Of Stories and Sustenance

Well, now the problem is going to be actually remembering what happened this weekend! On Thursday afternoon, Mary took me back to the Nashville airport, where we met up with my brother Jon, his wife Sheryl, and their son Joshua, who had just arrived from California. Jon was in the process of renting a car and after he fetched it, Mary went back home and the rest of us got in the car and headed to Crossville.

It was a pleasant drive, but by the time we got to Crossville we were very hungry, so we stopped at a place to eat and my parents came and met us there. My parents helped Jon and Sheryl find their timeshare, and once they were settled we headed back to my parents’ house.

My mom’s sewing room seems like my bedroom now because I have stayed there so many times!

On Friday morning my mom and I went shopping to get the rest of the groceries we were going to need. My big job for the day was to make a peach pie out of some fresh peaches that my parents had bought at a roadside stand. My mother dearly loves peach pie. So, while we waited for my brothers to arrive, I made pie crust and peeled and sliced peaches and eventually had a very pretty pie, plus a dish with just the gluten-free filling so that I could have some.

Jon and Sheryl came with Joshua and then my other brothers Greg and Matt arrived in time for Greg to man the grill on the deck. (Greg drove from Ohio and Matt from Indiana) My dad had soaked some corn on the cob and that went on one grill while Greg cooked burgers, sausages, and squash on the other grill. The food was fabulous, but the best part was just hanging out with my parents and my brothers on a beautiful Tennessee evening. Rain had been forecast, but thankfully it held off.

Saturday morning got off to kind of a slow start, since we weren’t meeting until 11:00 at the Cracker Barrel. Mary and Jordan met us there and we got a table for all 10 of us. It took some study, but I was able to find a gluten free brunch!

After brunch, some people went to the miniature golf course in my parents’ neighborhood while I stayed home with my mom to help her with cooking for Sunday’s potluck. As I mentioned already, I altered one of her potluck standbys to make it gluten free. It was a time-consuming process, but it resulted in a great squash casserole! Meanwhile, my mom made layered salad and fruit salad.

Saturday night was my dad’s official birthday celebration, and he had made reservations for us at a swanky restaurant in town. We sat around a big table and ate fabulous food. I had never had prime rib in my life, so I figured this was my big chance. It was good! Like any time when my family, it was a night for stories and lots of laughing. What could be better? And then when I got back to my parents’ house I made some cherry cheese pie for the potluck too. My family never skimps on potluck contributions!

Sunday morning we all went to the church where my dad has been serving as interim pastor for the last two years. After my dad’s sermon we gathered in the fellowship hall for the bountiful potluck. It was nice to meet the people in the church. A couple of them have read my book!

When the meal was over, we set up a little table commemorating my parents’ 60 years of marriage. My mom had brought albums of their wedding and honeymoon, and our family through the years. Eventually, all the church members left, and it was just our family sitting around a table in the library and telling stories. We are so full of stories in this family. If you listen long enough, you will realize that the stories are a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

Mary took some photos of us all in the lovely grounds of the church, and then it was time for Mary and Jordan to leave and go home. The rest of us split up to go take naps, because Sunday afternoon naps are very important.

We gathered again for supper at my parents’ house and feasted on leftovers and more family stories. I had to say goodbye to my brother Matt when he left because he was leaving early this morning to go back to Indiana. I had asked Greg if I could have a quick ride in his Porsche, and he said he could do it this morning when he came for breakfast.

So this morning I got up and showered and was just heading to the kitchen to make my tea when Greg walked through the door and asked if I was ready for my ride. We headed out and I took some video footage of the ride to share with my son Spencer. We drove all the way down off the Cumberland Plateau and then climbed back up via a series of switchbacks that gave the car a chance to show its stuff. It was a fun ride through beautiful countryside and we were gone almost an hour!

By the time we got back to my parents’ house, Jon’s family was there and almost done with breakfast, so I wolfed down a piece of toast and then got my stuff together to be loaded into Jon’s trunk. Then it was goodbyes all around before we headed back to Nashville.

We met my Uncle Jim and Aunt Ruth at a restaurant in the Opry Mills mall for lunch. It was so good to see them and again I found a good gluten free meal. Mary met us when we finished so we could move my stuff to her car and then we said goodbye to the others. Jon and his family were headed to the airport and ultimately to California. Mary and her flatmate Sarah brought me back to the lovely new apartment where I finally got my first cup of tea for the day before lying down for a little nap.

I’ve been working steadily on my little fairy pouches and now have 30 done. So much to do! Tomorrow I get to spend the day with Mary and Jordan before flying back to Texas in the evening. It has been a lovely few days with my family.

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