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,
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