Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I am a Carolina Girl

Ok- not the UNC kind, that would lead to d-i-v-o-r-c-e court. (Go State!) I mean Carolina as in born and raised in North Carolina. I have never lived in another state and if I moved tomorrow I would always be a Carolina girl (just not the UNC kind because my in-laws like me and I want to keep it that way).
And while this blog is about my adventures in canning, which I have tons of updates coming soon to a blog spot near you, I had a gorgeous walk downtown this morning and it reminded me of why I love my home. As a friend of mine said yesterday, you know you live in North Carolina when it is 92 one day and 66 two days later. That is actually the prediction this week, 92 on Wednesday and 66 on Friday. You can run your heat and a/c in the same day.
We have had a doozy of a summer. We reached 90 degrees in May and never left but the last few days have been glorious. High 60's at night and low 80's during the day. This is why fall has become my favorite time of the year. It reminds me of birthdays, tailgating, pig pickins and riding my bicycle with my transistor radio... er Ipod (no need to give away my age, HA) feeling like a big girl because I could ride out of my grandma's sight.
Or maybe the real reason I feel like reminicsing today is a birthday and a biscuit pan. My Dad's 57th birthday is today. It is my second without him and while no less painful it is a little sweeter. Cancer is a horrible disease that brings strong men to their knees and although it weakened him physically, it strengthened his courage, his grace and his determination. He fought and fought hard to be here for my mom, my sister and myself. And although he is no longer here with us, I am reminded of him in best ways.
He took us fishing on the Tar River and let me "drive" the boat. He taught me how to fix a toilet, grow a garden and gave me the best taste in music. He never made me bait my own hook, pick cucumbers or corn when there were spiders AND he did not get mad when I ran his truck into the house. Although Sissy stood there with her mouth wide open and then said "He is going to kkkkkiiiiillllllllll you!" He didn't. He just asked me politely to exit the vehicle and proceeded to back it up with the windows rolled up talking 75 mph. I have no idea what he was saying but I think that may be how I learned all of the good curse words.
I loved both of my grandmas. They were good ladies but I have to admit, my grandma Edward's was one of my favorite people in the whole world. She just made it better, whatever "it" was she made it better. She also made the best biscuits. I do not. I can cook my butt off but as a Southern woman my inability to make a proper biscuit haunts me and my husband. He married the only Southern woman in the state of North Carolina who cannot make a decent biscuit. I lost my granddeddy recently and when cleaning out his house, my grandma's biscuit pan found its way to my house. Let's pause for a moment to laugh at that irony. I keep hoping that this pan is magical and that by touching it I will make the perfect biscuits and will no longer have to pass Mary B's off as my own. The thing is, the pan is magical. It is seasoned and shiny from years of Crisco. I look at that pan and see it sitting on the stove with cold biscuits and sausage for anyone who came over after breakfast. I can see her sitting at her table putting molasses on a biscuit. Once the plates were cleared, she would drink coffee and twist a paper towel into tiny little shreds while she and my family talked. If I was a big girl, I could sit with her and have a little of her coffee.
I am thinking of them today.
Actually, I am missing them today. I want to go back home and pull the covers over my head and cry until there are no more tears. I want to pout, kick and scream at why God could take from me three people I loved. But instead I am going to focus on the fact that He gave them to me. I got to fish; eat biscuits; swim; learn to fix toilets, can, garden and curse while they were here. And I am grateful for the opportunity. I will see them again, hopefully not for a while, which is a testament to the wonderful life God has given me but one day.
So as you are out and about on these beautiful days the next few weeks, I hope it makes you think of good memories, great people and Tammy Wynette. You knew I couldn't let the d-i-v-o-r-c-e comment go by without planting the song in your head. Evil- I know. ;)

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