Vacation time is fabulous, especially when there is no one to answer to, although sometimes we must answer to ourselves.
She saw her sisters for the first time in seven years, which was at their mother’s funeral. They talked on the phone and kept up with one another. She couldn’t wait to see them, hug them, reminisce; still some worry crept in – going back home isn’t always the easiest.
They fell back in time, stopped at their 105-year-old auntie’s home, a place of wonderful childhood memories – the piano with foot pumps just above the floor and a circular stool rested in the same spot from 45 years earlier. The fireplace sat dormant as well. The costume jewelry hung on the same wooden peg in the bathroom. She recalled playing with the beads for hours. Love those memories. Her favorite cousin was there, too. She rattled off family history to carry on to the next generations. Hugs are just so good.
She went by the old neighborhoods and stopped at the neighbor’s who loved her mother and father so very much. Each shared new news and then remembered the corn roasts that were had just about every year she visited. One year she brought oysters and the neighbor shared that the shells still get tilled up in the garden on occasion. Hugs are just so good.
A Friday night fish fry at the regular haunt is a must. She was connected to that place for oh so many years in her young adulthood. She shot pool and played softball for the family-owned tavern for many years. She also was a server for that same Friday night fish fry.
Backstory: She first served up a Friday night fish fry at Paul and Plautz Bar, no longer there. When the work was done, she and her friends sat at a tabletop, played poker for quarters, dimes and nickels and drank beer until their little bit of money was gone.
Those were the days. Sometimes she would play bingo with her sister and father. She went again to spend time with her older sister. They reminisced about those days too.
She was reminded by her brother-in-law that all families are not the same. It’s sometimes hard to remember this. It’s also super hard to remember that everyone has their own perception of what went down, when and where. She let go of her own perceptions and let it be. She promised to move forward and to remember that everyone has a story they live by and that’s OK.
She decided not to be so hard on herself.
Lori Carter is a freelance writer and Spiritualist Medium -- truly a Spiritual Being, and aren't we all.