I sometimes feel like all I ever mention on this blog are my Memphis family. But as I sit here and think that’s what is most important to me and they are a huge part of my life. This post is simply another example.
The family had been apart for almost a week. One group traveling to meet what we all hope will soon be in-laws. The other putting all of their energies into the building and getting ready of a couple of really wonderful chicken coops! Us just working head down and plowing through as I am about to go on a week’s vacation and had some things I needed to wrap up and took this week to try to get them done and with suppliers in town and wine dinners to go to it was a full week to say the least.
I can remember when I was younger my Mother rushing us kids off to bed as it would approach the time for my father to come home from work. She would hurry around making sure we were as clean as you could get a 9 or 10 year old boy to be and as settled as you could get 4 children under 14 living in 900 square feet. My bedroom was directly off the kitchen if you could call it that. My room, since we had 3 girls, and one boy, was kind of a catch all with a small twin bed in the corner. I can see my Mother sewing machine, the ironing board and iron and large laundry basket always over flowing in the other corner. A small desk nook built into the wall over flowing with papers and coupons and recent newspaper recipes my Mother was always going to organize. Then there was the book shelf straining to remain upright under the weight of all of the Harlequin romance novels. My lord my Mother read those things until the day she died. I can remember they would come in the mail and the minute they did forget it she was in the bathroom and untouchable for hours on end. I think that is why to this day I get a special joy out of peeing outside!! My sister, bless their hearts were not so lucky!! The hard wood floors were old and creaked when you walked so I could never get out of bed without alerting my Mom. I can remember my Dad saying “she could hear a mouse peeing on cotton” and I believe she really could. Anyway back to my story. She would hurry around getting everything just right so when Dad walked in the door it was their time. After she herded us cats into our areas she would put on the coffee pot and get ready for his arrival. I can remember smelling that coffee as it started to perk. Listening to the gurgle of the pot and starting to smell that wonderful aroma of the Maxwell house “good to the last drop”. My Mother swore she could tell the difference in brands. The aroma, of that coffee, hung in the air like clean crisp smell of spring after a rain, there was, and still is, something about coffee brewing that is a comfort to me. Then it would happen. I could hear the car pull into the driveway and the ole man get out. Then the front door opens and the same thing ever night “How was your night?” He would bitch a little about work and then they would sit-down around that kitchen table and solve all of our family problems and situations while talking and enjoying that coffee. My Mother hanging on his every word and him always taking the time to make sure her world was talked about first and she was always put in front of whatever he had to talk about. I feel a sleep listening to the muffled conversation and slept the sleep of the righteous knowing all was right with the world, or at least my little corner of it. I had no clue there we people living in bigger houses or people whose dad only worked one job or any inclination I was needing or wanting in anyway. I always slept better after Dad got home.
Well as the Memphis family gathered last night we all took turns telling of our travels, escapades or anything else that might fit. Our conversations when back and forth across the little open fire pit, the story of the room that was not quite right, the pictures of the new baby chickens and the details of a wine dinner back and forth each of us acting like my Dad. Listening as if the other persons story was more important than our on but knowing we would get our moment in the spotlight. We then sat down to a wonderful meal and a brief card game. Again all was right in this blessed man world.
I came home and as the wife got Mama-in-law settled and I was still trying to get a much older boy as clean as you can before bed, it struck me. I was back in that bedroom of my youth. Yes, the one you could cuss a cat in without getting hair in your mouth. This time however, sadly, there was no coffee brewing or muffled voices of my parents. What I would give to hear that again. However, my Memphis family we were all home, each in our homes each back in each other’s lives and all was right with the world. I now know there are people who live in bigger houses than me. There are people who have more money than me. But, I am blessed to know, none of them slept better than me last night. My family was back together and safe. What a blessing.
I hope you have people in your life that mean what mine means to me. It is so special and such a blessing you cannot imagine the blessing.
Think I might just go make me a cup of coffee and remember my parents for a minute, God I miss them. But all is good, going back to be with the family again tonight can’t wait to hear about everyone’s days and the plans for the coming weeks. What a blessing. I believe I will take a special bottle of wine tonight in honor of my Mom and Dad and silently thank them for all of the wonderful nights of sleep they allowed and afforded me during my youth.
The Blessed Man