Sweet William and I are mostly home bodies. Partly out of necessity but also because we just enjoy being at home.
While we’ve had dreams of traveling to far countries, of cruises to the islands, and seeing other parts of the world, travel is arduous for us now. The baggage and effort are heavy duty.
We are still in the learning process, learning to be content where we are planted. We have comfort of home and nature’s beauty around us. We know all our neighbors and can call them when we need assistance. Maisie and I walk our quiet lane safely, watching the wildlife and waving to passing cars.
On the occasion we do travel, it will usually be to visit the family, our dear ones,. Such was the case last week. Our eldest granddaughter graduated high school, and July was the opportunity for her family to gather to celebrate her accomplishment.
The trip took us to Sweet Home Alabama, the place of our daughter-in-love’s heritage and childhood memories. Alabama is hot in July, the air thick with humidity. The skies are the bluest blue and the clouds fluffiest white (I always find a poodle somewhere in the sky).
The Live Oaks are just amazing. Crept Myrtles grow like trees and color the landscape in pastels and deep hues.
Southern is spoken there, y’all.
The evening of the party, tables were set in white with flowers and candles. Food was abundant and iced drinks helped keep us cool. We fanned ourselves like a group of old-time tent revival attenders.
Children, teenagers, middle-agers and older-agers (is that even a word?) congregated to congratulate our granddaughter for another milestone completed. She looked beautiful and was the princess for the evening. The next journey she takes will be as a young adult. She will try her wings and see where they take her.
Family is God’s plan, His idea from the very beginning. We are born there and other times we draw people to us and call them kin. Either way, we are blessed to be connected to others in deep relational ways.
Our strengths combined help us accomplish much more than we could on our own. Our weaknesses are quickly evident, and we learn to forgive and be forgiven. We challenge one another to grow and to become our best selves.
Iron sharpens iron. And in the family, we rub each other the wrong way and then pat each other on the back. We get on each other’s last nerve and jump to the defense if someone is threatened. We don’t see eye to eye as we all have our opinions. We can even talk politics or religion and still love each at the end of the day.
As extended family, we may not be together often enough, as often as we would like. But we do whatever it takes when one of us is in pain, when death takes one of us home. And we drive the distance to celebrate the triumphs.
Joy and sorrow bring us back together once again. For whatever reason, whatever the event or need, we show up because we love each other.
It is the love that is God, the love that he lavishes on us, the love that makes us family.
Photos were taken by different family members.
As the one and only son said so aptly, “I love these people.”