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.