|These stones used to literally just be lay|
out in the fields. Folks gathered them for
fences and the outside of houses.
A year or so before we moved, things changed. In later years I heard stories of my grandmother's meddling and intrusiveness. I'll never really know how much was Daddy's resistance to anyone having a say over my mother and me. Or how much was my mother's mental illness. Or how much was religion, when daddy took mother and me from the family Methodist church where I sat between my parents or grandparents on Sundays, to the austerity of the Church of Christ. I certainly enjoyed Mammaw's yeast rolls over the cafeteria food and conversation of those church people on Sunday afternoon. Indeed, that year or two before we moved to Arkansas were the only years I remember my parents being social. My mother went to the hospital once or twice for her "nervous stomach" but she was relatively stable and we as a family seemed normal to the outside world.
When we moved to Arkansas I mourned yeast rolls and rhubarb pie. I didn't miss the coldness and the undertones of the house. But I dreaded, when I went back two weeks in the summer, returning to Arkansas where things had gotten really crazy. I tried, desperately, to tell my grandparents how wrong things were. I gave up when I was instructed to stop talking bad about my mother. Now I suspect that my grandparents couldn't tolerate their own powerlessness.
Put those thoughts on back the burner.
For the last two Sundays, Cameron and I have been going to church and then taking food to her parents since her father broke his shoulder. I am a convenience freak, and would not normally get up early on a Sunday morning to prepare a casserole before church to carry it to a family member. Hell, I wouldn't normally have a family member to carry a casserole dish to. Let's be honest, the parental units are 700 miles away, as is the youngest son. The eldest son doesn't speak to me. So Cameron's family is the nearest family I have.
Put that on the back burner.
Last night Cameron and I attended dinner and the theatre as guest of his brother and sister-in-law. Every year we pick the show, and as a Christmas present they take us out. Last night we saw Foxfire, which is about family and one's land, and roots. It struck deeply for me. I have no roots. They were torn from the ground and shaken when I was ten, poisoned by mental illness and over thirty moves in my lifetime. My family is distant, divided, or deceased. Yet there I sat with my partner and adopted family, accept and loved.
Put it all together and stir the pot.
Cameron is in the shorts, I'm in the yellow shirt
So going to church today, taking the in-laws food, was a delightful echo of years gone by. The should have, could have, would have of the past coalesced into something imperfect but beautiful, treasured and delightful. I actually spent the week planning the menu: veggie pie, slow cooked chicken, Saltine Toffee and Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies.
I'm feeling daring. I think next week will be Sunday Sausage, Apple, and Cheese Strata and I want to try NILLA Tiramisu Cookie Balls.