Back when my dear daughter, Kate, was in pre-first (1989) she wrote a book entitled, My Mom. She wrote that I was from Tinusy and I lived there with Nany, Popy, Bedy, Joody and Hoow. Now this wasn't bad writing coming from a young 5 year old but I realized that she was spelling phonically the way I talked...and that was pure Tennessean.
Over the years, as her writing has become exceptional and I have come to understand the value of a my small town upbringing, her little books have become even more endearing and I more proud of where I come from.
I spent five days in Tennessee recently and came home filled with a sense of strong family values and devotion... Kate's book says: "My Mom loves me. She hugs me and kisses me." " My Mom helps our family. she helps by cooking diner." ... Maybe I gave to my children what I learned after all.
I love it when my Mom comes into my room with a steaming cup of coffee, to talk while I'm making my bed or getting dressed for an outing. I feel like a young girl again and she is giving me some one on one attention. We laugh about being two old ladies together.
I love it when we visit my Father's grave, replacing old flowers with new, pulling weeds away from his sweet grave stone that Mom will one day share with him. When we finished, we read the names of all our family ancestors that are buried nearby: my sister, Betty, my Uncle Johnny, my grandparents Herman and Lela, my great-grandparents William Wilson and Laura Ada, my g-g-grandparents Richard and Molly, Robert and Nancy Owen and all those in between. Makes me feel solid.
On this day the sun was warm and the air filled with signs of Spring, I sat on Dad's tombstone while Mama talked with her sister, Paulette, who had joined us for lunch at a little make-shift coffee house on Watertown's square then rode with us to the cemetery at Jones Hill. Sitting there, it somehow felt like I was sitting on Dad's lap. It was really a very comforting time and as always, going back to that little Tennessee town brings back memories of a much simpler time. Was it better then? Maybe not, but I wish I had known then what I know now, I would have kept diaries with wonderful Tennessee words to tell its story.
On the way home we passed these beautiful white dogs tending a herd of goats. Mama laughed and said she didn't mind that I turned around to go back and photograph them. How nice to indulge one's self with this kind of foolishness. We made another stop at my nephew's house to pick up my computer that he had been working on. Now this fine young man needs a paragraph written about him of his own...
Josh, my brother's son, is a genius at working on computers, although his shyness, his reluctance to charge the going rate and the horrible tendinitis in his wrists, keeps him from becoming rich at his craft. None-the-less, as a favor to me, Josh took our computer on, after Terr crashed it trying to get rid of a horrible virus, wiping the whole thing out! There is no telling how many hours he spent recovering four years of data and putting our computer back as it once was (but faster!). I will never know all that he did, but I do know that he stayed up until 5AM the morning before I was to come back to Atlanta, so it would be ready for me to take. He would take nothing for his effort because I was family...he said, "you don't charge family". Boy, could we keep that man in poverty with the big family that we have!
I guess my point is, I am so proud of that boy (I know he's a man, but he's my brother's son) and I love him for wanting to do what he could for us. I owe him big time and I will pray for him daily that the pain goes away in his wrists and he will recover from this affliction. I usually only write about my children and grandchildren on Chatterbox, but this young man touched my heart and I in turn will always be there for him. Thanks Joshua!
I didn't mention that my sister had a car wreck and suffered a broken nose (broken in 4 places!) which required surgery. She totaled her car, and is facing many more days of missed work! But the good news is that she will heal and is going to be okay. For this I am so grateful! I was just glad that I was there to see her, cook dinner at her house and know that nothing could keep us apart and away from shopping together! God bless my sister, and my best friend. (I won't insert that picture I took with my cell phone...she would kill me!)
As always it was good to be back in Tennessee. I took Mom with me to the monthly luncheon of the ladies of the class of '65. Later, we watched old movies, cleaned the fish tank and just hung out together. How many 62 year old women do you know that can still go to the home they grew up in, with their mother still there, along with the memories and the laughter.
Tuesday night, my sweet husband greeted me with a warm smile and welcoming hugs and kisses, then with Bibles in hand we went off to Bible study together.
Again, I am blessed.