June 9, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

I must begin with an "Ode to Home". There are two places that have made indelible impressions upon my heart, mind, perhaps my very soul. The essence of these localities have become a part of who I am. Without them I would not be me. They have influenced my life; they inspire my heart. They are very different from one another, and made their impressions upon me in very different ways, for very different reasons.

Tonight I sit in the house that I have considered my "home" for most of my life - though I've never really lived here - and I ponder what makes this place so wonderful. I know instantly the answer to that is the people who inhabited this place. For all those who never knew my Grannie and Granddaddy, I am sorry. They were truly remarkable people. This month marks the one year anniversary of Granddaddy's passing and it has been a hard year, in many respects. I miss him so very, very much. The life that has filled these rooms is almost tangible. When I wake each morning I think of Granddaddy waking me up at 5:30 am in the summers to eat breakfast with him before he went to work, and I would crawl back in bed. As I drift off to sleep I think of Grannie sleeping on the floor with me, my brother, and our cousin, giggling until who knows how late and finally offering to pay the first one to go to sleep $5.00. Every inch of this house holds such fond memories for me. But it isn't just the two whom I miss and love so dearly who made/make this place so wonderful... it's the family I still have here.

It was here that I learned to ride a horse. To drive a car/truck/tractor. The right way to eat a watermelon (go to the garden, pick one, bust it open, eat the heart out of it, feed the rest to the cows). To wave to everyone who drives by. And what FAMILY really means. Last night as my cousin and I were coordinating our plans for lunch today, our phones were not cooperating. My cell gets sporadic service on a good day (the house phone got switched back on today - hurray) and her phone was having issues as well. I was standing on the back deck, in a chair (picture really bad cellphone commercial - Can you hear me now) when I hear very faintly... Taaaamaaarrraaa! I look out across the field and my cousin is standing on her porch. She yells - I'll see you at noon tomorrow!. We proceeded to make our arrangements the old fashioned way and then each went inside.

Sound country? It is. And I LOVE it. I love that my family expects me to just walk in and holler "Hey!" and that they do the same thing. That my uncle checks on me at least once a day to make sure I'm okay and see if I need anything. That Whiddon sees me at the barn and takes me by the hand and says, "let's go inside" because he wants to play with the vaccuum cleaner (which I still don't know why we have because we have NO CARPETING). I love that when I have a headache it is considered stupid of me to drive to town for medicine when there are at least 5 houses within 1/2 a mile that I could (and am expected to) raid the medicine cabinet when I need something.

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