Hanging in my Aunt’s kitchen is a sign defining the South as “where the tea is sweet, and the accents are sweeter.”
My visit to Mt. Juliet couldn’t have been better. I was greeted with open arms and even a chocolate milkshake! Apparently having a love for chocolate tends to run with first-born Sizemore children. My Aunt and I stayed up very late Tuesday night catching up, talking about our family, and of course explaining my plans for this next year in San Francisco! I think for many families, you only get to see you extended members at holidays or funerals. In other words, when there is something else going on. This was truly the first time that someone from my half of the family (me) came to visit for the sole purpose of visiting, and it was so refreshing to not be in a rush. We even laughed at the past holidays and how my family would be the first to leave.
I spent a lot of time talking with my Aunt and Uncle, who despite their long work hours still find time to be the most amazing Grandparents to my two little second cousins. Many people’s financial futures are uncertain in these times, but in spite of everything, they were always positive and encouraging me to “go for it” with my dreams. But with our Tennessee MegaMillions tickets that my Aunt and I bought, we might just pack it all up and go on vacation for the rest of our lives! (Just kidding)
The only person I didn’t get to catch up with was with my cousin who works in Nashville. I didn’t realize that both the Country Music Awards and Bonnaroo were happening this week/weekend, so his work schedule and traffic were against us.
Snickers and Meeko loved Tennessee too! Snickers got lots of attention and rest on her Dora the Explorer kids couch while Meeko was excited to have another backyard to run around in, especially when there were little cousins to herd! The boys are very close in age, and watching them play reminded me a lot of all the make-believe games I would play with my sister. Right now the eldest is very into Bob the Builder, while the youngest is into doing whatever his older brother is doing. One afternoon I found myself looking over imaginary blue prints. “Jackie? Jackie you paint this side of the barn and I’ll paint this side, okay?” “Okay, what colour are we painting it?” “Blue!” “Blue! Won’t that be hard to see against the sky?” Alright maybe that last question was a bit too complex for him, but we had fun!
I arrived Tuesday not sure of how long I would stay, or how I would feel re-connecting with this side of my family. I ended up staying four nights, leaving Saturday morning after my Aunt and the boys played a game of Firetruck on the bed I’d been sleeping on. Firedog Meeko helped put out the fire too.
The past few days were some of the most relaxing and comfortable ones I have had in a long time. My Aunt, Uncle and cousins were so generous to me– they got me dinner every night and even sent me off with car snacks! It was sad to leave, but I have great memories and even greater pictures of all of us! I feel confident that this re-connection I have made with this side of my family will be permanent. Hopefully Meeko won’t chew anyone’s shoes next time!
Location: Mt. Juliet, Tennessee