Saturday dawned bright and early…well actually, EVERY day dawns early, doesn’t it? But not all dawn bright. I like the bright ones best…don’t do the cloudy, rainy ones as well. Great and leisurely breakfast. Took our time getting dressed. Visit a while…dress a while. With 1 bathroom, we all had to hurry, and not use TOO MUCH HOT WATER!!!This is the back of Aunt Marie’s house. I think it is so neat. It is a tiny house…but always big enough. The house was built by her husband and his father. They chopped the trees and made them into lumber and built it themselves. It has 2 bedrooms, a living room and a dining room and kitchen. Also a den and a small screened porch. And, see that carport over there? That is the choice place for shelling peas, butterbeans, zipper peas…shucking corn, cutting and eating watermelon…anything that needs to be done outside. In all our time together, I have NEVER seen anyone come in her front door. There might not even be a front door, for all I know. This is the kind of house where everyone who comes in feels like they are at home. That doesn’t just happen…it comes because of the people who live here and have lived here. My Uncle Arthur Lee died quite a few years ago. He was a dear man. Gruff and tender at the same time. No nonsense…but full of fun. I miss him, and I love him still.

My Aunt Della came over to visit…she lives a few miles away. It was good to catch up on her children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren! She’s a very sweet lady…so glad we got to spend some time with her.

OK…on to Saturday night. My Uncle Charles,pictured here, is a hoot and a half! He’s always loves to give me grief. Do you see all his grey hair? He’s gotten really old since the last time I saw him. And, when he laughs, he makes the funniest sound…kinda like “Hee-Haw-Hah…Hee-Haw-Hah” Strange I’ve never really noticed that about him before…hmmmmm…

Well, in spite of his ornery ways, he DID take us all out to dinner on Saturday night. We went to a long standing restaurant in the Clinton area, The Sandpiper. They served seafood…and it was delicious. But, the dessert was so tiny, it was really just 1 bite! Left you wanting more!

Here is a cute picture of Uncle Charles and Pop. Looks as if Uncle Charles is telling some joke…that’s normal!

And here is Joy and I with Uncle Charles and Aunt Evelyn. Isn’t she pretty. Mom always thought so, too. She is Mom’s baby sister. I can remember Mom talking about her and saying how she always had such a neat home. Always in order. She is a saint…she’s put up with Uncle Charles all these years. 🙂 Mom loved her dearly…and I love her dearly. I wish we lived closer and could spend more time together.

Here are Mother and daughter, Annie and Ada! Thought I had a pic of 7, the black donkey…must have lost it. Hmmmmmmmmm… Annie and Ada…those are his mother and mother in law’s names…no disrespect intended.
Now, I like to learn things. Isn’t the world so full of things we’ll never know about? I just feel like I want to know everything about everything that I can. So, here’s what I learned about donkeys. Girls are jennies…boys are jacks. Uncle Charles says they are very smart. They come when he blows the horn of his truck…as they come up, 7, the jack, started talking, and Uncle Charles talked right back to him! Hmmmmm guess he speaks their language! Anyway, he has the donkeys to keep the cows safe! The donkeys will run and kill any varmit that gets in their pen. Like what? I don’t really know…but if it is a small varmit…7 and Ada and Annie are on the job! And, the cows will not come if he is on the brown truck…they will only come if he is on the white one. The horns sound different, and the white one is the one with the feed. Isn’t that amazing? Well, it is to a city girl. They also raise teeny, tiny miniature horses. Can carry only about 50 pounds. So cute! I need a picture of them…sorry.

After dinner, we came back to Aunt Marie’s to visit. We had a delightful treat. My cousin, Chris and his wife, Lori, and children, Heather and Brian, all come to visit. I was so glad to see them all. The children were so young last time I saw them, and now they are in HS and College! Chris is Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Charles’s son. Also, they have a daughter, Lisa. The teeny horses are hers. Sorry, no pics here either. Sometimes I just lose myself, and forget what I need to do. And, when I find me again, I don’t always remember what I should have been doing! Ever happen to you?
Well, as we talked, I learned Uncle Charles and I have something in common. He’s a collector, too. And, he likes to display his collections in his office and barn. He has many pump somethings, and little tractors, and about a hundred old cast iron skillets! AND…crocks and jugs! Well, that peaked my interest! I have a wonderful collection over my stove in my kitchen. They are all old. Shirl and Tina got several for me last year, and several I already had. We hopped in the truck and went down the road to see. How interesting! He has everything displayed so nicely. He is an auctioneer and knows everybody in the county…on account of he’s been around for so long…and people just call him when they have the stuff he likes! Neat, huh? He gave me a rusty skillet, and a jug. Actually, I think it’s a whiskey jug. I’m certain he never used it for that, however!!! He had some wonderful big crocks, too. However, since I already had a chair in the trunk, I figured I better not push my luck and try to bring one of those home…so the whiskey jug came home with me. See it, to the right of the picture! It’s great! And, I loved adding it to my collection! Never mind that I nearly broke my neck when I climbed up on the cabinets and tried to heave it up there! Hey Lisa, save me that tall crock with the flower on the front…I’ll be back one day!

This was a wonderful day! Full of fun, family, laughs, and new memories!

And, it’s Sunday. A light breakfast, because we all know what’s coming for lunch…a FEAST of epic proportions! We can hardly wait.

To pass the time, Pop, Joy and I go to the cemetery to look for the grave of Pop’s Navy buddy and life long friend. After they were discharged, Pop went to NC to see Lafayette and ended up staying and working in a restaurant they owned. His Mom took him to church with them, and while he was there he spotted a cute young girl in the choir…she turned out to be the girl he married…my Mom. And, the rest, as they say, is history. My history.

While driving over to the cemetery where my grandparents are buried, I spotted this sign at the end of a road…why is there another stop sign on the fence, when there is already one on a pole?

Getting up close, we see ‘WHOA’ instead of ‘STOP’. We thought that was so funny. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but there are horses inside the fence it is posted on! Pretty smart!

Now, back to that lunch we were waiting for…Country ham, Chicken and Dumplings(chicken pastry round these parts), corn, peas,candied yams, congealed salad, tomatoes, biscuits, cornbread,tea, lemon cheesecake, pumpkin roll, pound cake…and she forgot the okra. Delicious…Wonderful!

This is my cousin, Harry, Aunt Marie’s son and his wife Charlotte. Dear people. Harry had a heart cath the morning we left, and had a stint implanted. Get well, Harry! Do what the Doctor says!

And, these are Aunt Marie’s great-grandsons, Landon and Tanner. These are delightful boys, who I had not seen since they were very small.

We ate, and visited, and before we turned around good, Aunt Marie had prepared a big pot of chicken and rice…with cornbread. When Joy was a little girl, she told Aunt Marie she wanted her to cook some ‘loose rice’…so that name has stuck and I suppose it will forever more be ‘loose rice’ in this family.

And, so it ends…our time with the family, at least. Big hugs all around! I always dread this part. The getting in the car and driving away. It is just so far away…and I love them all so much.

Me with sweet Aunt Ree…
(Yes, I do have another shirt, but this one had already been stretched out. And, since I knew I was going to be undergoing tremendous stress in the backseat…I thought it wise to dress as comfortable as possible)

A quick hug from Joy

One last wave….a prayer by the road…and away we go!

FROM CLINTON TO DOTHAN…coming up in Part 3…