Friday, June 29, 2007

I Love the Way He Loves Me!

Last Wednesday Mark and I left for D.C. We had a conference to attend and planned a few extra days to sight see. We have been inseperable. So, today was Mark's first day back at work. What did he want? Freedom? Time with the other men at work? Peace and quiet? No, he wanted more time with me. He asked me to meet him for lunch!

So as I sat home, thinking how nice it would be to not make the 30 minute drive over to the town where Mark works, the Lord reminded me of how blessed I am. On March 21, 1997, Mark asked me out for the first time. On April 2 we were engaged. People were shocked. We hadn't taken the "proper" path to dating and engagement. We knew we were supposed to me married.

So, here I am, 10 years later, married to the man who loves me more than I can even imagine. I write of friends, of family, but never of this amazing man who, after spending 8 solid days with me, asked me to lunch again on the 9th day.

So, to my wonderful husband, I love the way you love me! See you at lunch.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sha-Nay-Nay Woods or Something Like That

School ended. I was more than ready. Two days later we were in the car headed to Ohio. My sister, Helen, road with us. It was a long drive. There was a lot of laughing. I learned that Helen had a side job...and that her theme song was no longer Pour Some Sugar on Me. We all learned that you can go numb from the waist down.

Twenty-three years, that is how long I had been gone from Ohio. I left as a 14-year-old girl. My cousins were older when I left. I did not know them as an adult. My second cousins were only children. I did not know them at all.

There were things I remembered...most had to do with food! I loved Kennedy's Bakery...especially the pineapple and chocolate chip danishes. I craved Mr. Lee's sopapillas.

Now, for those of us who love Tex-Mex and who have lived or live in the south, these are not the dessert sopapillas we smother in honey after filling our stomachs on fajitas. Mr. Lee's sopapilla uses the sopapilla shell, opens it up, stuffs it with meat, cheese, lettuce, and sauce, and serves it as a meal. Chewy's restaurant serves something very similar.

So, numb from the waist down, we finally arrived...without complete directions to my aunt's house. We passed Sienna Woods. Helen called this Sha-Nay-Nay Woods and the family knew we were lost. Needless to say, we found our way. There was hugging and talking...and lots of laughing.

Here are the things I discovered during our brief time there:

1. You can always go home.
2. Family is family, and no one has to pretend to be something they're not.
3. If you laugh long enough your ribs hurt and your uncle will remove his hearing aid.
4. You can't win every game of cards.
5. If you have a "condition" it will get you out of Indian Leg Wresting and will keep you from being scared by your cousin's husband (who you claim as cousin).
6. Your husband will survive meeting one time...and he will be hugged by everyone...even if he is not a hugger.
7. Mr. Lee's sopapillas are just as you remembered them and Kennedy's Bakery still makes the best pastries in the world.
8. If you eat non-stop you will gain weight.
9. Even at 37 you are still asked to run every errand.
10. Pizza after 10:00 p.m. is always delicious.
11. My aunt is fascinated by men covered in oil.
12. You can cry when you say good-bye and everyone will understand why.

I was reminded of how much I loved growing up with my family surrounding me. I loved being hugged by Kit, my youngest cousin. He reminds me so much of my own brother, who was unable to come for the visit. I loved getting kissed by my Aunt Fletta and Uncle Ralph each night at bedtime. I loved hearing that my dad was a "local" regardless of where we went. I loved watching my parents return home. I loved the laughter that filled the house, being near the people who make me laugh, and learning who they are as adults.

So, this blog is for my dad's family. I love you all very much! Let's commit to seeing one another again soon...not 23 years from now!