Just another average sunset in paradise!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Southern Hospitality

When I was a kid, most of my relatives were in Texas and my family was in California.  Every couple of years we would load up the family  sedan with my mom and dad, my two brothers and I and make the 1500+ mile trip to somewhere in Texas.  I don’t remember the names of the towns from the earlier trips but the destinations were always memorable.  We always wound up at Ma and Pa’s home no matter what city hosted their current residence.

Even though the houses changed over the years, the furniture was the same; the home cooking was the same; and, most especially, the southern hospitality was always the same.  No matter what time we arrived there was a meal cooking on the range.  (We had stoves in CA but in TX they had ranges.)  As family (and guests) it was understood somehow that we were not expected to help with the purchase of the food, cooking or the cleanup after the meals.

Aunts and uncles always showed up shortly after our arrival:  Sonny and Sybil, Shang and Wilda, Billie and Millie.  Invitations, all accepted, were issued to visit their nearby homes where the hospitality was identical to that at Ma and Pa’s.  You couldn’t lift a finger without getting reminded that you were a guest and that whoever the host was would prefer to take care of all your needs.

When I visited my brother Rick and his wife Karen for the first 4 days of my journey, it became quite clear that  the southern hospitality we experienced as children had rubbed off on him in a big way.  I was transported back in time and ,as family, I was informed that anything and everything I wanted was there and that I shouldn’t ask but just help myself.

Being solo for the past 7 years, with the exception of an odd girlfriend (literally and figuratively), I ate most of my meals alone.  At Rick's house there were always other guests and family members at the dining room table enjoying great conversations, jokes and just a good time in general.

Rick and I settled into a comfortable schedule of working on Dod during the day and playing the "Do you remember?" game long into the night.  I don't know how many times we each said "Do you remember?" but each time the question was asked, we did remember.  Memories that had been placed deep in the backwater of my mind came rushing forward and , good or bad, I enjoyed reliving each and every one.

Thanks Rick!


  1. That's wonderful that you are enjoying family. I think that how we view our family members are a direct reflection of how we see ourselves - right or wrong. I am glad yours is a positive experience.

  2. Thats great you and your brother had a good visit and it sounded like fun playing "Do you remember"

  3. Isn't it great to be "taken care of" once in a while? I hear you about the eating alone thing. It's one of the reasons I enjoy camping with my sister and b-i-l each year. :)

  4. sounds like you have thoroughly enjoyed your trip down memory lane with your brother!!..good for you!..nothing like a 'hug' from family!!

  5. These kinds of family memories are Very important, especially as time marches on.

  6. Ah memories...the stuff of life. Glad you had a good visit with your family.