Saturday was a sad and beautiful day. One of my best friends laid her mother to rest. Our pastor, the son-in-law, spoke beautifully of his mother-in-law. Everything was perfect.
Afterward, I went to our daughter’s new house. It’s an old house really, in the heart of Liberty. It oozes charm and is full of light. I did a few things around the yard.
Then, Sunday, the whole crew turned out to move them in to their new home. Our son and his bride and Duchess came. My sister-friend from the time I was ten years old came. Our daughter’s dear co-worker and friend came. Rock, of course, was there with the cattle trailer.
We loaded every vehicle and the trailer and headed to Liberty. Unloaded, baked some store-bought lasagna, laughed and talked. The Duchesses had a gingerbread house to work on thanks to a foreseeing daughter-in-love. The ice box got thoroughly cleaned and both ovens used. We had cheesecake to honor the memory of one of ours gone on before us.
We brought a redone table and chairs for the dining room. We need a lot more chairs! But the Duchesses had a spot to sit to eat and then later, to decorate the gingerbread houses.
The centerpiece is from Mother. It is her crocheted doily and her grandfather’s buttermilk pitcher. I wanted our daughter to have something from the grandmother who adored her so much the very first time we gathered there.
I might be as excited, if not more, about our girl’s house. We spent all of Saturday before last cleaning it. I realized later what is so endearing to me about it. The windows in the front rooms, the oldest section, have windows like my old house. Tall with sills close to the floor. Reminds me of a house I have loved most of my life. The old house still exists, empty and changed some, in a museum of structures. The house still exists even more in my dreams and imagination. Now, at our daughter’s, there is a structure I really can go to and visit with family or sit with a cup of coffee and feel the light.
After I had driven by the house before the final signing, I told my daughter I finally understood why for years, my heart had been saying: go home to Liberty. Yes. I foresee many more good days to come in a new old house in Liberty, Texas.
I have been trying to get photographs moved from photo boxes to albums for 20 years. Really. Twenty years.
They haven’t been spread out all over the whole time. I have gotten them out, sorted, discarded some, and boxed them back up more than once. I couldn’t find photo albums I wanted until two or three years ago. I got the albums and additional filler pages. Eventually, I started loading photos only to find the first groups were too small to stay in the pockets. I got black acid free paper and cut it to fit in the pockets and stabilize the photos. Sometime in August, I set up the folding table and cleared the kitchen table and went at things again. I have made very slow progress. Slow progress is still progress.
I find the task of sorting and deciding how to load them and the actual loading into the pockets tedious. The real challenge is seeing my tiny children in the prints. I miss those little people so terribly much.
I am trying to get this task complete because I do love mine and Rock’s two people and I want them and their girls, the Duchesses, to see all these pictures.
I want all of them to see all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, too. The family connections and where we come from. Roots matter. That is one of the major lessons I learned from Granny Sally. She taught it through family stories, through visiting cemeteries and explaining the family behind the names carved in granite, through cooking her mother’s dumplings for me when she could and pinto beans when she couldn’t.
Mother was always pulling all of us together. Family ties matter. Something about knowing our people creates connection. I try to get our children together whenever we can. We have several friends who are closer than a lot of our family members. They create an even richer connection for us. They are included in my party tribe these days.
I don’t remember to take pictures enough when we are all together. I am in very few of the photos scattered on the table because I was always behind the camera. We all have phone in our pocket to take pictures. Yet, I forget to do it. Another thing that I don’t like is having everything digital. I would like to have a lot of the photos saved on the computer or my social media account or a thumb drive printed into those ready-made photo books. One of my sister friends is scanning her old prints of photos on to her computer. It’s all a bit overwhelming for me. There seems to be no end to this project.
Oh, well. I will keep progressing. Slow, no doubt. Slow progress is still progress. I will keep reminding myself.