I remember when I was growing up going to visit my great grandparents in Georgia. And I remember hating it! I hated the long ride and I hated Georgia with a passion. Could not figure out why anyone would ever want to live there and I would give an inner grown when we passed the "Welcome to Georgia" sign on the highway.
To me Georgia was smelly. There was the smell of the pines everywhere mixed with humidity and a lovely whiff of what I believe was a paper mill plant nearby. I associated that smell with Georgia and hated it.
There was bug too. BIG bugs. Bugs that looked like they would chew your leg off if you stood still long enough.
There were tall pine trees and pine needles covered everything from the roof to the cars to the ground.
My great grandparents house was....well....an old persons home. It had a hot house attached where lizards would come and warm up and a piano and it smelled like my great grandparents.
I remember the time my grandparents sent us down there for the summer. I cried all the way down. Cried each night. And hated every minute of it. It wasn't so much spending the entire summer with my great grandparents but it was spending it away from my family, friends and home. I was extremely homesick and only made my hate of Georgia greater.
When my great grandparents passed away, I was happy to never set foot in that state again. Grandma great was the last to pass away and we spent a good week down there one last time in 1986 packing away and selling and closing up a house I would never see again. As a teenager it didn't bother me. I had no connection to that house and what was done was done.......
Or so I thought.
As I get older I remember those days differently. Those sights and smells that turned me off then brings a smile to my face now and sadness to my heart. It has been over 27 years since I stepped foot in Georgia and now I am rather sad for it.
Ok. I might not miss the bugs big enough to saddle up and ride on. But I so miss that house. I miss the pine needles that covered it. I miss the trips we did down there and the adventures we had. I miss the flowered bedsheets that smelled like my great grandparents. I miss the homemade quilts she made with her own hands that covered the bed. I remember laying there and fingering those quilts and wondering from what shirt or dress that swatch came from and the history behind it. I miss playing in her two bottom drawers which was filled with old jewelry and her playing piano in the evenings.
I miss Fozzie (my great grandpa) who was handsome even in his old age. I remember him being quiet but firm. I remember him walking around not in jeans and a teeshirt but slacks and button up shirt that was neatly pressed.
I miss how we walked to the post office with Grandma great each day cause she didn't drive. I remember that walk so well that I was able to pull up google map and relocate that house going the route to the post office.
I miss her roses in the back yard and the dolls she had in her sewing room where she made me doll clothes. I miss Piggly Wiggly and going shopping with them.
I miss Tybee Island and going swimming on the beach. I still have a pair of earrings from the last trip there. They are a gold pair of star fish and it brings a smile to my face when I see them.
I miss trips to Savannah. What I thought was boring then is beautiful now. I remember walking the river front and taking the paddle boat cruise to Fort Pulaski.
I remember going to some church in Savannah one Sunday. I wish I could remember the name of it. It was hot that day and the church had no ac. The windows and doors were opened wide and a breeze blew it. It was all white and bright and lovely. I hated then having to sit in that pew for an hour in the heat. I wish I could find that church today.
I remember going to Juliette Lows house and walking around the willow graced streets that surrounded it.
I remember hating those things back then. They disrupted my life back then. It was a yearly trip I greatly disliked. And yet.....I remember them like yesterday and wish I could bring it all back today. Those memories bring back family and laughter and love. Those memories that I thought I hated so much back then, I remember with sadness of a time long gone now.
How our tastes change as we grow older. Things we thought we hated we really truly loved.