Friday, July 19, 2013

To Mississippi and Beyond - #1

We made an extra long weekend (LOL.. more like a week and weekend) out of the 4th of July weekend to visit Brian's extended family in Mississippi!! And we drove... an almost 17 hour trip... thankfully done in pieces!

We traveled most of the trip in a 12 passenger van with Grandma and Grandaddy...
but that is another post ;)

Mississippi is obviously a L.O.N.G. way from Eastern NC but we made the trip to give the kids the opportunity to meet Brian's extended family, let the kids experience the place Brian loved visiting as a kid and give the extended family (Brian's aunt and uncle and cousins)a chance to meet the kids;)

Easily enough not only did we accomplish our "tasks" but we all enjoyed the trip and already look back with awe that we made the effort to have this awesome opportunity!

Our full day in Mississippi was spent at our Uncle Ronald's just across the street from Grandma's childhood home and where Brian would stay while visiting as a kid. The kids loved exploring Uncle Ronald's house and all the farm life, too!!




They enjoyed some wiffle ball in the front yard with Grandaddy and cousin Noah.

Lunch around the tables with family:)

Nate doesnt even wear clothes on vacation:) LOL!!

Then it was off to hike to the creek that Brian liked playing in when visiting:) It was funny to follow Noah to the creek... he lead us with skill;)




We ended our hike at Brian's grandmother's house (they called her Mom) and in her shed where we found where the cousins had painted their names during one visit:)

And then some 4-wheeler riding with Daddy:) Bet you can't guess what the kids are asking for now???

I didn't know my kids even liked blackberries.... but Nate got into Uncle Ronald's berries. And ate and ate!!

He loved them!! But he wasn't the only one... Grandaddy later admitted to eating a few and at dinner Chris filled his pockets full of berries!! Thankfully Aunt Aliene thought it was funny and glad she had already put up plenty of berries before we got there;)


Grandaddy later admitted to eating a few and at dinner Chris filled his pockets full of berries!! Thankfully Aunt Aliene thought it was funny and glad she had already put up plenty of berries before we got there;)

Uncle Ronald carves wood into pens and duck calls.... these duck calls are BEAUTIFUL:) We had fun using the duck calls, even Grandma jumped in. I"ll have to post the video of Anna using one of the calls, too funny:)

We ended the day with a family picnic reunion at Mom's house with many relatives coming out to see everyone:) It was great to become reacquainted with everyone since I had only been to Mississippi once before when I was newly pregnant with Anna.

Mom's house is in the background... really regret that this was the only picture I took!! 


The kids blended in very well with their Mississippi cousins:)
The highlight of the evening was climbing onto an old freezer and swinging from the rope onto the old mattresses;) LOL!!

Lydia was a natural:)

Nate was a trooper and determined... took some pretty awesome swing falls;) And got right back up to do it again!!

We got back to cousin Bill's dirty, tired and did I say dirty:) And we still had another day!!

I want to share a conversation I had with one of Brian's cousins. During the evening she approached me and asked "When was the last time you were home?"

Honestly I thought it was a little strange question. So I thought well it was Tuesday but we had been away from home for 4 days by that time left. So the last time I was "home" was Saturday!!

She gave me a strange look and then we realized. She meant "home" like Mississippi to these special places where Grandma grew up and Brian got to spend a few weeks each year! And I was meaning my home; our stomping grounds!

IMG_8907It left me with the impression of how much more Brian's family is connected in Mississippi. So many of the cousins have stayed local close to their family and even some of them close to the place they grew up.

And so I felt the

.... strong sense of family, too!! Not just loving your older parents and your growing children but keeping close contact to your aunt who lives around the corner and spending an evening (with not much warning) visiting with cousins who don't get to visit often. And enjoying seeing the generations all together... old and new and those in between being together... it was simple and special.

Lots of memories.
Lots of hugs.
Lots of soda.
Some hot dogs, hamburgers and cookies;)
Lots of dirt, dogs, chickens.
Lots of open spaces.
Extremely welcoming and loving;)

more to come from our adventure...


Jenny said...

That does sound like quite the adventure! Great pics!

It must have been so fun for the kids to meet all of the cousins and see where their Daddy grew up. Fun!

Grandma said...

You have done a great job describing our trip to MS. I still rejoice that we were able to go and so thankful for the great times together. Lots of memories for me.