Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Matters

After a break from blogging to deal with the birth of my new grandson, end of year activities for the grandchildren here, and a fabulous trip to The Smoky Mountains, I’m back with a whole list of thoughts to share about the importance of family and friends, which, in my case, are many times one and the same.

Our travels began with an invitation from Molly’s in-laws to bring “all the Morrises” to their get away in Sewanee, Tennessee. We’ve done this sort-of annual event several times since our families were forever bonded by marriage then later on the liver donation. Watching your mutual grandson, the one and only for both of us, lie near death for a week then be saved by another in-law can do that to you.

Throwing all these folks together in the same house, adjusting to each other’s quirks, and laughing, hiking, and playing together was kind of like being in one of those rock tumblers kids sometimes enjoy. (You know the ones, an electrical thing you throw a bunch of driveway stones in, turn on the tumbler, and after a while you have beautiful treasures uncovered.) We’ve learned which of us don’t eat tomatoes, which ones don’t really like potato or egg products, who likes to hike, and who would rather shop or read or play games. There has rarely been much pressure to be other than who you are from the other adults on the trip, and the acceptance of little Walker’s quirks, especially by our hosts, has been much appreciated.

With my new knee finally healed, I knew I could do the easy walks for sure this year, and with some support and encouragement from Molly and Owen I joined the group on a short hike to Foster Falls. I felt no shame in not going to the bottom the falls, just walking along the rim at the top, catching glimpses of the falls, letting Molly help me just as she did Owen when the going got a little rougher. Little Walker joined the adults and older children on the longer hike, and got some great pictures of the falls from below.

At the end of my hike, I waited on a bench listening to a “Praise the Lord” preacher deliver a fairly memorable sermon at an open-air gathering. At a table next to me was a very large family of Muslims who were surreptitiously watching the preacher with some interest also.

Soon both our family groups were ready to move on, but not before one of our group had wangled an invitation to a taste of their elaborate middle-eastern spread. Part of their group had been at the foot of the falls and the ladies had all waded in, completely robed in fancy saris, enjoying the cool water along with all the other families on a hot afternoon.

As we sampled their fare and headed on home for some sandwiches ourselves I thought about how like our family theirs seemed to be. Relatives…you gotta love ‘em cause you can’t shoot ‘em…a wise man said to me once upon a time.



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