David flew off to Texas for work on Friday and the girls and I hopped in the car to head south to Nana and Papa John’s house. I’m not certain I’ll ever shorten it to just Nana’s house. <3
Friday evening was a ball… quite literally! We went to dinner then came home and let the girls try on all my old prom and homecoming dresses that were hanging in a downstairs closet. With Hailey and I practically the same height, some fit her quite well! And Kaitlyn loved every minute of the fancy dress up session.
The girls had trouble sleeping that night because they were so excited about seeing the family. We usually all gather only once a year for Thanksgiving, and this past year a few had the flu and had to skip. So we were all thrilled when a large majority of us were able to gather to celebrate the matriarch of our family, my Nannie!
Nannie turns 90 years old on the 8th and she’s such an inspiration. Not only for her beautiful, youthful skin (which she absolutely has), but for so many reasons. She was born and raised in the south, lives on a beautiful piece of country land that I’ve been visiting since I was a kid, and is a strong woman who has lived through a lot in her 90 years.
Because of her, I know that deep down inside of me somewhere there has to be a gardening gene and a sewing gene, because she was the southern queen of those things, growing a garden full of goodies in Georgia clay and sewing all kinds of frocks, including my mom’s wedding dress. Getting to gather to celebrate her was such a joy!
We arrived midmorning, putting up balloons and spreading out pictures. Family trickled in and the chitchat began, catching up on each others’ lives, telling stories of Nannie through the years, and the kids immediately running outside to run amuck.
For lunch Kris manned the grill for all the hotdogs and hamburgers and we set up a buffet line feast of deviled eggs, potato salad, Nicaraguan slaw, burgers, and dogs. Nannie asked me to say the blessing, and though my heart was pounding (my prayers are usually more quiet), it was an honor to get to do so.
The kids tables devoured their portions and took off for a hike in the woods (where apparently they became lost for a bit, as an hour later they returned, at least two of them in tears, to recount their scary adventure).
The adult table took on its usual animated story telling and laughter. It’s one of my favorite tables to sit at and it always makes me wish life worked differently and we all lived on the same street.
Mom had made an angel food cake and we all sang happy birthday and devoured our portions. I got to asking Nannie about gardening and canning, and we thumbed through her old canning book together. Nannie opened cards and presents (always puzzles involved!) and we chatted for a bit until, as always, we realized time had passed quickly. We snapped a picture to capture us all, helped clean up, and gave hugs, then all headed back our separate ways.
We missed my cousin, Ben, and David but gosh it was a fun afternoon, and one that Nannie seemed to really enjoy. I’m back home this morning starting the week with a full heart; I love my people. Happy 90th birthday, Nannie!