Trip Back Home, Conclusion

(I know this has gone on for a while, but I promise…this WILL be the conclusion!)

Saturday was a great day. I started it off in the last post, but it got even better as the day went on.  Who would have thought that Thomasville would have a fresh seafood place.  I sure as hell didn’t think one would be there.  Sure enough, you walk into this little business and there are coolers with dips and ingredients to make low country boils.  The larger display cooler was filled with shrimp and crawfish.  There was a ton of crawfish!  You could smell them as soon as you opened the door.  They were steaming them in the back.  My sister and her husband bought a few pounds of shrimp and crawfish.  The other half and I bought some dips to go along with chips we bought at Wally World.  We were set for a fantastic boil when we returned home.

We got home and the fire was started underneath the boiler. Corn was cut up along with mushrooms, asparagus, sausage, and potatoes.  After this was done, the shrimp was placed inside a mesh laundry bag and lowered into the water.  There was a bottle of crab boil liquid in there with them.  Boy howdy….that was some great smells coming from that boiler!  I could have stood over that boiler the whole time it was cooking.  While all this was being prepared, the crawfish had been steamed at the place we got them and was ready to eat.

Now, I am not a big fan of crawfish.  I know, I know…what the hell?!  My sense of smell has never liked being in the presence of them cooking.  I never ate them as a child.  We had some small ones in streams near the house but you wouldn’t get anything out of them.  Since we were celebrating my nephew’s graduation, he was allowed to ask over a few friends. Those kids tore through those crawfish like there was no more in existence.  Twist off the heads and pull the meat out the tails.  Luckily, I didn’t witness anyone sucking the heads.  That’s gross!  Were there plates?  Yeah, there were plates, but who needs plates at a low country boil?!  There was a large trash can pulled over and empty shells were thrown in there.  When the shrimp came out the water, there was enough to fill two aluminum pans to the top.  When we were done, there was enough to almost fill one.  Those damn things were amazing…spicy and went perfectly with the beer being guzzled with them.  I was in heaven!  By the time we left my sister’s house, I felt as though I would burst.  The night ended after watching SNL and falling fast asleep.

Sunday was pretty uneventful.  We woke up, got showers, and headed up to the neighborhood I grew up in.  There is family from one end of the dirt road to the other.  I didn’t see them all, but I was able to see people I had not seen in years.  On the way to my grandmother’s house, we stopped by the cemetery where my grandfather is buried.  I had forgotten all about the homecoming celebration at the church I used to attend.  Trust that we did not go into the church building.  I placed some flowers onto the grave and looked around at a few others.  I used to love going to homecoming there as I would see many people that were friends of the family and many I loved dearly.  That generation has passed on now and the memories and ceremonies of the day are left to those who remember and care.  That list is growing ever smaller.

We arrived at my grandmother’s house to see my dad working outside.  There was a woodpile that needed to be moved and staked in a different location.  My mother and grandmother says he never stays still long.  He’s just that type of person.  He always has to have something to do.  I guess it’s to keep his mind busy. Who knows?  We talked to him for a while…planting the gardens, his newer tractor, stupid things done by the power company, and some other grumblings here and there.  We all walked toward the house to see if mom had dinner ready.  It was Sunday, of course, and it would be weird and unsettling if there wasn’t a table full of food.  It didn’t take long for the food to cover the extra long table in my grandmother’s kitchen…the dinner table as compared to the preparation table which is much shorter.  My sister and her family made it up to eat with us, we all sat down, and my nephew said the blessing.

Being a country boy, I could have ransacked that table, but I chose to keep myself contained.  Peas, beans, meatloaf, rutabagas, cornbread, biscuits, cobbler, etc.  I couldn’t wait to have some pea soup and cornbread.  Once again, I overfilled and had many miles to drive.  One of the ladies our family grew up around showed up and walked into the kitchen.  She is one of three sisters that have been loving women of our family.  The middle sister wasn’t there.  I have a deep love for the middle one because she shares something with me that the other two do not.  That would be the lack of a filter between her brain and her mouth.  My ex’s aunt and these ladies are first cousins.  I absolutely love the way the middle sister will just tell his aunt to shut her mouth.  LMAO!  It’s one of the craziest things.  If I remember correctly, she was a smoker as well and even though it is bad for her, I would sit there and watch her animatedly talk with her hands as that cigarette clung between her fingers and dropped ashes as it burned down.  If anyone couldn’t laugh when that woman was around, then there is a serious issue.

Alas, the time came when we had to leave for Atlanta.  Leaving South Alabama is always bitter sweet.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and I have many fond memories of country living. The times spent at the rivers, the ponds and streams, and walking through the woods are special to me.  It you wanted to get away from people, the woods was the best place to be.  If you went to the other places, more than likely, you would enter into a large gathering of people enjoying the water, trying to cool off in the summer.  The people are great to visit as well. There are friends who still live in that area and there are people who I haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet.  From the looks of many people there, I would be meeting people from a generation after me.  That’s perfectly fine.  Maybe this new generation will carry on the peaceful nature I have learned to love as an adult.

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