July 12, 2005

Sweet Tea and Fried Apple Pies

I went "home" for my family reunion back in June. It was both good to be there and sad to be there. I've had to wait all this time to be able to write about it with some semblance of control. There was much that brought me joy, and laughter. There was also much that brought me sorrow and pain. But isn't that so much of what knits our lives together? Without one the other isn't quite as strong.

My cousin and I reminisced about the stories my Grannie used to tell us when we were growing up. Stories about the girl with the golden arm, Ollie, Arith and the little fly that wanted to go to heaven when he died. (If you don't know these stories - ask me sometime, they lose their humor in writing them down). We sang the songs she sang to us as we grew up (the Old Rusty Wagon, Turn the Radio On, Amazing Grace, All Night Long). The silliness that was very much my Grannie's way, her love for the piano and music and her love for God.

My Grannie has Alzheimers or at least some form of dementia or other. I'm not sure she's officially been diagnosed. She won't go anywhere my Granddaddy doesn't take her. It seems she is sure of him and him alone. If you are in the room and she sees you on a regular basis - she knows who you are, if not she probably doesn't. I was pleased to find she thought I looked familiar and pained to know she didn't know who I was. My granddaddy kept telling her "well, Ruth, she's my granddaughter, so I guess that means she's your kin too!" I love my Granddaddy. The sweet way he deals with carrying for her day in and day out is so touching. (In face, he's about the most awesome man alive!)

So as I said there was pain and sorrow, but there too was mirth. Joy and happiness as can only be found when one has a sense humor, enjoys laughing at funny situations and has a family reunion in the deep south.

My cousin has recently married a man (Kevin) whose last name is Heartsill. Our family has married a lot of Heartsills. At least two of my great-aunts married Heartsills, a few of my mother's cousins and now my cousin. So, while there is no blood connection between us and Kevin, there do happen to be more than a few Heartsills at our family reunion. Now to complicate things a little more Kevin's mother was a Conway. We happen to have a few Conways grafted into our Family Tree as well. So last year when they showed up at the family reunion, Kevin was more closely related to a greater number of people than my cousin and I. Imagine the humor in trying to explain that you are at this family reunion with your girlfriend (now wife) and that it's HER family reunion! Good thing southerners know their bloodlines!

Now my favorite thing at the reunion (next to seeing family and all) is the fried apple pies my Cousin Elizabeth makes. Its a recipe that's been past down from one generation to the next (if you can all it a recipe since its more - a little of this and a little of that. Its my goal to one day conquer this recipe and be the person from the next generation that everyone expects to bring them. The other delicacy I enjoy is... well the Sweet Tea. I mean this is the South. But when you have a bunch of southerns all making their own Sweet Tea and then it all gets poured in together and mixed up - its about the BEST Tea you can have. I have dreams about that tea!

So to conserve on space and time - and to keep from airing all my family's quirks on the internet, I'll save a couple great stories for telling in person... but remember to ask me about Kevin's cousin running over himself with his own truck, while he was driving it!

No comments:

Post a Comment