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when in SC...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
... we invited ourselves to spend the night with a cousin. E. is from the little town in south GA where I grew up, so I have virtually, practically known her all our lives. Except for those few youngest years when oblivious to the world as my entire universe was self centered. We've been together for a long time, and I love her dearly,  not just due to shared DNA, but because she is She. Really smart, capable, seriously committed to her profession. As well as devoted to her family, crazie about two little grandkids that live on the far side of the continent.

I'd thought in an effort to not be total complete  moochers, we would take the makings for dinner and prepare a meal to share at her house. But we went to eat (too much) at a local, mediocre Mexican restaurant instead. And soon found ourselves so stuffed it was necessary to go to bed tooooo early.

Then we went to visit my pen-pal who lives about twenty minutes away, enjoyed spending some time with him. He was in the service with my dad during the Big War, and went through training with him in Camps Rucker and Blanding. Then they were shipped to NY state and on to England for more training before landing in France where they were stationed for the remaining time of the European conflict. I have written and voice recordings of the stories he willingly, gladly tells of his experience and memories of time with the Company Captain.  And now one of my favorite people has had the opportunity to hear the stories first hand, as he shared rememberances of her granddad with her.

And an amusing growing up story I had not previously heard. He grew up on a farm as the fifth of five children, so I can picture how the last little one would often be overlooked or get lost in the daily shuffle of their busy lives. Plenty of necessary activities to keep everyone of  all ages occupied with the work that occurs throughout the seasons of farming to support a family.

He reported that he was just barely walking well, and decided he should go down the lane to a swimming hole. Accompanied by his dutiful companion: a sheltie who apparently served as his nanny, always watchful of her charge. The dog named Fanny, followed him out of the house and down the little farm path to the edge of a swimming hole, that was fenced off with strings of barbed wire. And grabbed the backside of his diaper as he was wiggled through the strands of wire. Holding on to him for some period of time, until someone noticed his little self missing and sent up an alarm. The search began, and the family found the self-appointed baby sitter still holding onto her charge, half-way through the fence, waiting for help!

He just had a birthday, and is now 93 years old. So obviously has a remarkable memory. He lives alone, still driving himself any place around town he wants to go, other than preparing meals entirely self-sufficient. There are lots of adult children, grand children and great grands around, close enough to enjoy visiting, and always available to come together to celebrate any small occasion. To my way of thinking there is nothing 'slight' about a 93'rd birthday, so I imagine there was lots of celebrating. Plus he said that his birthday was the fifth one they had observed during the month of March.

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