Awakening a Keen Observer

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

back in virginia

Grace and peace.
   my mother's parents lived in Virginia Beach as I grew up.  My grandmother turned their house into a tourist home, (bed and breakfast) after my Granddaddy couldn't work due to illness.  It is a beautiful house that looks just as pretty as when they were there.   The people who own it obviously love it.  I have really no desire to go into the house because I know it has changed inside and my memory is strong of it being as it was when Grandmother and Grandaddy lived there.  A large living room with a beautiful deep red wool carpet, a large dining table and credenza that stood beside it.  Two pictures of ships on the sea.  her sewing machine in a corner to the side.  big windows that looked out to the tennis court or the front yard.  the winding wooden polished staircase with steps that weren't too steep. and a banister polished and lovely.   the stairs were perfect for bumping down....the screen porch with a glider where grandmother would sit with a bigcolander of green beans to snap.  rocking and talking and exuding love...  the peacefulness and the love-ed-ness i still feel when i think of it.

around the corner lived my aunt and uncle, Kat and Edgar.   They were younger than my parents and yet the four of them really cared about one another.  It is hard to remember them not laughing or being happy.   They would ride over to grandmothers with us on the handlebars and we'd watch tv for a little while and then ride home.   no helmets...just perched on the handlebars.   bliss.  Kat and Edgar have been, were, remain a big part of my life story.   Whether they knew it or not.  I remember Kat staying up with me when i was sick...calming me if i was afraid at night and being basically really happy to see us.   i always felt loved and cared for by them when we were there.  I know that I was the younger, my cousins, their kids were a littler older, but they always treated me like I could have done all the things Gail and Evans could do.  

We spent most of every day on the beach.  Kat and my mother would make tuna sandwiches, pbjsandwiches, and things to drink to take to the beach.  There were no juice boxes or bottles we'd put water in a jar with some ice and wrap it with foil to keep it as cold as we could.   there would be cokes sometimes but only bottles as there were no cans and my memory doesn't register whether we'd ever take those on the beach.   there's nothing better than a tuna sandwich with a little sand...crunchy...

Edgar would body surf and we sometimes had rafts, mostly would rent one or two, but not every day.  Edgar would have us hold on his shoulders and he would ride a wave in and we'd get the best heads up part of the ride.  That was until we learned how to catch the waves ourselves.  We had to learn how to get in just the right place, decide if the wave was the right size and then lean into it and take the ride.  It was a great ride.  Then if we didn't want the ride we'd dive through the wave and the water would rush over our bodies and massage and invigorate us.  It was grand.   I haven't ridden a wave in for some time just because I got anxious about hurting my back.   And now we mostly go to the Gulf Coast for swimming with waves without the power and crash of the ocean.  
Edgar and Kat taught me how to play tennis, how to play cards,  bridge,  pit, rook,  etc.   They taught me so many things.   When i was really little and not accustomed to being apart from my parents I would go over to their house and then chicken out and they'd take me home.   Then i finally was ok with staying.  

Gail and i would stay up and tell stories and giggle until we only got quiet on threat of being separated from one another.   My cousins Jan and Martha and I did the same giggling as well.   Ah what bliss.  

Kat and Edgar were with me at important times.  When my Daddy was dying they were there as we sat on the porch and sang to him and prayed with him until he took his last breath.   Kat and Gail came out to see me when my mother had an episode with her health and I had two kids and John had to leave town and I was working at the church in Utah.

Edgar was probably one of the most congruent people i've ever known.  That is to say he was true to who he was his whole life.  There was nothing fake or uppity about him.  He was brilliant and down to earth.  


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