When I was a little girl, Sundays were made for two things, church and visiting. Early Sunday afternoons were reserved for visits with my mom's parents, Julia and Roscoe. Long leisurely drives in the country, gathering nuts in the fall, ice cream comes and playing in the backyard filled our afternoons. Late Sunday afternoons were reserved for visits with my dad's parents, Elizabeth and Earl, where playing with cousins in the side yard, checkers with papaw, raiding the cookie jar, catching crawdads in the creek, and pestering papaw in the garden kept us occupied.
When Better Half and I began our fledgling little family, we adopted the same tradition - late morning visits with his parents and early evening visits with mine, where one never knew just which family members might show up. Tonight's crew was a big one, with Mom and Dad sitting quietly, taking in the spirited scene.
Ivie and Orion, as little boys, were thrilled to have their grandma, EE, make cereal and cinnamon toast with orange juice for dinner. I'm sure they believed that's what every reasonable person ate on Sunday evening. Later, the cereal was replaced by a great big pan of popcorn. Dad always offered a cold beer or soft drink to everyone who came through the door. Many decades of winter evenings were spent watching "This Old House" and "Victory Garden" as the boys wrestled and played on the family room floor. Summers saw us sitting on the back porch and patio while the boys climbed trees. As they grew older, spirited games of corn hole took place between young and old, and still do.
Now, Orion and The One have Baby Granddaughter, and Ivie has Sister Golden Hair. They, too, as often as possible, thrill both sets of their grandparents by joining in on the Sunday visits. Baby Granddaughter often takes center stage, playing with decades old toys and books, winning over everyone in the room with her gay demeanor and spirited banter.
Tonight was one such evening at Mom and Dad's. As Great Grandpa did not say much during the evening, Baby Granddaughter pranced over to his recliner, from time to time, to throw him a quick little 2 year old "Hi" before resuming her play. It was as if she wanted to keep him engaged in her goings-on. The smile he returned was heartwarming. Baby Granddaughter has taken a liking to tiny bite sized tomatoes. She walked over to her greatgrandma with a simple request, "EE, tomatoes, please." EE was on her feet as quick as could be, washing the few early baby tomatoes she had sitting on the countertop for Baby Granddaughter to happily munch. Baby Granddaughter then wanted to play outside, so a contingent of family retired to the porch and patio to have a look. She ran, stumbled, chased a bunny, played jungle in the weeping willow tree, and grew quite rosy cheeked in the humid air. She and Orion and The One left shortly thereafter, when she cut her chubby little finger on a pampas grass blade.
One by one, family members made their departure. Good byes rang out. Good spirits reigned. Another family Sunday evening was coming to an end.
As cliche as the saying may have become,
There is No Place Like Home.