I grew up gathering on the porch to listen to stories, share in conversation, and in the summer eat watermelon. Every once in awhile we might have homemade ice cream…yum. Even though my great-grandparents have long since passed we still continue the tradition. Doesn’t matter whose home we’re gathered at if the weather is nice enough you’ll find us on a porch, patio, or deck.
It’s from those days on a porch that I dreamed big and knew I had family that would support those dreams. I still have big dreams, and I still sit on the porch despite the fact I’m in my forties. You can always dream! My great-grandparents had a swing on their porch and it’s something that I love! Even after I moved off and had a home of my own I had a swing. I’m on my third swing. It’s a big cedar monstrosity and I love it. It sits near the firepit, so when it’s cool enough for a fire I lay on the swing and watch the fire burn. On sunny days it’s the place I go to read a book or watch the clouds move across the sky…sometimes I take a nap.
Today we celebrated my grandmother’s 89th birthday. She is the epitome of a southern woman. Fine manners, gracious, Godly, hospitable and always put together. We couldn’t go feed cows until she had her make-up on and hair done. I’m not quite living up to that standard since I love my yoga pants. One thing she did was set the precedence that women are equal early on in our family. When she married my grandfather, the ladies in the family had to wait until the men had eaten before they could sit down to eat, because they served the men and children first. My Granny wasn’t having that she was sitting down at the same time to share a meal with my grandfather…you know that must’ve been a shocker when she bucked that tradition. I respect her gumption because in those days that wasn’t the norm, so I say thank you for paving the way and being the southern woman you are! Think ‘tawanda‘ from Fried Green Tomatoes…my Granny is a feisty one! I think I must’ve got a double dose of feisty from her but it serves me well.
This evening as I sat enjoying the conversation around me I couldn’t help but think of the past, and how all those experiences shaped me as a person. My values, love of family, friends that become your family, respect for a hard days work, love of siblings and cousins, and my faith that was nurtured by the family around me. I needed my village and fortunately I grew up in a rural area where I could run wild…well as wild as my parents let me. We had the screen door and I did hear ‘don’t come back in until I say you can‘. It’s funny now but we had so much freedom. I try to give my son freedom to learn and grow, but goodness it’s nothing like what I had. That’s probably due to the world we live in today in comparison to way back when…geez now I feel freaking old.
I’ve enjoyed my Labor Day weekend of family and friends, which is how it should be! Phones down and conversation flowing. Sharing of our lives and how we can find time to put some culture in it. Opera or ballet is in our future. Might be like the Beverly hillbillies come to town but we look pretty good all slicked up. It will be an adventure.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday…I’m planning to hit the lake for some fun in the sun!!