Our eighth annual cousins' reunion is now over. It was a fun time and one I will not forget! It had twists and turns of the unexpected that will give me a lot of laughs going forward.
I decided to arrive in the small Alabama town a day earlier than usual just to spend quiet time on the land that has been in my family since back in the 1800's. After driving twelve hours the first day and eight hours the next day, it was a relief to arrive at my destination.
The property is out in the middle of no where, miles from civilization. I like it that way. It is a true escape. "I don't like you back there all by yourself," more than one of my cousins said to me when they knew of my plans.
The old road, actually, it is more a "path" than a road, leading back to the property was ragged with weeds and branches slowly covering it. I pulled out my folding chair and planned to read my book. But I found myself really taken in with the solitude, the peacefulness. All around me were tall trees, mostly pine, a quiet pond, bright skies. The only sounds were the birds singing and the breeze blowing in the trees. Occasionally a car drove by on the paved road, about a quarter mile from where I sat. I could feel the stress of the everyday world draining from my body. My work life is frantic, full of politics and conflict. Even the strongest soul needs to escape this routine once in awhile.
"Ping!" That meant a text. Two of my cousins found every excuse in the book to text me to check up on me. I didn't mind that. It's a good thing to be able to escape the real world but still be connected "just in case." And it is comforting that somebody cares.
Once or twice I got up from my chair and walked around a bit, imagining the scene a century ago of my dad and his siblings playing on this very land and helping out in the cotton fields. My grandparents farmed this land with animals and cotton fields.
When I finally decided to leave and return to my hotel, I was "attacked" by two big dogs running at me as I got out to close the gate to the property. I know dogs and I knew these were not vicious dogs. One of them jumped up on me wrapping his legs around me, clamoring for attention, his tail wagging back and forth. His owner came running after him, embarrassed that he had jumped on me.
"I saw you go back there and was so worried about you being back there by yourself! There are snakes back there!"
Laughing, I said, "Yeah, I get the same thing from my cousins." Truth is I have never seen a snake on the property.
I'll continue with my adventures in following posts!
Sunday Black and White
12 minutes ago