it had been on my mind for months.
the thought of spending extended time with family was a rarity i was ready to enjoy.
we said 'see you later' at our elementary school
and did the same with our church friends.
me and the boys boarded the plane with 4 carry-ons and 4 backpacks.
we were ready to fly east.
nothing but shorts and sandals.
we breathed in the thick humid air of the south.
102 felt pleasantly toasty at first.
it wore on us though.
we became like all other southerners...sticky in seconds
on a mad dash to the air-conditioned car.
You feel as if you accomplished some great feat to survive 102 degrees.
But it was accomplished beside Nellie's pool or the
inflatable pool in Mimi and Pop's backyard.
I loved hearing the footsteps of the boys come down the stairs in the morning. They were on a mission to the backyard in their pajamas.
Maybe a 'good morning' was heard, but definitely the hinges of the deck door.
To play ball.
Asher would peer out the window and say, "Are they out there?"
"Who, Asher?" I wondered, seeing the brothers on the sofa.
"Oh, yeah, I seem them. They out there!"
"Who's out there?" I knew it, but wanted to hear it from him.
"Posey, Ross, Timmy, Huff, Pat the Bat..." Asher ran through the roster.
And with that, Asher pushed on the handle and was taking his place in the field.
The deck his dugout.
Inside the stands.
The game ends. He gives high-fives to 'the players' that he sees.
He's back in to give us the highlights of the game.
We took breaks often from the heat and sun.
Root beer or coca-cola floats.
We picked blackberries. Discovered a blueberry field.
Watched cousin Ella color and move about.
We sampled peanut ice cream in Jimmy Carter's hometown,
but devoured the homemade pecan pie and sweet tea at a local cafe.
We watched the Atlanta Braves play the New York Mets and watch the grounds crew cover the field, not once but twice.
We heard Pops preach a time or two and got to all be together on
Father's Day - the last being 1997.
hot, sweaty, and relaxing.
a good time with family.
memories etched in our minds.