>Sweet, sweet interlude

18 Jun

>We have begun our last day of southern exposure and the wind down begins. As does the rush of last minute ‘sees’ with the friends and relatives we haven’t made it to yet. You’d think two weeks would be a luxurious amount of time, but when you have a lifetime’s worth of people to catch up with it simply flies.

Our trip has been wrought at times, but mostly all good. Now that mom is all settled into her new place and life, we’ve spent most of our time enjoying each other. Arguing and disagreeing as always, but that’s what you do with the people you love. The brutal honesty settles in and the place of care and concern from whence it came shows itself. Then you move past a little wiser. Poppy has been around a lot. Which is great. We’re like some bona fide progressive California divorced family. Meals and laughs all together with only a whisper of awkwardness thrown in here and there.

Mima is amazing. So independent and young for her 86 years. Feisty and wise. She’s hosted the whole gang at her house, taken us all to lunch, dropped everything to fit in with our whims and busy bustle. She’s been so amused by her little namesake, Bean. As was the hubby’s 92-year-old Gigi. They both adamantly deny that either of them were ever quite that mischievous. Huh.

My cousin drove all the way to Flotown for a visit on Monday. She and her 13-year-old daughter spent the day. I miss her so much. We’ve always been close but now the miles mean we see each other so infrequently. If you’re reading this, E, you must know that you’ve always been like a sister to me and we absolutely must see each other more often. Our crazy gaggle of cousins were the only ones I had and we were all thrown into a heap at Granny’s more often than not. Braving the back seat of the Pinto while our former debutante Granny threw back the Old Milwaukees. Our parents admonishing us to “stay in the back seat! That passenger door flies open around the turns!” Never mentioning the obvious inebriation of our dear Granny. Those were the days. ☺ The days of Little Debbies and Pringles and buttermilk. Yum-yum.

This is what being here does to me. Takes me down memory lane. I’ll drive through Mount Hope and wave to all of my friends and family that rest there in peace now. Or drive past my favorite restaurants that have all burned to the ground (R.I.P Skyview, Benton’s, Carolina Sandwich, P.A.’s…) It’s quite the jolt at times. I also walk cautiously through every parking lot and outside area just waiting for one of the nine brands of venomous vipers to strike out. I’m mental.

But I’ve gotten to see so many of my dear old friends, caught up with my beloved aunts, sipped Mai Tais on one of the most beautiful beaches on the east coast, swam in the muddy waters of Lynches River, had Margs poolside at one friend’s, dinner at another’s, (had a sleepover at my bro-in-law’s with mom, the hubby and both girls no less!) eaten Poppy’s famous chicken bog and Mimi’s boiled peanuts, met my precious little niece and got to catch up with the bigger one too, and watched my girls meet one relative or good-as-related-friend after another. Jumping on their laps (Miss 6-now 7) or giving them a slap (bad ole Bean☺).

So now I sit at my table in my own house after two weeks away. Trying to catch up with a pile of mail, a house full of dog hair and a heap of suitcases still by the door. Bean is greeting her toys and stuffed animals like long-lost-friends. Miss 6 (now 7) was nearly in tears over finally seeing her beloved Ruby and Pearl. I glanced at the paper and the headline: ‘Boulder festival stars jugglers’ jumped out at me, as well as ‘House size limits pass.’ (I won’t mention ‘Naked jogging priest guilty’ since that happened in Greeley anyway ☺) It’s always good to be home.

We did have a great time. The constant stream of friends and relatives well-received and so welcomed. Mom seems to be doing really well overall. I gave her every girl power speech I could muster just in case though.

And as I reflect on the time so recently and quickly past I think of that bird I always hear calling me when I’m there. I heard it as I sat in one of the adirondacks in mom’s garden. I would swear it’s an almost human voice shouting, “Sweet, sweet interlude!” And isn’t that just what a visit home to the southland is all about?

A sweet interlude and then home-sweet-home. Back to the grind it is.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Please Take Me Home. Blink 182. …Be strong when things fall apart. Honest this breaks my heart…Please take me home, too late, it’s gone. I bet you’re sad, this is the best time we ever had


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