>Dance in your Pants

24 Jul

>Beanie is putting on quite a show for the Italian grandmas — they are over the moon because she ate a whole meatball. Too cute. They keep saying, “She’s a good eater! God bless ‘er!”

We’ve been in SC for a week now. The Bean has learned to crawl, Miss 6 has learned that her hair is actually curly, and I’ve learned that I can exhaust myself in no time by trying to mediate my family. Even when I think I’m not doing anything. We all have so much to learn…

We arrived last Monday and could barely conceal our shock when we saw Poppy waiting at the gate beside Grandy at the airport. My parents were both there, grinning big grins and seeming as though not much was different. Even though nearly everything is. Welcome to the South.

I felt like an awkward teenager as I negotiated eye contact vs. no eye contact. Hug or no hug. Etc. The girls were the welcome reprieve as Miss 6 did the “so happy to see you” dance and Beanie grinned her gooey toothy grin. We grabbed luggage and loaded into two cars (we no longer all fit into one) with only one awkward moment: Beanie tried to put Poppy’s fingers in her mouth and he said, “Oh no. You don’t know where those hands have been.” No. We probably don’t. Nervous laughter and the moment passed quickly enough.

The hubby jumped right in on the ride home (alone with Poppy with the girls all loaded into Grandy’s Element). “So what’s your deal?” I couldn’t suppress my shock when he relayed the convo to me later. My reticent hubby got straight to the point. And I couldn’t muster that directness for a full two days. Who knew.

I can’t recall being more concerned about two people in quite a long time. And I’m a worrier. After careful observation, it seems to me that they are moving through life as if time doesn’t matter. As if each day is a vacuum that will erase the actions and words that happened when it ends. The patterns have been etched so deeply for the past 23 years that they are literally stuck in the deep grooves of a well-worn path. The only way for them to make it will be for one or the both to climb out of these deeply dug ruts and create a whole new route. And the key here is for them to help each other climb up and out. If they aren’t both fully engaged in this process, one will be left behind. It’s quite treacherous. And I’m worried. I love them both so dearly and know that they both deserve a life full of joy. So far that just hasn’t been the case. So it’s time for a change. A big one.

My Mima is still herself. She rarely ages, just like a true southern belle. And it’s always such a key part of my coming home ritual to walk up onto her front porch and look left at the old swing. It’s been replaced over the years, but it’s always there. With rockers just in front. A real gathering place. So much has been discussed and ruminated over on that porch it’s like the memories just flood over me the moment I step foot there. We have picture upon picture of me as a toddler being held by my dad in that swing. Me with Mima, mom, my aunt, my Papa. Her house is the one place that holds a slot in time. It’s a constant. Now I have some pictures with Miss 6 and hope to get one with Beanie too in the swing. The generations and the timeless porch swing. It can be hard to be back in a place that holds so much of your past. But not all of it is hard. A lot is easy — like sweet tea, Mima and the front porch.

We spent the first of the week or so here stressing about the hubby’s internet connection. He ended up spending hours at Atlanta Bread Company – which is reportedly going out of business here. And that seemed even more evident to the hubby who was bathed in sweat due to the lack of air conditioning in there. They apparently turn it down in the afternoons — just when it’s hottest. We finally made the dreaded trip to Wally-mart (What can I say? There’s no other choice here — even at the risk of eternal damnation) and bought a new wireless router. It’s worked like a charm. Our sanity saved.

Poppy hung Miss 6’s swing in the backyard, we convinced him to come along for a road trip a couple of towns over to have lunch at this funky place, The Midnight Rooster, and we got in a nice long walk while mom regaled us with stories of the familial woe going on in each house we passed. We went to the new Flotown restaurant by the creek and heard a guy singing Plain White T’s while we ate crab cakes. We’ve eaten boiled peanuts non-stop and had a fun night at the hubby’s brother’s house — grilling out, drinking wine and laughing non-stop. We had lunch with Mima and Aunt K at one of the town favs: Red Bone Alley. And I had to handle a con call smack in the middle of it.

We were insane to plan a two-week trip that meant working during it was a requirement. Here we are, in the middle of a family crisis, and not having been here in a year and a half — and we end up on our computers and crackberries. We haven’t had a moment to spare this whole week. My godfather dropped by to say hello and didn’t stay because he saw we were working. How stupid is that? To be here and not even get to see the people we came to see because of work. All I have to say for myself is that at least we got to come. The technology that tethers us to our work lives also allows us to work while we sit on the in-laws back porch at DeBordieu — overlooking the inland salt water creek…(that would be me, right now.)

So the beach. We got here three days ago and mom came too. It was a first among firsts. My parents, as a rule, do not intermingle with the in-laws. And it’s been 21 years. But mom came to the delight of Miss 6, who had three of her four grandmas all together for possibly the first time in her life. And mom loved it. We spent the first afternoon camped by the ocean, cold beers close at hand. Then the next day we packed up for an entire day of beachin’ it. It was heaven.

The hubby’s mom and grandma love to cook, so we’ve enjoyed fabulous meals and drank good wine. Then mom left and just as quickly slipped back into melodrama mode. Eye-eye-eye…

The other day when we were making the drive to the funky lunch place I saw a Kodak moment. (One of these days I’ll finally buy that SLR!) Off to the side of the country road, I spotted an old worn sign: Arthur’s Funeral Home…Because your loved ones only deserve the best. Hmmm. Then I looked fully at Arthur’s. It was a low slung, decaying brick ranch with a carport. Under the carport — parked in a tangle of weeds — was the hearse. It was missing its front wheels. Only the best…ah yes.

And, that, my friends, just about sums it up. Week one and the fun has just begun.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Dangling on a String. The Chairmen of the Board. To make the trip down memory lane complete. And even Harry Smith and the Early Show were shagging on the battery in Charleston since we’ve been here. Gotta love that beach music!


One Response to “>Dance in your Pants”

  1. Bubble Girl August 3, 2007 at 2:44 pm #

    >Love your writing Cassy, have I mentioned that? When I get my brain and concentration back (maybe in Massachusetts?) I’m going to do some serious research on how to make money from a blog and how to be discovered as a writer. You could be big.xxxxxx’s and welcome back. Thank you for the honor of using your home.


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