Monday, March 24, 2008

Visiting with My Parents

My parents, Iris and Al, in the early 1950's. I love my parents to pieces and think I'm one of the most blessed people on earth, because of them. They are the salt of the earth. Good people who raised me and my sister right. I've told you before that I'm a preacher's kid. Dad has been retired for over 15 years now, but he was a pastor my whole life. My dad is 80 and my mom is turning 80 in May and they are in remarkably good health. This is what good living will do for you. They are children of the depression and it's still etched in their memories. I wonder how we would be if we had lived through that period of time in our country.
We spent about 2 and 1/2 days with my parents last week and I so enjoyed having them here. They usually make it over to Birmingham about once a year and we go over there many other times during the year. It was my turn to host and cook for them for a change, since my mom has cooked and cleaned up after me my entire life. They are truly the best parents ever! Mom looks great for 80 (in May) doesn't she? I hope those genes are passed down to me, cause I can hardly believe they are getting on up there that fast. That means that I am too and I'm sorta in denial about that. But the hot flashes that have recently started tell me a different story. We'll talk about that another day.
Daddy has always enjoyed working with his hands and last year I told him about a little project I'd like to get done under our deck, so he promised he would do it for me when they came over again. He's a good carpenter and has built many things for me. I try not to ask him to do anything that will be too hard for him now, but Mom will usually tell me if he's not up for something. I really wanted to put in a lattice wall on one end of the deck to hide the ugly A/C unit and create more of a room feeling under there.
That way, I can copy my friend's backyard and do this...a pretty patio under our deck and it will get rid of that mud problem I mentioned earlier. So, my dad (with hubby as helper) got it all done almost in one day and the weather cooperated. Finished it up with a little trim on the other side. Doesn't it look great?
Now, we will get busy and build that patio.
Very soon, I more mud! And we can enjoy this space and the swing. You can bet I'll show y'all when it's all done. While they were here, we took a drive out in the country, about 20 miles out past where we live to Wilsonville, AL. It's a pretty drive, so mom and dad really enjoyed it. My dad thought all the hills reminded him of NC. I ran out of stone-ground grits, so we went to the source in Wilsonville and I stocked up on grits, stone-ground white corn meal, as well as stone-ground wheat flour. We should be eating healthy now. This is a neat place to visit. They carry all sorts of feed for horses and cows, as well as being a hardware store. You AL girls need to visit here, it's a throw back to the old days.
Baby turkeys for sale, aren't they the cutest??
And Baby ducks, don't you just want to take one home?
As well as baby chicks...
Awwwww. They wouldn't let me touch them though. One of the guys in the store told my hubby that some mornings they come in and there are baby chicks running all over the store and they have to gather them up again.
You can start your own chicken farm with one of these. My niece, who is the only grandchild and 25, has been trying to talk my dad into getting some chickens for his backyard in GA. I don't think she'll win that one though. Mom called her and told her about the baby chicks. She wanted to know if we bought any. Dad's a gardener, not a chicken farmer. We were talking about how we used to have chickens back when we lived in the country when I was about 4 or 5. We would gather the eggs.

Good memories with the folks! They are dear to me. I'm realizing just how blessed I am when I talk to friends who have lost both parents. I'm so grateful for mine.

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36 friends stopped by:

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a wonderful visit with your parents you had!!

I love the lattice project and will be looking forward to seeing what you do with that great space.

One day I will come home with chicks....I hope :-)

((hugs)) Rosie

Kim said...

You favor your dad. I am blessed to still have my 90 year old grandfather and my 84 year old grandmother. They live on their own - still drive (both of them.)He goies to the flea market some 30 miles away each Saturday and refuses to let anyone mow his grass. I cannot wait until summer to get to their house to sit and chat with them. They too are depression era kids and are so resourceful. Thanks for sharing your journey with us! You are an inspiration.

Michelle said...

So glad that you had such an awesome visit with your parents. Oh yes indeed, you are a very blessed lady!!! My husband & I each have lost a parent (my mom/his dad)- boy, is it difficult...

Looking forward to seeing your patio area when it gets done - you always put together such inspiring spaces!

Have a wonderful day!

Frantic Home Cook said...

God bless you and your parents! It's so nice to hear someone talk about their love for their family. Too often, we take those people for granted. My parents are gone and my dad was mentally ill but he did the best he could. As a parent myself, we see how infallible we are despite our best intentions. It's a blessed thing to celebrate our parents and their love for us.

CraftyT said...

What a wonderful tme you had with you'r parents.It's nice to hear stories like that.
I look forward to seeing you'r finished patio pictures.:)
I tried to talk my hubby into getting me some chickens and a pig.He just shool his head, called me a crazy woman and walked away laughing. I guess that was a YES!!
Glad you had a wonderful Easter.

Mary said...

Dear Rhoda, now I know why you are such a sweet lady - you have such beautiful parents!! So happy they are still vibrant and keeping busy at their advanced age. Well somewhat advanced - they're not old, and I say that because seeing the big 65 looming in my future makes me feel young, ha! ha!
Great job under your deck - you will certainly make good use of this space I know.

Would love some of those fresh milled grits - one of the best things about living in the South are good grits!!

Reynie said...

Sounds like you had a great visit with your parents! And they look great!

Can I just say I love stone milled grits and flour! Yum! When you buy it from country stores like that, they just seem more fresh and healthier! And those little babies!! So!Cute!

Fated Follies Studio said...

i love that you have those photos of your parents. that is priceless. good luck on your project.

becky said...

So glad that you are making memories with your parents...time truly is short!

Yes, I did talk my husband into giving my daughter ducks for Easter one year. What on earth was I thinking?...I haven't a clue. You know we had to buy two, because one gets lonely, or so they said at the local Feed and Seed. I must say they were very entertaining. They made memories, but they also made messes! Oh what we do for those we love!

OKGardners said...

Cherish your parents while you have them. My Mom died 30+ years ago in her 50s; my Dad was only 73 when he died in 1991.

I sure miss my folks, but glad you have yours and do love them so much. God BLess you ALL!

Your Dad did a good job on the lattice work.

Next time you see them, promise me that you will give them one extra KISS and HUG for me! (to honor my folks)

Betty in Oklahoma

Judy said...

My mom is 86 - she'll be 87 in June and is a little firecracker! Just today she said she can't wait until her b'day so we can go to my sister's lake house and go by boat over to Sinclair's (this is a tradition with her). She made homemade chicken salad for lunch today - yum!
Such a blessing that you still have your parents and that they are in such good health.
I can't wait to see your finished backyard project. I'd like to think our backyard is on our "to do" list this year but we'll see!


Beverly said...

It seems like you shared a wonderful time with your family. Your parents both look fantastic.

My mother will be eighty this summer. She looks amazing, and has been blessed with good health. Ny father has been gone over twenty years. We all still miss him. It is very interesting to have a parent that lived in the depression. I can tell so many ways that it impacted my mother.

Thanks for sharing your special time with us. I can't wait to see pictures of your new patio.

Betty said...

What wonderful parents and a wonderful heritage....treasure each moment with parents died in l981 and l991...

Great yard sale finds...I have a bird like the one shown....


PAT said...

Your parents look great Rhoda!

Lovely job on the lattice. Can't wait to see the patio. I know it will be wonderful.

My Granddad worked for MFA. I used to go up there to see the baby chicks. So cute. My cousin won several at an MFA convention, one year. They grew up to be rascally Banties. The little rooster jumped on my head and beat me soundly all the way to the front porch at Granny and Granddad's. I was about 4 or 5! That's a memory I'll never forget...when I see baby chicks, I'm always reminded!

We got a date for the surgery today. That makes it easier to do the planning we need to's just over 4 weeks away.


Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

What a sweet post. I feel the same way about my parents.

I can tell we live in different parts of the country...I've never had grits before in my life! I'm sure they're good because I always here people from the South talking about them!

Kristi said...

I share love for parents with you. The "chicken kit" reminded me of my maternal grandma. She raised chickens and sold the eggs (and prepared some for meat). When I was little and we visited in the spring she'd take me to the baby chick house and I just thought I was in heaven with all the cute baby chicks. Boy do I miss my grandma and grandpa and their farm!!

Our town laws forbid us from having livestock in our type of housing zone.

Donna said...

Hi Rhoda, I can see you had a wonderful time with your parents. You are blessed to have them. Mine have passed years ago.
Your parents look great for being 80 years old.

Looking forward to seeing that patio now that the lattice is up. Looks nice!

Barbra said...

Reading your post about your parents was totally heart melting. You are blessed.

Rue said...

You brought tears to my eyes even though I was smiling and reading your story. Your dad and hubby did a great job! How wonderful that he is still able to do what he loves. Your mother is still a beautiful woman too :)

Thank you for sharing your day.

Rue :)

Anonymous said...

Rhonda...I loved seeing your parents. I can tell they just drip with sugar. What an awsome gift for your dad to be able to work like that.Your mom does look like a go getter.
Glad you had a good visit.

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Your parents are ADORABLE! I'm so glad you enjoyed your time together. Yes, my hubby and I both have our parents still and we know we are blessed!!

Your father is an amazing carpenter. I looks so nice with the lattice added under your deck. Just think of the things you can hang on your "wall" now!!



Rosemary said...

How great your parents look Rhoda.
Great project!!!
Love the baby chicks. I would like a baby duck sometime.
By the way, I know about those hot flashes. Not fun!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rhoda, I enjoyed your last couple of posts. It was great to read about your parents and your yardsale finds. I love your blog and will be back to visit soon as I figure out how to save you as a favorite. Susan :)

Sandi McBride said...

Your folks look remarkedly young for're right, good living and strong belief's probably played a big part in that. I love the way you have the lattice to hide the a/c...I've recently learned how to do brickwork for my front's hard work but I aim to finish it. A few rows a day, and it's done. Such a lovely post...thanks for sharing Rhoda

Painted Pink Pot said...

Your parents look like a very happy couple. Lucky to have such a nice family.

Holly said...

Your parents look so sweet! How lucky you are to have them!

Sue said...

Your new lattice looks great and will create such a useful spot for you. Dad's are the best. Mine is handy with his hands too and has done many projects for me over the year. Can't wait to see what you create in your new found space.

bs honey said...

Rhoda, thank you for sharing your parents with us.
Yep, you are blessed to still have both of them. I lost my daddy some years ago, and my mama only last March.
I remember going on drives to out of the way places with them, as you did. Such wonderful memories.

Kari & Kijsa said...

What wonderful comments about your parents! And such a great visit! your patio looks like it os coming along so well! A doubly-blessed day!

kari & kijsa

ValleyGirl said...

Wow, that lattice wall makes a HUGE difference!! It really defines a nice cozy space and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product!!

Vonda said...

Rhoda, I loved seeing the pics of your folks. I think you look like your Mama but I can see your Daddy in you too. Isn't it awesome to have such a Godly heritage! We are so blessed aren't we??? And your Daddy (and Peter too)did an awesome job on the lattice. I'm sure you are loving that.

Rue said...


Thank you so much for understanding. You are so sweet! Thank you so much for adding me to your blog roll too :)

Big hugs,
Rue :)

Sheila said...

Rhoda love you had a great visit with your family! I lost my dad when I was young, treasure the time, I know you do. I can tell you have a great relationship with them both and I am so glad you were able to visit with them.

Kimberly said...

New reader to your blog here.

Every spring, I take the kids to the feed store to pick out chicks and ducks. We have a pet dwarf bunny too! I visit the classrooms at school, talking to the kids about the animals and letting them take turns holding them. Last year, I went to 32 classes and I am talking about K - 5th grade. Your never too old for baby animals.

After Easter is over, I return the chicks to the feed store to be resold, but we keep the Pekin ducklings for a few more weeks, until they are big enough for the local pond. I hose their cage out every morning and let the ducks swim in a big plastic tub. When I take them out of the tub to dry off, they follow us to the bus stop (our front yard) in a nice straight line and the neighbor kids pet them. After the bus comes, they follow me back into the backyard and I put them into their cage. Ducklings are fun and they imprint on you easily.

I would suggest trying them sometime.
Love your blog,
Central, FL

Nathan's Uncle said...

How great to see Aunt Iris and Uncle Al again. They are truly everything Rhoda says they are. Rhoda is blessed as I am with parents who truly live what they believe. Uncle Al is a great gardener and Aunt Iris is an amazing cook, too.

Cousin Howie

ann said...

Yes dear.You are so lucky to have had wonderful parents.And very lucky still to have healthy parents today...Ann