Well it is another lazy Sunday here in the Bryant home. I wasn’t going to write today but for some reason here lately I have had so much on my mind. So many memories from my childhood have been taunting me. As you might know we just got back from our vacation in The Smoky Mountains. Well, as a child this was our summer destination just about every single year. My mom and dad would save change all year long and we would have yard sales once a month and put that money back as well. Thinking about it today it is hard to imagine having enough money to go to the mountains just from spare change and yard sales. Anyway, back to the story. While we were there it seems every little thing took me back to days with my folks walking the strip in Gatlinburg, driving through Cades Cove, and just hanging out by the pool without a care in the world. My daddy would wake us all up at around 3 a.m. and we load that old Chrysler up and my brother & I would crawl in the back seat with blankets and pillows and sleep. It never failed dad would wake us up in Knoxville ranting and raving because he had taken a wrong turn. I loved these vacations as a child. During our little vacation we went to see The Hatfields and McCoy dinner show. Instead of laughing and enjoying it I cried during most of show. The bluegrass music they played and the whole “sense of humor” of it just made me wish my daddy was there watching it with me. He loved bluegrass music and the old time shows. I had a good childhood even with the problems that my parents faced (I have talked about these in earlier posts). You know as a child even though our parents make mistakes we still remember the good times as well as the bad. Growing up in a small southern town allows for so many memory making days. I remember summer time and how “easy” everything was. Going outside as soon as I rolled out of bed and romping around until supper time. The neighbor kids and I would ride bikes for miles or go through under ground tunnels that went from one end of town to the other. We would make prank phone calls or knock on doors and run away. I can remember mama calling for me after the sun would go down to get in the house and eat supper. I would beg for a few more minutes just to chase lightening bugs. Waking up to the smell of bacon and then finding biscuits and chocolate gravy waiting…with a side of grits of course. There was always a big ole jug of sweet southern tea made and nestled right next to that was some homemade lemonade that would make you smack your mama. We always had family get togethers at least once a month that welcomed you with massive amounts of good home cooked food. Things like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, pinto beans, fresh green beans, casseroles for miles, apple pies, wholecakes…..the list goes on and on! The awesome fellowship of family and friends just surrounded you. My cousins and I always went home with each other afterwards. I was as much my aunts and uncles kid as I was my own parents. Living in such a small town you never met a stranger. Everyone knew each other and as you walked the streets in town hands would fly in the air as you passed by with a sweet “how ya doin”. The old men would sit o benches downtown and whittle away while the women would go to the beauty shop to catch up on the weekly gossip!! Sitting on the front porch sipping a glass of sweet tea and listening to the crickets sing a song was just amazing. There is nothing like a southern sunset. I feel so privileged to have grown up in the South. I learned about southern hospitality and treating everyone like family. I learned early on to respect my elders and I learned that they carry infinite wisdom. I didn’t love anything better than days I got to sit outside with my mema while she shucked corn and broke green beans. She would tell me so many stories about her childhood and about meeting and marrying my pa who died when I was only a year old. I listened to stories she would tell me about my daddy growing up….stories that linger with me still today. I lost her a few years back and life has not been the same sine. It feels like everyday takes me a little further away from the peaceful feeling of the good old days. Nothing is the same today. We honestly don’t appreciate how simple life can be with all the hustle of today’s fast paced living. I hate that my kids will never understand the joys of life that I did. They have way too many things to keep them busy such as Ipods, video games, computers, tv and on and on! They don’t get outside and get dirty and enjoy the little things! It is amazing how time changes things! For me….I understand that change and technology is a good thing but I still wish for days of romping around a safe neighborhood with friends just living in the moment!!!