Sunday, March 15, 2009

Visits and more visits

For the past several weekends, Ken and I have traveled all over Mississippi visiting various family members. Seems like we're trying to fill our 'bucket' on fast forward speed. We've spent many peaceful weekends down at Ken's mom's home...just can't get enough of their quiet setting, sitting out on the patio or porch watching and listening to the birds and just being away from the 'busy' and feeling the 'calm'. They have an ideal place to be retired in!! We went again last weekend on our way to deliver Natalie back to her mother. The plan was that she would return to live with her mother when she turned 18...her 18th birthday was March 11th, so off she went. She took her little companion, Gus, with her as well. The house is a lonely place without them both and although Gracie didn't fully accept Gus back after he disappeared, she went around calling for him for sad! So...we are officially empty nesters right now! AND I DON'T LIKE IT!!! I miss my girls but know that they are off onto the next stage of life.

Early in February went up to Ken's brother's house outside of Memphis, to visit his step-mom, who now lives there. Mom Liz is an amazing woman. She has such strength! She's been able to continue on without Ken's dad, which we thought would do her in. She's been through open heart surgery, has diabeties, finished chemo therapy (yes, she has cancer as well) and after a serious fall...she went into a tailspin with her health and we didn't know how long she would last. BUT, she's doing great! Pat and Kelly are awesome (her son and daughter-in-law). They have opened their home to her and given her such a wonderful place to live and be happy in. We had such a nice visit with them all.

Once again, we made a trip up to Corinth. And once again, Teddy drove over from Little Rock to meet up with us! It's been great to have this time to spend together. (I really appreciate your taking time out to be with us...Thanks!) This time our emphasis was the Civil War, as well as family history search. We stayed our first night outside of Tupelo at Aunt Peggy's. I loved looking at the old family photos she has compiled and she graciously, along with Uncle Bill's help, let me scan copies of the most amazing, really old pictures! Can't wait to work on them and create a picture family tree!! Uncle Monte made a suprise visit at Aunt Peggy's and brought Ken a set of lawyer bookcases...something he has wanted for years! Thanks a bunch, Uncle Monte!! We (Ken, Teddy and I) drove up to Corinth and traipsed through a couple more cemetaries and made the necessary stop at Borrum's for a chocolate milkshake, even though the temperature outside was freezing! We visited the Corinth Interactive Civil War Museum...a must if you're passing through, and after the usual 'southern' chatting with the workers, found out that the woman working in the giftshop used to ride bikes as a little girl with my Aunt Judy!! We ended the day at Shilo National Park, about an hour north of Corinth. We got a much different feeling here than at the Corinth museum. If you know your Civil War history, you'd know that Shilo was a two day battle that accomplished NOTHING but the deaths of over 24 thousand men and boys. It's here that the famous "bloody pond" is located. Where soldiers from both sides, and even the horses, came to drink and wash their many so that the water became a pond of blood. I can't even describe the feelings I got driving through the fields and woods that were the battlefield. There are 5 burial trenches where the Southern soldiers were piled, and then buried...the utter waste of life...the tragedy of it all. Northern soldiers were reinterred, with headstones, in the National Cemetary there on the site. We left Shilo feeling 'heavy' and drove to Pickwick lake. Mom has talked alot about her fun at Pickwick. Well, we stayed at Uncle Jeff and Aunt Bette's breathtakingly beautiful lake house. After a great Prime Rib dinner, we talked into the night (well, I slept on the chair, Ken and Ted talked). Then we woke up Sunday morning to 2" of snow. It was the stuff dreams are made of...waking to a view of a beautiful lake and the deck covered with snow...a pure feeling of quiet. You could just feel your bloodpressure lower!! What an amazing get-away! I think I'd like to book a week in July and again in October (for the Fall colors)!!! Thank you so much Aunt Bette for letting us stay! Before we headed back to Jackson, we met up with the Oxford family and had a great short visit. No worries...I'll be back!!!

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