Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Exploring My Roots: A Trip to Alabama

A slice of sweet life...

Last year, Charles and I drove from NC to Alabama to visit my grandmother. My mom took us on a tour of the property and shared some history with us as well. It's a slice of life we don't hear often, and such a refreshing reminder of my heritage. 

On the video below, she describes growing up in the country, including how family and neighbors lived off the land, how she learned to drive at age 13, and the little store her parents used to run right in front of the house. AND I finally got to see a real salt lick... as opposed to the Salt Lick BBQ restaurant, which you simply must visit if you're in Central Texas. 

Want to know more about this trip? Read more, right after the jump...

Several years ago, my grandma celebrated her 90th birthday at home with her huge family. She had nine kids, so you can imagine the crowd.  Grandma wasn't saying much, but she was cheesing, enjoying her cake and all the love. Unfortunately, Charles wasn't able to go with me to the party.

This visit in 2011 was his first time meeting her, and my first time "back home" in a while. I value these trips now more than ever. We never know when we'll get the chance to see family again, so I'm glad we were able to spend time with her AND gain some insight about our family history and heritage. 

Years ago when I was a rebellious teen, Grandma mailed me the sweetest letter I ever received, telling me to be obedient to my parents and that she loved me. During this visit to see her, I went to her bedside and thanked her for loving me enough to pray for me, and took a few moments to pray for her. I think she heard me, but I'll never know for certain. Doesn't matter. I'm just glad I got to see her again and thank her. :-)

While in AL, we also visited my Aunt Es and Uncle Sammy in Evergreen. They still live in the same house we used to visit in the summer way back in the day. It's funny how things seem so much smaller when you go back as an adult, and how little has changed over the years. Uncle Sammy is still just as witty as ever with a big swoop of wavy gray hair. Aunt Es is still sweet-as-pie. Upon first seeing me, she said, in her syrupy southern accent, "You look much better now than you used to, gal... much better!"  You see, while I'm up here in NC bustin' my tushie to lose weight, down there they call me "fat-and-fine." You have to say it fast to get the full effect: Girl, you fatandfine! 

LOL! Obviously, it's all about perspective.

Til next time, grace and peace,

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