Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Uniquely Blessed

***Just a note to say that this post was written last week after Bammy's graveside service. I planned to post it immediately upon my return to Oklahoma, but then there was a sick cat and a soccer tournament. Once again, life gets in the way of blogging. Go figure. ***

Another name for this blog title could have been, “Two Year Old Tyrant”. But I have decided to go with the sentimental side of things instead.

My cousin Johnny said today that our family is “Uniquely Blessed” because Bammy’s life impacted us all so much. He is right. And I must be “Abundantly Uniquely Blessed” because BOTH of my grandmother’s and BOTH of my grandfather’s have been such a large part of my life. Not to mention aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins, first cousins once removed, and...okay, you get the point. I’m probably the only “only child” out there who never actually FELT like an only child because of my huge extended family.

Bammy’s graveside service took place in Shaw, Mississippi, which is about two and a half hours from where my parents live. So, it was a bit of a drive to get there, and since the burial was at 2:00 pm, we would need to eat lunch on the road somewhere. This of course, called for a picnic. Because my grandmother? She loved a picnic. In my grandmother’s obituary, my Aunt Sue wrote, “ A lover of nature, Barbara taught her children and grandchildren how to fish, row a boat, pack a delicious picnic meal, and appreciate the joys of being outdoors.” And so it was decided that the perfect way to honor her 95 years was to pack that delicious picnic meal and stop at a park on the way to Shaw.

I remember going on one of my first picnics when I was probably a little younger than Annie. Now, I am certain that I had gone on a picnic with my parents before, but THIS particular picnic was LARGE with A LOT OF PEOPLE (at least in my seven year old mind...). It also included pimento cheese sandwiches. I will forgive you if you are unfamiliar with this particular Southern fare. I know that I was at that time as well. I thought it sounded disgusting, if you want the truth. But I still remember tasting that first bite and loving it. And now every single time I eat it, I think of that picnic with ALL THE PEOPLE AND ALL THE FOOD. But let me just clarify one thing: Do NOT buy your pimento cheese from the grocery store. It will not taste like homemade and then you will wonder what all the fuss was about. You can thank me for that later. And just so you know I’m serious, I’ll even give you my Mimi’s recipe for pimento cheese. It’ll knock your socks off.

But when I think of that picnic, I also think of dirty feet. Because where ever we were, there was a lot of dirt. And being that is was Mississippi inthe summer time, I’m sure the air was heavy with humidity and we did a fair amount of sweating. In sandles. I won’t spell that out for you, but let’s just say that we took a picture of all our nasty feet in a circle before we left out picnic area. I wish I could find that picture to scan it in and include it in my blog post, but my mother told me that it would involve moving the couch to find it in her vast array of picture albums. As much as I love that picture, I don’t love moving her couch, so use your imaginations. Dirty feet. In a circle. There.

Today’s picnic would be a family affair. There ended up being around 25 of us. We stopped at a park in Greenwood, Mississippi. It was in a beautiful area and included a nice, open air gazebo with picnic tables where we could gather and eat. No pimento cheese sandwiches this time. Instead, we had chicken tenders picked up from a local restaurant.

And unlike other picnics, this one included men in sport coats riding seesaws.

And great grandchildren riding merry go rounds.

It also included a family “Uniquely Blessed” by each other.

I think Bammy would have loved it.

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