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to east GA and back in 36 hours...

Monday, June 27, 2011
There was a family gathering near Augusta over the weekend. I have been to several, and forced my daughters to attend a time or two many years ago. I believe they were under great duress,while being bored beyond belief and felt like they were there at 'gun-point'! I'm pretty sure they were rolling their eyes, thinking 'oh, Mom...' the whole time - but at least they know where one-fourth of their forebears originated. They have travelled enough with me to not be surprised when we wander through cemeteries - occasionally even though we do not know anyone who might have found it their eternal resting place.

I got up early Saturday morning, heading north to Decatur, then due east, with my toothbrush and sleeping bag, semi-prepared to sleep on a picnic table in the campground at Mistletoe State Park. But as it turned out, threw myself on the kindness of a cousin, and mercifully not suffering mosquitos all night, or suffocating from heat/humidity of a sleeping bag zipped over my head. Thank you, Louisa : -)

So... I have been to visit the long-departed Smiths and Flukers in the Smith Family Cemetery overlooking Clarks Hill Lake. The 'old homeplace' is underwater, due to the Corps of Engineers dam built to contain the resevoir from the Savannah and Little Rivers, but the cemetery sits on a little rise, tidily surrounded by iron fenceing, in a clearing usually only accessible by boat. The cemetary is surrounded by undeveloped forest, as is most of the land abuting the lake, much 'manged' by the state/Corps for wildlife protection. A cousin went out last week and cleared the way of numerous fallen trees to make the rarely used dirt track accessible for the two miles from the nearest paved road. He occasionally goes out to pick up beer cans and refuse left by boaters who apparently find the family cenetery a perfect spot to party and build campfires, up on the pretty little hill overlooking the slough on a lake that has a longer shoreline than the state boundaries of Georgia.

Local relatives brought pop-up canopies, chairs, a huge picnic from Subway with sandwiches and coolers full of iced drinks. It was a beatuiful, nearly bug-free day, with kids plunking rocks in the lake, stomping around the rocky edge f the lake, in the water dragging up small pieces of rusty metal: wondering what the original purpose was, and wishing the jetsam could talk to share history of hands who had done the shaping, hard labor that had produced tools to support families. Cousins reminiscing, telling stories passed down from their parents about grandparents lives, work, families. Walking around in the little fenced cenetary, listening to people who have spent their entire lives putting down deep roots in Wilkes and McDuffie counties tell stories about the elders/those people who make me who I am, that I never knew.

Someone pondered why young people do not attend, and I surmise it is because you have to get to be 'of a certain age' before you can fully appreciate the treasure of family- young adults are raising kids, involved in activities who are not easily extracted for a weekend to travel for such gatherings. People who have the time and resources to travel are nore likely to also be of the age to want to be connected, willing to devote themselves to making the effort to associate with distant, lesser-known relatives. I have gotten to the place in time as I look back over my shoulder, and wish I had made that effort years ago when my parents were the ones who were going to east GA to meet with family. And lately (hopefully not too late?) realizing what a treasure/joy it is to meet, see, renew acquaintances with those folks of my heritage.

a 'little' local wild life phenomena

Friday, June 24, 2011
We were sitting at the table one Sunday seveal weeks ago, having lunch after church, when I looked out the window across the screened porch to see a young, spotted fawn walk across our yard. Probably within ten feet of the house. Amazing. Not at all unlikely, since our lot is very wooded, and backs up to an even greater area/acreage that is densely wooded. And we have seen deer close to the house before. Actually had to call animal control once years ago when we found a dead deer out on the edge of the lawn that had apparently been hit by a vehicle the night before.

I decided the fawn (and all the wildlife) must be desperate for water, so went out with a container that I have been keeping full of water, placed near the edge of the woods. I have  not seen any activity, other than the curious cats drinking, but hope that someone is enjoying it. I go out every couple of days and replace with clean, fresh water when I drag the hose around to try to keep a few plants alive, but  not the grass: which recovered remarkably after a recent thunderstorm: it was blue-ish colored from drought-stress ealier this week, and now needs mowing!

We have had a couple of good rains in the past couple of days, but many have  not... it being severely dry in areas where agriculture is prevelant. I saw lots of fields of stunted, deyhdrated, desperate crops when I drove to south GA. And know there are so many families out there whose livlihood depends on crops, and the whims of nature - which, now that I think of it: we All 'depend' on those people who are dependent on farming for livlihoods. So we should all be praying for rain.

traveling Toyota

U will think I am crazy.

I have been to south GA this week for a quick overnight trip.
Plus worked two days at my little jobette.
And planning to go to east GA, near SC line on Saturday for a family gathering.

U will be envious and possibly annoyed.

When I stopped for gas before I left town on Wed. morning, it was  $3.37/gallon.
I set the cruise control, and generally get over 45 mpg on the road.
If I was consitently conservative speed-wise, I would get nearly 50 mpg. (but who's conservative?)

pray for rain...

Just talked to Paula last night, who said her husband is going to eastern NC near Wilmington for two weeks to fight wildfires. This is what he does, as an employee of the state of TN Dept. of Agriculture, in a forest to the west of Chattanooga. I assume the fire in NC has exhausted all the qualified people closer to the location of the out-of-control problem, so the search for help to hold the line has to extended to TN. As the fire conginues to rage, they have to look farther and farther away to try to find areas who have the energy and resources to go devote twelve hour days to beating back the flames.

I am trying to take comfort (as I know both Paula and Chad will) in the fact that the people in NC want him to come driving the pumper truck he is qualifed for. Had to take training on use, and get a CDL. The only one in his group qualified for that, so he got 'volunteered'. Knowing he will be truck driving (though he has to get from western TN to eastern NC first), instead of out there on the fireline makes me hope, think, pray he will be somewhat safer than the guys out there with shovels and chainsaws.

Please keep him in your prayers.

I can't sleep, it's 3:30 a.m..... :(

Thursday, June 2, 2011
I took the melatonin like I do most nights, and got up for an hour or so. Made a cup of 'sleepytime' and drank that (just a little cup, so I would not have to get up in an hour when my bladder said 'it's time!', but still not sleepy. I don't want to resort to serious drugs, so guess the next step is to go to the health food store for some advice: unless you have any suggestions?

I think, for me, part of getting a good night's sleep is doing things that make me tired during the day, and get my body in the mood to need rest. So I cleaned off the porch this morning, did a bit of yard work (spraying super-dooper, industrial strengthy weed-killer on ivy) and went to the Y to swim... that should have been enough, don't you think?

Here I sit at 3:40 a.m., waiting for the tea and dugs to kick in...think I will go try to read myself to sleep...