Counting My Blessings


I drove down to GA for the Thanksgiving holidays. It takes 14 hours to get there. My pal rode along with me to Hickory, NC and then I was solo down to GA.

Did I mention that my trusty Subaru's head gasket started leaking a week before I had to make this road trip!?!?

So, I chose to trade that sucker in and get a new (to me) car. I got a 2007 Kia Sportage that I am in love with. It's an automatic, 6 cylinder with 36,000 miles. It is a color called Verdant Green.

Great little car with lots of room, great on the longer trips and affordable price tag. While I didn't want to have car payments for the next 5 years (was due to pay off the Subaru in April 2010), life sometimes has other things in mind.

Let me explain a bit about what "going home" entails for me. It requires stamina, patience and humility. I haven't lived in GA since I went to college (22 years ago). I moved from SC to PA in 1999 and am currently the one person in my immediate (including cousins) family that lives outside of the state of GA. When I go home I am expected to "make the rounds" - spending quality time with brothers and their families, my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and get the picture, right? It is all good, but it just takes a lot of energy - even for a hyper gal like myself.

So, I left on Monday and arrived home on Tuesday at 5 PM. After a 20 minute breather I decided to surprise my 5 year old niece at her "tumbling" class. When she saw me she said over and over quietly, "My Holly's here." Made my day to say the least! Got back to my parents' house (which I called "home base" for the visit) around 7:30 PM. Enjoyed a great Southern dinner of fried pork chops, fried eggplant, homemade potato salad and several glasses of sweet tea. It was good to be home.

Wednesday I spent the afternoon with my nephews, ages 8 and 11. We attempted to go see the movie Planet 51, but arrived at the theatre to discover my wallet was nowhere to be found. Called home to discover that my wallet had fallen in the driveway as I was situating the nephews in the back seat. FAIL. Was able to gain back some cool points by stopping off to let the nephews investigate a serious 4x4 truck for sale on the side of the road.

Gotta love the South! Once back at "home base" the nephews and I proceeded to use cardboard boxes, tape, scissors and a slew of vintage matchbox cars to build garages and ramps. Good times!

Thursday was Thanksgiving. For the past 85 years my aunt's husband's family has upheld the tradition of sugar cane grinding on Thanksgiving. The community joins in and Thanksgiving turns into a HUGE potluck feast and outdoor event. Here are some pictures I shot on Thanksgiving.

On the way home I drove with my mom to my paternal grandparents' homestead. My paternal grandfather died in April 2009 and I hadn't been back to their home since Christmas 2008. I wanted to take some pictures of their home and outlying buildings. It's a beautiful country setting where so many of my childhood memories were made. I am glad that made a trip back there during this past trip home.

There are other great stories about my trip home, but this post has gotten past lengthy. I'll write more later.

So, TBA Readers, how did you spend your Thanksgiving? Do you have any family traditions related to Thanksgiving? Would love to hear from you.

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