No Greater Joy

No Greater Joy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back at my dad's and able to use my own computer again! YAY! Not as hot today, but still tons of gnats outside!

I really enjoyed my class reunion this weekend! I'm putting a few pics for you to see. I can't believe how some people haven't changed in 16 years!

I'm starting to get a little homesick as I miss my own home, my husband, and my routine. It's hard living out of suitcases in one bedroom for a month and a half, but I'm glad I was able to come. Last night I went through some old pictures with my grandmother. It was cool looking at pics of her as a child and of her mom and grandmother, too. I don't have a very large family so I enjoy learning about my family history. I want to scan the pics into my computer, but was having trouble with my scanner last night. Hopefully I'll get it going soon.

The girls keep everyone entertained as usual. GEM seems to finally be getting settled in to the new locations and is happy to make herself at home. She really enjoys being with my grandmother.





Looking forward to my next reunion in 2013! I guess I'm getting old. Looking forward to getting the girls pictures taken Thursday morning. Thanks again to those who've checked in on me!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Half-way Point

Hard to believe only 3 more weeks before I head home. It's been an interesting visit so far. I've really enjoyed seeing people from back in the day. :) This last weekend was my 16th class reunion. Odd year, I know. There was a nice little group of us that got together and thought back to our younger days.

I've also gotten to be at the church I grew up in. It's been wonderful seeing everyone there, too. Today we had a covered-dish dinner after the service so I had the opportunity to visit a little more with folks and enjoy more good Southern food.

My grandmother is doing well. She says she feels great. She told her doctor the other day she felt she was wasting his time because she felt so good. She is soon getting a scan done to see if the chemo is having any affect on the cancer. Pray about that. I believe the scan is Friday. Tomorrow I am going through some old family pictures with her and scanning some into my computer. I want to get them onto disks for the whole family and also get a family tree written down too. I think she's looking forward to that.

The girls are great. EmMM is missing home and so is GEM. I don't have a good bed to sleep in so my back is giving me troubles, but I don't want to complain too much. There's nothing my grandmother can do about the bed at this point. :) I'll just look forward to seeing my chiro as soon as I return and a good night of sleep in my own bed, too.

I've been trying to help my mom figure out her computer. All I can say is "HAHA!!" It's a show!

The girls started school last week. We'll miss a day or two this week as we go back over to Alabama to visit my dad and step-mom. I'm so thankful that homeschooling allows me to be here without worries concerning their education. I'm looking forward to taking them to the Creation Museum on our way back home.

I don't get much computer access. I wish I did so I could blog more, but I'm journaling in my computer on Word documents to remember my trip. I hope the girls will remember a lot about the trip too. I hope they'll do some journaling as well while we're here.

Thanks to those that have asked about me. I appreciate being missed and thought of while I'm away.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I wrote this Aug. 9. We did stop by my grandfather's grave today. It was hard, but I wanted my girls to see that. We hadn't been in a couple of years. I took some pictures. I told the girls that in the future they may not make it down here and that I wanted them to know about their family and to have some memories of them. We're at my dad's right now in Alabama until Saturday. The kids had a great time swimming with Papa this afternoon. In the pool GEM kept saying, "Papa, I need you!" I'm so glad they enjoy being around my family, especially since they don't see them very often.

The girls were very entertaining for Granny. HEM always has so much to say and just can’t tell it fast enough. Reminds me so much of myself!  The girls played most of the day. EMM was telling Grandma on the phone how hot it was here. It was a rather humid day.
As long as I can remember, Mr. Turner has been Granny’s next door neighbor. He came to Granddaddy’s visitation back in ’97. He said he remembered buying candy bars from me as a child for school fund raisers. Today I found out he’s not doing well. He fell and was significantly injured. It is not likely he will be returning home. He is mostly blind and can’t hear well or get around well. I noticed his back yard also has grass where his garden once grew. I asked Granny if she missed having a garden today. She said she didn’t miss the work but really missed the big tomatoes, new potatoes, and beans Granddaddy grew. She said he put a lot of time, work, and money into that garden. It was always so good.
Granny was fascinated watching the girls play today. She couldn’t believe how patient they were as they took the time to set up their Polly Pockets. It takes so long for HEM and EMM to get them all dressed in those little rubber clothes and set everything up as they like, but they never get tired of it. She asked how long they’d been playing with them. I told her for several years now. Even GEM enjoys playing with them. Of course she wants to do whatever her sisters are doing anyway.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to relax with nowhere to go. Mama is off from her day job Tuesday and Wednesday. Granny has a doctor’s appointment Tuesday morning Mama is taking her to. I’m sure I’ll doing something with her while she’s off. We’re headed to my dad’s Thursday and staying through Saturday. I told Granny we were going to church with her Sunday. She seemed excited that we are going with her. Still haven’t seen Joey yet. Melissa came by briefly the other day, but no indication of when they’d be over. I thought Lori was going to call me today so we could arrange time together with them, but she never called. I’ll just wait and see if she calls in the next couple of days. I’m just a bit tired at the moment and not feeling too social yet. I guess it’s because we’ve not really sat in one place yet since we’ve arrived. The girls seem happy to stay put for a little while, too. We have plenty of time ahead of us for planning this trip anyway.
I was thinking today that I should go visit Granddaddy’s grave. I don’t think I did that last summer when I was home. It’s always such an emotional time. I often think about what could have been if he were still around. I wouldn’t want him to be around for the sake of fighting failing health though. I just wish more than anything that he could have known I did finish school and that he could meet my girls. He would have loved them so much and I know they would have adored him. I guess it does no good to wish for what could never be, but I would love to hear him up in the middle of the night going to the fridge or go with him to Krispy Kreme. Just to hug him one more time and tell him how much I love him. I can’t help but wonder will the loss of my grandmother affect me to the degree the loss of my grandfather has over the years. It left a hole in me that I can’t fill with anything else. Over the years I have pushed the memory of him further back in my mind, but coming home brings it flooding back. I am going to take pictures of the girls here at the house as final memories here. I realize that the days of being at 1311 9th Ave. are coming to an end and that this will be someone else’s home, most likely in the near future. I find that hard to believe, but I know that it’s a reality. Granny seems so tired and I wonder if there will come a point where she just doesn’t want to wake up anymore. Her faith is strong. She knows something better awaits her. I believe she’ll see Granddaddy when she gets to heaven and that they’ll recognize one another. I just wonder what our memories are like when we do get to heaven. If it’s a place of no sorrow or sadness, just how many memories can we take? It’s so complicated. I guess when you get there it really isn’t relevant.
I hope to do quite a few things while I’m here. I want to hear stories from Granny that I can record to share with my children when they’re older and don’t remember as much about Granny.

Arrival in Albany, GA

Saturday, August 8, 2009
Well we actually arrived in Albany on Wednesday evening just after 6 p.m. We’ve been incredibly busy since our arrival. Granny was so thrilled to see us. All three girls showed a great reaction to seeing her, even GEM. I didn’t know exactly what GEM would do since she’s only 2. I felt a great sense a gladness that we came. I was happy to see my grandmother greet us at the door. I haven’t seen her in just over a year, and I could tell the effects that her health has taken on her physically. She appears much older in just the last year. I could tell she’s lost weight. The appearance of loose skin on her arms and her thinning face were immediately obvious. I didn’t let it bother me though. I just enjoyed the fact that I am here now and get to spend time with her. I think the hardest moment came Thursday when I took out the garbage. Who knew what such a meaningless task could do! I rarely venture out into the backyard of my grandmother’s house anymore. I have fond memories of all the bike rides around the house, the huge garden out back, the swing set my granddaddy had put in for us. I had to fight back tears at the sight that awaited me. The peach trees in the backyard disappeared long ago, before I even moved away, but I really couldn’t have imagined a yard with no garden. It’s all perfect grass now with the above ground spickets remaining covered with PVC piping. The gates that my granddaddy built and painted are now peeling and coming off their hinges. The condition of the house itself is a reminder of time gone by and also a representation of my grandmother’s failing health. I have so many warm memories of living with my grandparents yet it seems like a lifetime ago.
My grandmother wasted no time in beginning to share cooking ideas with me. It’s one of her favorite things. The moment we walked in the door there was a roast waiting for us with sides, and an 11 layer homemade chocolate cake. I had to help my granny with the sides because it exhausted her to do so much in the kitchen. She kept apologizing. I enjoyed helping, but felt bad because I knew it cost her something to be unable to do what she had done for so many years of her life, to do what she had always done best and loved doing.
Friday morning we were up and packing again as Sean had to be in Atlanta to catch a flight home. Military duty called this weekend once again. After dropping him off at the airport we headed right over to my aunt and uncle’s house. They just built a new house this year and we hadn’t seen it yet. It’s a beautiful house. The girls really enjoyed time with Aunt Myra and Uncle Wayne, just as I always had as a kid, too.  They took us to a playground that evening and HEM became friends with the first girl she met there (reminded me of myself at her age) and EMM was scampering about . GEM was being very authoritative with my aunt. She kept telling her to “stay in the house, don’t move!” when they were on the playground equipment. Then on the metal school bus she wouldn’t let my aunt sit on the bus with her. It was so funny. She kept telling her to get off. She didn’t mind Uncle Wayne on the bus though. Pretty sure they won’t forget that scene for a long time.