Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Many many ...oh many years ago, we used to travel to Roanoke Virginia on a fairly regular basis. See, that is where our family lived. Meemaw and Papaw lived there, Uncle Jack and Aunt Judy lived there, along with a smattering of other family members who always showed up to check out the next generation of "Atkins' Kids" It wasn't the best place in the world to vacation, nor was it always the easiest family visit of the year, but it WAS family, and I have many fond memories that I would like to share with the younger set of my family who missed out on knowing these folks as well as i did.
The apartment I remember was small, dark, near a fire station, and had a LONG narrow staircase. The bathroom I remember had a very old, deep clawfoot tub. It was HOT, box windows fans will take me back to that place every time. :)
We were always greeted with Hugs, and the smell of something wonderfully southern cooking for dinner. There was a certain scent, a mixture of cigarette smoke, grease, and sausage gravy. It was wonderful to me, it meant i was with Meemaw, and Papaw, and Uncah Zak! I was one of his favorite kids, he loved to swing me around by arms and give me airplane rides, which I am pretty sure Mom scolded him for, since he DID do it in the hall pretty close to the steps.:)
I remember fishing, Dad and Jack went fishing, and sometimes we got to go. I remember walking to the corner market with Meemaw, and being in awe of "city life".
I remember two pictures on the wall, of my twin Aunts, not that much older than me really, I would try to remember meeting them, imagining where they were, what they were doing, amazed by tenia who was in the Navy. I didn't know girls did that! :)
I remember playing yahtzee, lots of coffee, and Papaw "bein' crazy" as meemaw would say. He just wanted to show Eric how to target shoot. Guess she didn't like him doing it into trash cans in the alleyway two stories down. :)
Lots of my memories of them there are fragments of moments, little things, smells and words. Whenever we play yhatzee, or sit around drinking coffee and tellin' stories, when i make a perfect batch of buscuits or fabulous sausage gravy, i think of them. Meemaw would be proud, papaw woudn't tolerate that, Uncah Zak would be laffin' When we played Yhatzee, Meemaw, when she got a good roll, she'd say "thank ya" Dad and papaw would get "all fired up" over how "some people" grouped cards in Gin Rummy. Unle Jack would just laugh.
We lost Uncah Zak last week. SO sad, and sudden. I kept seeing his laughing face, hearing his raspy voice on the phone ... "Hey Sara! This is yer Uncah Zak! How's mah Princess doin?" Roanoke feels a little empty now, we were there, and nothing is the same to me, except ... the star, on the hill. A big white star sits on the hill illuminated every night. SOme things don't change.
As we went our ways one night this weekend, My cousin Patrick and I had the same thought. Meemaw and Papaw and Jack, they were in heaven, with endless coffee, and probably just breaking out the yhatzee dice.