I have lived away from my family for all of my married life. In the intervening years I have made the pilgrimage back to my home at least once or twice a year and lately much more to see my Momma and my sisters and their husbands and children. It has been important to me that my own children would grow up with a strong connection and love for my family of origin as well as an appreciation for the marvelous small town in which we all lived. It has not been as easy for my family to visit me, but they have made the trek to Nashvegas for births, high school graduations, and weddings, all the times that families get together to celebrate the important life events. But it has been a long time since there was a pleasure visit. A sit-on-the-porch-a-spell and we-don't-have-to-do-anything-we-don't-want-to kind of visit. But my Baby Sister gave me the gift of just that this week.
She came bearing gifts of course. There were two jars of Baby Sister's fig preserves which are chilling in the fridge now and waiting for some homemade biscuits (Grands will do in a pinch) to slather them on. They were accompanied by another of my favorites: 3 pints of lady finger or cream peas. These tiny little peas are indigenous to Southern Alabama and Northwest Florida. They do not grow in Tennessee and are even getting nigh unto impossible to find in parts of the South as a result of the drought. But she drove into Alabama and found me some. And we cooked them up last night and served them with our hamburgers, sliced tomatoes, Vidalia onions, and our sweet potato fries. They were the perfect accompaniment, especially when topped with a dollop of Duke's mayonnaise. Sigh. I had some of the leftover peas for lunch today and would probably have them again for dinner if I didn't have other plans. She also taught me how to make her cast iron skillet apple pie. It was better than good.
She's on the road now, headed back home. I am already missing her terribly. We don't look alike, but we sound alike and we are both loud. We also like to laugh a lot. Loudly, of course. She's more organized than I am, but then again, I think everybody in my family is more organized than I am. We enjoy a lot of the same things and found that we are quite companionable. I don't know that she has ever been in my house by herself for a visit. It sure was nice. No, it was better than nice, it was a sweet gift from God. It came at a really good time. A time when I needed not just a sister, but a friend. Thank you, Baby Sister, for coming to stay awhile. I love you bunches. You make me laugh. You make me smile. You just make my heart glad all over. I'll be missing you and counting the days 'til I see you again!