Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Simple Life

I love going home. I just spent a wonderful Easter weekend in Virginia, and it was about as close to perfect as anything I can remember.

My mom didn't know that I was coming in, so my aunt arranged for my mom to go into town (yes, I'm from a rural area where people actually "go to town"). I took a taxi from the airport to Sam's and greeted my mom, who was completely shocked. It's hard to pull off a surprise with her, so it was great!

We hung out in town, and that evening we went to a little coffeehouse on tiny Main St. in Appomattox. The atmosphere was that perfect small-town, everybody knows everybody, relaxed feel. The music was a jazz infused bluegrass...or maybe a bluegrass infused jazz...and soon my stomach was filled with warm beans and cornbread. I browsed the shelves of used books, running my fingers along the leather spines and inhaling the mixture of paper, ink and coffee. I don't know of a better mix.

I sat back down with a hot tea and the company of family friends whom I see far too sporadically. We chatted about nothing and everything. We laughed at the antics of a completely uninhibited six-year-old with long red hair and an endless supply of dance moves. It was beautiful and simple.

Saturday was spent scouring the mall for Easter outfits. Yes, I'm 26-year-old and I still buy an Easter outfit. I've graduated from white gloves and hats, but I don't think I'll ever outgrow buying something with flowers on it for Easter.

Sunday morning we rushed out of the door at 6:50 a.m., running late, as usual, for the sunrise service. By the time we reached the clearing by the creek, the disciples were already in place, but they waited for us to be seated before they began the Lord's Supper. I decided in the future they should just put is in costume so people would think we're part of the reenactment.

I haven't been home for Easter in several years, so it was nice being at the sunrise service. My home church is a simple country church, so we don't really have any professional actors. It's nothing spectacular, but I am always touched by the honesty. One of the disciples wore work boots underneath his robe, a guard almost fell on the wet leaves, and one year a disciple ended up in the creek when he slipped off the boat. But I think all of that is probably closer to how the disciples were. A little clumsy, a little rough around the edges, but sincere in their love of Jesus.

I was particularly touched by by the scene where Mary kneeled in front of the cross. Her knees sank in the mud and her palms were stained orange from the red dirt. She rocked back and forth as her two friends cried with her, their hands on her shoulders. It was a beautiful picture of grief, sorrow and love.

After the service we had breakfast, struggled to stay awake during the afternoon service, and went to have lunch with the family. It was a wonderful mess of food, kids, toys and laughter. You couldn't walk two steps without tripping over a toy, child, or a combination of the two. It was perfect.

I was also able to spend some time with cousins I haven't seen in more than three years, and I was able to meet Alyssa, a three-year-old cousin who I had previously watched grow up in photos sent in Christmas cards. She was adorable and spunky, and spoke with a perfect southern accent.

After a fabulous meal of fresh greens, hot, buttery spoonbread, salty ham, soft yeast rolls and absolutely sinful cheesecake, we all sat on the big wraparound porch, our legs stretched out to catch the warm sum. We laughed (surely that burned a few calories!) and told old stories as re reminisced about the past. After an afternoon of incriminating tales and some grazing in the kitchen, Mom and I headed home. I lay on the couch with my feet in her lap and we just sat as only mothers and daughters can, in perfect silence.

After visiting with some more family on Monday, we headed to the airport, where just moments ago I waved goodbye. It was funny how such a simple four days can make my heart nearly burst with love and happiness.


Blogger gretalynn said...

Ah...salty ham. Nobody here understands me when I say I miss Virginia ham!
Glad you were able to make that trip. Thank you for letting me live through you for a few minutes!

11:33 AM  
Blogger mandy said...

Oh, Brandy! That was beautiful!

2:16 PM  

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