Our big trip to Virginia… part two!

In case you weren’t paying attention last week, we had quite a bit of rare weather.  Bill and I got caught in the middle of a Nor’easter, which started as we were getting out of the DC area on Wednesday.  We left early in the morning hoping to avoid traffic hell, but by the time we got to the outskirts of the DC metropolitan area, there were big fat snowflakes falling.  The snow wasn’t too bad, though.  It made everything pretty.  There were a few accidents, including a jackknifed tractor trailer, on the way south to Natural Bridge.  Most people, by and large, were safe though.  And I didn’t see a whole lot of people braving the storm anyway.

We stopped in a convenience store so I could have a potty break.  While we were in there, I noticed someone wiped a huge booger on the door of the bathroom stall.  I was almost tempted to photograph it for posterity, but I decided it was better to be a grown up.

I decided to photograph this sign instead.

I don’t remember the last time I saw snow in Virginia during November.

We went straight to the Kroger once we got to Lexington and picked up some snacks and drinks for the festivities at my aunt’s and uncle’s house.  I picked up chips, cookies, beer, wine, water, and soda.  Evidently, I picked up one too few soda packs, since the cashier told us we could use a Kroger card to get a deal.  I pissed off a woman behind us when I dashed off to get another 12 pack of soda.  Doing that saved us $11.

The Kroger parking lot…

We were among the first to arrive for the festivities and were greeted by my cousin, Brad.  Brad and I used to live in the same neighborhood when we were very young.  We fought like cats and dogs, too.  But he was hard at work at Granny’s house and even helped Bill when he got stuck trying to get out of the driveway.  One nice thing about getting older is getting past all the stupid childhood fights.  I can say that now, Brad and I get along just fine!

My late Granny’s house is a very homey place.  There’s a creek that runs in front of the house where generations of kids have played, including yours truly.  There’s another creek that runs perpendicular to the one that goes in front of the house.  Most of us have fallen in either creek at least once or twice in a lifetime.  I have many great memories of visiting.  I love to leave the window open at night and listen to the creek rush by.  And I love to remember all the many times my cousins and I vandalized the closet under the stairs when we used it as an impromptu clubhouse.  I bet there aren’t too many homes as well loved as my Granny’s house has been.

Me and Granny at her house in August 1972.  I was maybe 6 weeks old…

Someone in my family has lived in that house since 1937.  It started out as a rental and was later purchased by my grandfather, who ended up selling off most of the 55 acres he’d bought with the house.  Later, my Uncle Brownlee and his wife, Gayle, bought the house.  I hope it will pass on to someone in the family when it comes time for them to pass the torch.  It’s a very special place.

There was good attendance this year at the reunion.  Only a few folks were missing.  Consequently, things got very crowded in the house as people piled in for dinner and football watching.  I didn’t see a lot of game playing going on.  Usually, someone starts a card game or a horseshoe match.  This year, I think the weather was too crappy and bitterly cold.  By the time it cleared up a bit, people were on their way home.

Thanksgiving dinner was a huge affair with plenty of food brought by relatives.  My favorite part was the corn casserole, which I think my cousin Clark’s wife, Chris, made.  That stuff is like crack!  Someone else made a killer batch of macaroni and cheese.  It’s not quite as good as mine, but it was pretty damn good.

We didn’t stay too long for Thanksgiving because the house was really crowded and I had to sing the next day.  We had our memorial for my dad and I was determined not to screw it up.

Granny on a motorcycle…  


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