree-lined drive. And behold, a cabin in the woods, awaiting its new owners, just wanting to be loved and updated,” Kathy said. Aside from creating one of the country’s Keith and Kathy Sawyer most beloved restaurants, Mr. Evins is described by his neighbors as “a very generous man and very well loved in his community; a down-to-earth kind of person, always wearing his overalls.” In May of 2015, Belle Isle’s five homes, including Evin’s main residence, were sold in 29 parcels. Keith and Kathy purchased one of the post and beam cabins along with eleven acres.
Harvest Time in Wine Country