Today has been a good day. I went out with Uncle Chuck last night for a few drinks and to catch up, and when I got home around 9:30 pm Mama was still up studying her Sunday School lesson. We stayed up and talked until a little after 11 pm and then I gratefully climbed into bed. I was able to sleep in a little this morning since Mama and Aunt Gail fed the kids breakfast and it felt wonderful.
When I finally dragged myself out of bed, there was hot coffee waiting for me in the kitchen and I sat at the kitchen table and visited with Aunt Gail for a little while. She had decided to not go to church this morning since she was still recovering from gall bladder surgery, and this worked out well for me since she didn't have to rush off to get dressed. We chatted for a while, then I stopped inhaling the coffee long enough to get the kids dressed for church. They went with Mama and Daddy since they are more familiar with the people who go to church there and I was planning on attending church with Granny Effler.
Once they were gone, I sat back down for some more time with Aunt Gail and just enjoyed the time together. Catching up with Aunt Gail at the kitchen table is one of the things I most look forward to when I come home. There is usually chocolate and/or caffeine involved, and we just talk. Sometimes it's just the two of us, and sometimes other members of the family are there as well. She is funny, witty and intelligent...traits I like to think I see in myself from time to time. She is the person (besides my own mother, obviously) that I consider to be most like a mother to me and I love her dearly.
I present for your review the Foot Rubbing Incident. Aunt Gail hates feet. Let me say it again so that we are absolutely clear: she hates feet. She has passed this trait on to Courtney which led to many episodes of kicking and screaming following an "innocent" foot in the face when we were children. Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, she had come to stay with me in the hospital when I was sick years ago. The woman who hates feet (unless they are fresh from the womb and untainted by sweat) removed my socks and rubbed my feet to make me feel better. To most people that would not seem like much of a story, but for Aunt Gail to do that was to show the kind of love that only a mother could have.
I somehow got lucky enough in this life to have not just one mother to love and care for me, but two. This does not detract from the special bond and relationship that I have with Mama, but I do have a special place in my heart for Aunt Gail. I consider it a blessing that my children know and love her the way that I do.
So, after our visit I got dressed and met Granny Effler at Jerusalem Baptist. As usual, the music was terrible but worth sitting through for the sermon. Her pastor is wonderful and I always enjoy his sermons because I am convicted by the Holy Spirit every time I hear him speak. He truly has the gift of teaching and I look forward to the next time I can hear him preach.
According to Granny, Bro. Stacey always runs over and today was no exception. We hurriedly went out to our cars after the service and I called Mama to let her know we were on our way home for lunch. Mama made a phenomenal chicken and sausage gumbo and it was good to sit around the table with Uncle Chuck, Granny, Aunt Gail and my parents and share a meal. We finished up with a pumpkin cake with orange-cream cheese icing that was to die for. I'm going to have to try that frosting recipe soon.
Later in the afternoon, I went to visit Granny Traylor at the rehab center where she is staying while she recuperates from her hip surgery. She was in good spirits and we had such a good visit. We covered everything from the inappropriateness of flip-flops and tank tops in church to her complete disdain for scrambled eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. The time flew by too quickly and soon it was time for me to get back to Mama and Daddy's so they could leave the kids to go to church.
I fed the kids and got them settled outside, and then Aunt Gail woke up from a nap and I made grilled cheese sandwiches for us and we ate outside while Nathan and Grace drew on the cement with chalk. I felt such a sense of deep contentment sitting there watching the kids play and being there with family. I was so glad that I didn't have to leave until tomorrow.
So, tomorrow I will head back west to take up my life where I left off. I miss Trevor and so do the kids, so it will be good to see him again. Thank you God. Thank you for sunshiny days filled with simple pleasures. I am so blessed.