Thursday, August 14, 2008

Virginia Reunion

So much has happened in the past month that I've just not sat down to update my blog. Mom and Dad came to Mississippi about two weeks after Chelsey got home from AZ...just around Ken's birthday. They were here a couple of days before we (Ken, Chelsey, Mom, Dad and I) headed to Radford VA for mom's paternal side's family reunion. Chelsey wasn't thrilled with the 11 hour, scrunched in the middle of the back seat drive with four old people but she survived with minimal complaint...what a trooper! Natalie "lucked out" and stayed in Louisiana an extra week until we got home. Virginia spoils us all for living anywhere else. The beauty needs to be experienced. What makes this area even more meaningful is my family's rich heritage there. Mom was always pointing to something and saying, "My daddy helped build that building", or "My granddaddy delivered the mail to this area". Generations of family members have lived in this small corner of Virginia. Mom's Uncle Wylie is still around, as well as her three aunts..what a HOOT! That makes four generations in one of these pictures. These same aunts are Chelsey's great-great aunts!!They remind me of actually living in a real life Steel Magnolias. They are the most amazing ladies and I enjoyed each one of them immensely. One of the traditions is that on Monday morning, after the big gathering of the reunion, the oldsters and out of towners all drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry's Mill for breakfast. We had such a good time. Ken was charming all the aunts, which they loved, and playing photographer. He took some great pictures. FYI: The mill is the most photographed building in VA. Other states even try to claim it as their own but I can vouch that it's in Virginia!One tidbit of cool information that we learned on this trip is that my great-aunt Ilene's husband's (Uncle Bill) granddaddy was a captain in the Confederate army and was with General Lee at Appomatox for the surrender to Grant. Uncle Bill is nearly 90 years old and remembers his granddaddy, who died at the age of 92. We noticed a picture of a younger man in uniform and got the story. His granddaddy even kept the front page of the newspaper detailing the surrender...which Uncle Bill now has. Anyway...we shook Uncle Bill's hand, who had shook his granddaddy's hand who shook the hand of General Lee. So only two people stood between us and General Lee...way cool! The trip was memorable...we ate good food, enjoyed wonderful company and hated to leave!! I LOVE my family!!!