I was rocking Finley to sleep tonight and started thinking about The Fourth of July and festivities throughout the years that have made it special for me. My first thoughts were the times when Whit and I were little. Every summer, the week before The Fourth, we spent the entire week with Grandmother Carter. It was a week of prep for her big picnic. And when I use the word big, I mean BIG. I believe half of Floyd Hospital attended along with family and friends. It was nuts. There was homemade ice cream in almost every flavor you can imagine. Two funny memories: 1. The first time I heard Aunt Seery use language :) She got burned by a sparkler and let the s-word slip. 2. One time a neighbor ordered fertilizer to be spread the morning of the picnic. And when I say fertilizer, I mean the good, old-fashioned, home grown kind :) It was terrible and poor GMC panicked. We had fans running from extension cords into the backyard.
That week with Grandmother was always anticipated. Whit and I got to do pretty much whatever we wanted. We talked this past weekend about how funny it is--children in our family know they can get away with just about anything with GMC. Ask Eli! Sam and him were so excited Saturday morning(6/27/09). GMC gave them $20 and they headed to Target to buy whatever they wanted. It could have been a potting soil & seeds, she would have let them buy it. You can ask mom about that. One time I came home from Grandmother's house with a pair of yellow shoes? She definitely let us express ourselves! She (like Nannie & Papaw) let us eat whatever we wanted too. Oh man the junk we filled ourselves with during that week. Uncle Robert had a goodie basket that our little fingers couldn't stay away from--Cheeze Its, brownies, Little Debbies. And there were always the local joints we hit up--McDonald's, Shoney's Breakfast Bar.
At night we watched ABC Nightly News (Grandmother had a crush on Peter Jennings) and Entertainment Tonight. I think my obsession with television news started early. Grandmother didn't know what roots she was establishing. We talk "Hollywood" to this day!
There was always a time of sadness for me during the week though. I've always had a touch of a realism. I remember the nights I wasn't worn slap-out I would lay in bed, listen to the sounds of Wayside Road and sometimes cry. I was having so much fun and didn't want it to end. I never wanted my Grandmother to go away. I'm so thankful that Grandmother Carter, now also known as GMC, has been able to see her great-grandchildren. Had I only known then what I know now; I might not have had those fleeting moments of sadness. . . instead I should have been worried about what Finley may ask her GMC for or to do one day!