|Lady Leaf at Myrtle Beach|
I always look forward to spending time with my Carolina cousins, whether we hook up in Sumter, Florence, or Myrtle Beach. But this time was special because I drove to my cousin Ronnie's, who lives in Bishopville, and he drove us to Myrtle Beach, not via Interstate 20 or Highway 378, but down long, winding southern roads. What a treat! My southern accent kicked in immediately.
As Ronnie headed his big red GMC truck to the countryside, he pointed to a little corner cafe. "See that?" I blinked and almost missed it. "Every morning I meet my buddies of 25 years there and we sit in a circle and talk about...well, just about everything." Something out of Mayberry, I thought. As we continued down the road, I noticed that he kept shooing flies with his left hand. I was getting ready to ask him what was the deal with the flies when he said, "I'm waving to my friends." It seems that after all the years living in a small town, everyone knows everybody. Well, I guess that's a good thing. I'll ask him next time.
"This used to be tobacco country; now there's corn, soy beans, and other vegetables growing." Tobacco to textiles to farmland. Beautifully green and welcoming. Horses and goats grazing. Big, old houses built in the 1800's at the end of long dirt roads. Newer, modern brick homes at the end of long paved driveways. And trees everywhere, as far as the eye can see. A little bit of everything. There's room for everyone. Black or white. Rich or poor.
Too soon, we were in Conway, a few miles from Myrtle Beach, and traffic to compare with the Southern California freeways. Bumper to bumper, thousands were heading for the ocean to escape the heat. For us, we were heading to Magnolia's to meet up with the rest of the cousins. Heat and traffic behind, we shared stories and laughter over some mighty fine southern cookin'.
Thank you, cousin Ronnie, for a drive back in time as we talked about our mothers--who were sisters--and the sweet southern legacy they left us. These moments don't happen often, but when they do, I inhale every moment.
I encourage you to cherish the moments that God has given you this summer, whether with family or friends, you are making memories. Make them good ones.
Until next time, I wish y'all smooth sailing down memory lane.
|Beach your cousins well!|