Mama and I Say: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!!!!!
We had not visited my parents since the week before Christmas, and I'd been aching to go and see them. So once the recent bit of ultra-cold weather moved on out, my husband and I made plans to do just that.
I'd picked up a few Mardi Gras masks the last time I was at the Dollar Tree, and I stuck them in my travel bag, hoping I'd get the opportunity to
lure, I mean coerce, I mean strong-arm, I mean talk one or two of my favorite photo subjects (which is to say, my parents) into posing for a silly picture or two. Or more.
We stopped and handled a few errands in town and grabbed some road burgers and fries for our sustenance. And down the river we went, heading for home. I'd seen a picture of my big sister Barb, wading in a river in my Facebook memories the day before, and I had big plans for our river.
I was wearing a jacket that used to be Barb's (we had identical ones; now I have them both; hers is the one with the hole in), the I Love You To the Moon and Back silver necklace she gave me, and temporary butterfly tattoos on the tops of my feet. For shoes, I had on a pair of Crocs for easy slip-on and off. I've studied wading at the feet of a Zen master, and I was ready.
So when we stopped at the fishing access point along the blue Juniata River below Lewistown, I hopped out and paid my tribute to Barb. I walked to the river's edge, doffed my Crocs, scrubbed a little bit with my toes at the slick green stuff along the edge, and then carefully stepped into the river.
You may see my tribute to big sister Barb in the extras. Yes, those are my own bare feet, clad only in butterflies and covered in river water, in early February. My only chagrin was that I did not have time to paint my toenails purple, which is my trademark color.
Now, the river I waded in was the blue Juniata. The one I had a picture of HER wading in was the Susquehanna, around City Island, in Harrisburg. The Juniata River flows into the Susquehanna, of course. I realized that my sister and I are separated now only by time; these waters roll on, still bringing us barefoot butterfly girls together.
My husband and I stopped for just a quick visit to Lost Creek, at the camp where we typically have our family reunion. My husband and I walked up to just the first two or three bridges. We wished we'd had time to go all the way up to the falls. I also wish, in retrospect, that I'd dipped my toes in THAT water too, as Barb and I stuck our feet in that creek so many times over so many years.
And then we went home and visited with my parents, and with my cousin Susie, and my little sister Julie and her daughter Kaylee (who's a senior now, looking at colleges). My cousin Lana popped in briefly, with medications she'd picked up for my parents. And we talked and enjoyed each other's company and discussed how many angels it takes to dance on the head of a pin.
There are also a few who were not with us on this day who are grappling with big health issues/challenges. Those are not my stories to tell, at least not at this time, but I ask you for prayers for unspoken needs on the part of several who shall remain nameless at this juncture. And I am most grateful for those who are on scene, providing help and support when it is needed.
My cousin Susie brought me a lovely little gift, a photo frame with butterflies on it, that maybe I'll show you soon. She said it was for a picture of Barb. And I instantly knew just the one. What a wonderful and kind gesture. Susie lives in Grammy Carvell's house now, a place full of happy memories for us kids, and I talked with her about visiting there and taking some cuttings of a few of the plants that Grammy tended so carefully.
And some came and some went. And at the end of the afternoon, my
unsuspecting photographic victim, I mean, model, was sitting on the couch. And I said, "Mom, would you like to make a silly picture with me?" She said Yes, of course. (Such a trusting little woman!)
And so I whipped out my Mardi Gras masks and I put one on my best girl, my sweet 92-year-old Mama, and I put one on me. And I took a few selfies of both of us in our Mardi Gras best. Yes, I know Mardi Gras is not until later in February, but I won't be visiting again that quickly. So here is our little Mardi Gras celebration. This is how we pass a good time. I only wish I'd thought to bring along some of the beads!!!
Finally, it was time to leave, and my husband called in an order for a chef salad to go from Sal's OIP in McAlisterville. We picked it up and tucked it in the cooler to eat later at home. Hooray, supper, already in the cooler in the trunk! (We would split that large chef salad, with house dressing, later, and it was spectacular. It comes with a small loaf of bread that is also very good.)
Then we headed back up the pike. You know how it is when a song comes on the radio that just about brings you to your knees? Well, it was Bob Dylan, with Forever Young, and it almost made me cry, it was so perfect. And we drove back home, along the river, watching the sun set over the mountains, feeling very fine indeed.
I have two pictures for this day. So let's have two songs. The first one, for the image above (and the title, which is in French), is the Cars, with Good Times Roll. The second one, of course, is Bob Dylan and the Band, with Forever Young.
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young