I am finally back in Mississippi, after 7 weeks in Texas with little phone signal, less Internet, and yet a whole lotta experiences tucked under my belt, even if not in Lottabusha County. I left Mississippi on May 15, with Mama Scruffy, and yet unnamed kitties. Now frankly, they were somewhat traumatized by the trip, the stop off at my friends in Dallas, only to be loaded up again and transported into yet another strange environment in their short little lives. As you can see from the picture though, they adjusted.
It was a roller coaster ride for seven weeks, and probably ran the gamut from the mundane and minimal to the super awesome. Sunday dinner with Mother, cousin reunions, cemetery tramping, the just plain old hard physical labor were interspersed with the ordinary daily tasks.Mother celebrated her 91st birthday May 25. [Note: it is good to come from a long line of folks who live a long time in relatively good health; it bodes well for my future.]
Mother’s nieces whom she has not seen since for a long time came and spent a week with us. Joining us were my two aunts (Mother’s brother’s wife and their son, and Daddy’s only sister with her sweet doggie Abby), my sister, and several of the friends and neighbors. In the last 5 years, we have tried to celebrate the good things as well as survive the difficult ones, and making 91 and still fairly independent is definitely something to celebrate.My long-time dear friend Jane from Dallas where she and her husband live now, who also graciously overnighted me, Mama Scruffy, and two kitties on the trip to Texas, came to help me with packing up and sorting out the house. She also brought along fresh tomatoes in several varieties from their garden, and some of the most wonderful peaches ever from Ham’s Orchard in Tyler, Texas. Now let me tell you, when friends share peaches and tomatoes, you know they are friends. Mostly, it was just fun to hang out. Minimalism was my go-to word, but it may have been a step below that at times, however, to enjoy a meal with my friend Jane, my sis Jane, and to cherish the times with those we love who help us celebrate, and shore us up when there is nothing to celebrate or at least seems like there is not is a treasure to cherish.There were certainly aspects that seemed very minimal, but also, moments that made me feel blessed and grounded. It was difficult to keep up with all that was happening, because the rural area has poor cell phone reception most of the time. That was both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes, the time we spend with ourselves in moments of quiet thought is healing and produces growth. Sometimes, it seemed a bit ironic that even though I was “roughing it” nonetheless I had bits and pieces of family, beauty, and the simple joy of a house that was cool, filled with loving memories, and even though spartan in the whole, brought me joy along with the difficult task of sorting out my parents’ lives as represented in material things.
It was healing and exasperatingly painful. Joyful and sorrowful. Filled with insight and filled with questions. In a world filled with fear and anger for many, pain and sorrow for others, I felt myself both incredibly blessed for the opportunity to sort through all those conflicting emotions while feeling relatively secure and safe, and at the same time, knowing that was not and is not the case for so many more. That is not said to negate the joy and wonder of the time there. It is not said to wallow in sack cloth and ashes. It is said to recognize that to she who is given much, much is expected. We have work to do in order to provide those opportunities to each of us, as each of us deserve them.