Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another Year Gone

My company closes down for the last 10 days of the year, so I actually got to be home for the holidays this year. It's not happened for 14 years...the year my grandmother passed from this terrestrial realm.

As we came down county road 28 into Grady...turning onto the street that is now known as Meriweather Trail...The train tracks came into view and on the otherside stood a church. I told my son, "There's my Great-grandaddy's church."

A bit further down the road, "There's my Great-grandaddy's house. There's Memaw's house..." Pointing them all out. Houses of people long gone from this mortal coil. Houses that still retain, forever in my mind, the imprint of those who had gone before. My cousin Karen now inhabits the home that once sheltered that wonderful man, my great-grandfather. My Aunt Helen and her husband in the home that once housed my mother's mother with warmth and strength. The places where the family would gather, the cows would moo and the fields would grow.

It was, and always will be, home.

Farther down the road, we turned off onto the drive that winds back through the trees leading into my parents' property. This place removed from the rest of the world. Every hectic worry, every stress filled moment dropped away and I breathed deep in a new world the second the trees closed in on us.

It was three in the morning, and a soft rain was falling. The moon would peek out from time to time, playing peek-a-boo with the world below and a soft haze filled the land around the house. Its glow lighting up the area as if it were a midnight sun, glinting off of the falling rain.

My family gathers at my Aunt's and spends hours with each other, plays games, opens gifts, eats and strengthens the ties that bind. I never really realized how very much I miss that, until I was there.

My mother's paintings displayed beautifully on the wall, the tree dripped ornaments and twinkled with lights, the laughter and chatter fluttered about on the air, the whimper of my newest cousin (my favorite cousin's new baby) wafted about from time to time...and everywhere, love.

I cooked while I was at home. Mom loves to clean, I love to cook - it works like a charm.

She asked that I post two recipes that are pretty simple and quick to make, but are pretty tasty, so I will be working on those over the next few days. One is a Tuna Casserole, the other is simple Empanadas. I also made the little cakes I mentioned. I went with devil's food cake and caramel. They seem to have been a hit.

Anyway, I'm back at my house...dogs much spoiled by the adventure, and finding myself wishing I were back home.

I made a few baby wash cloths for my newest cousin - and, of course, forgot to take photos. I really do need to get better about that.

Ah well, life calls and I must answer. I hope you all have been having a delightful time.