Friday, July 26, 2013

Southern roots...


Mama and her world famous lemon pies.
My blogging schedule is off a bit. Sorry about that. The Hubs and I are down in Memphis this week visiting the folks and other relatives. It’s been great, although the 90-plus degrees and humidity thick enough to drink with a straw has me spending most of my waking hours trying to rehydrate myself.
I was born in the South and the minute I cross over the Mason-Dixon Line the y’alls, fixin to’s, and bless your hearts start slipping off my tongue faster than butter on a corn cob. While on Southern soil I get my fix of BQ, fried okra and sausage gravy. My mama’s coleslaw is the best in the world and her lemon pies would make angels pucker. All my life Mama’s lemon pie helped us celebrate any and everything important. If you needed a hug, Mama baked a lemon pie. If it was your birthday, a lemon pie was served just after the birthday song. Graduations, births, potlucks, whatever, we looked for excuses for Mama to make her pie.  And the very best part of Mama’s lemon pie making was if you were the lucky one who got picked to lick the bottom of the pot where warm lemon filling still lingered. My brother and I would fight over it so much that Mama began keeping tabs on whose turn it was and her word was the law. Well, yesterday, Mama made two lemon pies and I got to lick the pot. Even at age 62, it’s still the very best part.
Today, I worked in my parent’s yard wrestling with a rose bush that had knotted itself up like a ball of rubber bands. I suited up with gloves and a long-sleeved shirt and did battle. Using my dad’s pliers, wire cutter and hammer I replaced a broken trellis with a new, sturdier one and began the slow, prickly task of weaving the thick, thorny stems into some order. My dad, who has Alzheimer’s, stood out in the hot sun and watched over me. I couldn’t get him to go back into the house where it was cool. Somewhere in the back of his heart, he remembered that he was the one who took care of me, and even though he no longer could remember my name, he knew I needed some looking after. Once during the rose bush ordeal, I dropped the pliers on the ground and he came over and picked them up and told me in no uncertain terms that that wasn’t how you treat your tools. You see, my dad worked in construction all of his life, and in our home tools were as sacred as scripture. You took care of both your Bible and your tools. Growing up, both fed us in different ways.
I love that I have Southern roots. I love that Mama is still baking lemon pies and Daddy is still fussing over me and at me. These two people are the home of my heart. When the Hubs and I leave on Saturday morning, I’ll ponder all we’ve done this week, and as we cross over the Mississippi River and leave Tennessee behind, I’ll begin to once again long for home and my next taste of lemon pie.

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