Home Again

sweet home

Image courtesy of Etsy.com

The cross-stitch sampler shown above was prominently displayed on the wall of my maternal grandparents’ kitchen in their home, Windy Hill, in Argo, Alabama.  From 1980 through 2006, their secluded, rural, mountaintop estate, with its 5 acres of rolling hills and planted fields, was my favorite haven when I needed a brief escape from the world.  It was only a 3-hour drive from my Tennessee home, to which I returned for good in 1992, and I spent many wonderful, relaxing, 3- and 4-day weekends there until a year after my Grandma died in 2005, and Grandpa moved here to live close to my Mom, his oldest daughter.

I never forgot that sampler and the profundity of its simple message.  I have often remembered it upon returning home from vacation.  But never has it rung more true than when we returned from The Boss’s home town in Louisiana Sunday night.  I was so grateful to be able to shower in my own bathroom and especially to sleep in my own bed.  Life among my wife’s Cajun kinfolk is chaotic, unpredictable, and rife with family drama that we’d gladly do without.

Yes, the food was worth the drive, and I got my fill of homemade gumbo, boudin, cracklins, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffé as well as this monstrous beauty,

IMG_2687

which almost killed me and caused me to have to sleep sitting up and skip breakfast the following day.  Yes, I ate it all followed by créme brullé for dessert.  My resolve not to gain 5 pounds on this trip turned out to be quite futile.

Our whirlwind journey, which consisted of 3 days of food and family infighting fun bookended by two 11-hour drives, culminated in a family reunion Saturday.  The Boss got to reconnect with cousins, aunts, & uncles she hasn’t seen in 20 years or more, and the kids and I got to eat a smorgasbord of good food and meet lots of new people.

But when the elders present demanded the attention of the group and began indulging in the atavistic ritual of storytelling, it didn’t take long for the youngest there to lose interest and start misbehaving, after which the reunion devolved into round after round of back-pounding hugs, crushing handshakes, sloppy wet cheek-kisses, and tearful vows to reunite more often.

As a keen, delighted, and oft-bemused observer of human behavior, I very much enjoyed noting the way the different generations responded to the event and comparing it all to the family reunions I remembered from my own youth.  Following the widespread initial joy of reconnecting, the most notable behaviors were: abject boredom evident in the slumped shoulders and flat, dull expressions of the young, who twitched like junkies in anticipation of the return of their briefly-confiscated iPads, smart phones, Xboxes, etc.; undisguised disgust clear in the pinched faces, shaking heads, and clucking tongues of the elders unable to comprehend how their children could’ve raised such an indolent and disrespectful generation; and for the middle generations, the rapid switch on faces glowing with nostalgic happiness to looks of sullen despair at their kids’ behavior to smiles of relief as they prepared to escape.

I hope y’all can forgive this rambling and somewhat pointless post.  I’m still caught somewhere between the post-vacation blues and the returning to work doldrums.  I did miss y’all very much and hope that you’ve all enjoyed yourselves the past week.  I look forward to talking to you in the coming days.

It’s good to be back!

Via: Ragtag Daily Prompt Atavism

Via:  Daily Addictions Daily Prompt Futile

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24 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. I skipped every one of the words that you wrote and went straight to the picture about monstrous creature from the sea good heavens you’re only a slip of a man and you did that entire thing. Bravo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Once a cap wearing chap of slight build
        Largest creature in the ocean killed
        ate it all for his brunch
        then it’s kids for his lunch
        and it’s parents for supper, most thrilled

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I know you will cherish these moments and opportunities. They really do go away. 😦 I’d give a lot to have one more annoying family dinner with my aunts all yelling at each other about what they’d do if they had a million dollars. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They’re definitely a mixed bag every time. But now that the kids are old enough to appreciate doing so, we’re going to try to cut down on the number of trips there and instead take vacations to more educational and informative destinations. That’s the plan, anyway. Sometimes the pull of family can be irresistible even though my wife is always ready to come home after 2 or 3 days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the cross-stitch sampler’s sentiment. Sounds as if the trip was a success in reminding you of what comforts you truly enjoy in life. That meal…oh, my, that looks rich tasting! PS – nice to have you back here in the blogging world!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think once people are past the age of 20, they long for the comforts of home, somewhere where they can be themselves and do not have to hide aspects of themselves. So, wait a while, they will eventually discover that there is no place like
    home.

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  5. Rambling? I think not. Your post was full of “everything” new and old, feelings, touching moments, and OMG the food!!!!!!!!! That alone is worth it all (my daughter is deadly allergic to fish and shellfish) and as a result I haven’t eaten any in 23 years. I miss it, and ok on occasion I admit lust for it, a taste, a whiff, a joyous mouthful of the now “forbidden fruit”. Sigh. Although the kids may have occasionally gone into “glaze” heaven, that expression of omg what am I doing here, in later years, they’ll enjoy with fondness getting to know “family” because there is a connectedness that comes with meeting past generations that we don’t fully understand and respect until it’s usually too late. Glad your back, look forward to your blog, and happy for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Phyllis, you are so sweet. I’ve been working on a new short story in my Copperhead County series, featuring reader favorite Colt Jackson, in response to the “Spin a Story” challenge that Vic tagged me with Tuesday. I’ll post it tonight or early tomorrow morning. I’ll try to get caught up with “Phase Shift” soon!

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    1. Thank you, LuAnne, we did. I was raised in the Army and rarely got to spend time with extended family, so it was always a joy and a privilege to do so. Also, more of my family was economically much better of than most of hers was, and no one on either side of my family has ever divorced. Hers is an enormous network of poor and struggling kin spread over a large, impoverished, rural area where family strife, violence, and divorce are daily events. So yeah, different!

      Liked by 1 person

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