You give me half a reason to go to Birmingham and I’m on the phone to this dear friend. We met twelve years ago and our boys spent some of their most formative years together…..lucky for me. Susan and Johnny are one-of-a-kind–friends, parents, servants of God. They have taught their boys well and I don’t know if I’ve ever met young men who were more adept at relating to and showing respect for adults. They make good eye contact, give nice big hugs, and say yes ma’am. These two know how to raise boys to be men. Susan has taught them to be kind and Johnny has taught them to hunt. I was inspired. Again.
Susan has impeccable taste in decorating…..traditional, classy, southern, and beautiful. She’s also one of the funniest and most interesting people to talk to. She’s the essence of femininity and has a grasp on the scriptures that is uncanny. And an adorable Alabama/Mississippi accent. She also has picked the perfect life partner. Johnny stayed up late, even though he was on call, and talked with us and made us laugh and poured us wine and said how thankful any husband would be to have wives like us! I’ve already requested that my heavenly condo be in the same building as theirs. Will there be communion wine in heaven? One can wish.
and a beautiful dining room that is elegant and inviting….
and this cozy guest room where I slept…..although not for long, ’cause we both love to talk and knew our hours were numbered.
Did I mention how much I love these four?
We shopped some in Homewood at an adorable shop called At Home. This was a dining room set they had ‘spooked’ up….
and a beautiful wall of candles with a pair of gorgeous chairs….
I’ll show you a few of my finds at the end of this post. Suffice it to say, I wanted everything there and showed tremendous restraint to leave with only one bag.
Back to business. I’m here for a race, remember? And if you show up 10 minutes late, you missed it. I know….from experience. It would be just like me to drive 6 hours for a race and somehow miss it. So I left Susan’s in plenty of time to be fashionably early. I’m all business that way.
At the park I found Cindy again, my fearless and funny roadtrip partner…..at least for part of the way. We share a deep passion and commitment to Starbucks, photography, denim jackets, music, and our kids. She supports my shopping and eating habits way too enthusiastically and has an GPS-like sense of direction. Really. Oh, yeah and the boys had a race……that was the purpose of my trip ya know. And when I’m on a trip, I’m all business. It’s all about the race. I’m hard core that way. I told Coach Farmer that if he saw my car at Dillards, it was only to look at running shoes. I’m concentrating. On running. The whole time. All business.
The other powerful sight is the back of their shirts……which say this…..
They did great and came in third place, which made us all so proud of them. They handed me
the trophy and I started my acceptance speech: “I’d like to thank the academy….and Dillards…” but I was quickly cut off by serious people who were trying ‘trying to do some work around here’ by taking the tents and water and snacks to the bus. I reapplied lip gloss, bought some t-shirts, stole some team snacks and headed to Chattanooga to try to make it to Dillards before it closed…..’cause I’m all business like that. The trip took longer than I thought so I settled for Starbucks instead and sped toward the camp site.
“Be careful Emme, that fire’s really hot.” I chide.
The girls played in the fire 4 more hours and then we left. We drove 2 hours home while I commenced to tell my ungrateful, sassy, spoiled children all about camping. I know a thing or two about camping…..and what you two have experienced for the past few days could scarcely be called camping in my book.
We finally arrived home after 285 ‘are we there yet’s and four chapters in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” on tape. I toted all my goodies inside and marvelled at my perfect finds.
I know you wanted a better look at the sweaterish dress. Isn’t she lovely…..
So, I brought my ‘loot’ in and was a little scared by the state of the compound. No longer warm, inviting, and bright, my home had been transformed into a man-cave……no lights on, the shades drawn, and a musty/chili/beer/boy smell wafting from the living room. Despite the overt masculinity dripping from the ceilings, I was welcomed with a huge hug and kiss by macdaddy who was so obviously very glad we made it home safe. Scooter seems awfully anxious to communicate his thoughts too. I’m not sure what he’s trying to say. “Don’t ever leave me here with those two again” or maybe “When do you leave again, ’cause we stayed up late, drank beer, watched football, and ate chili…..in the living room.” When I recover my strength, I can’t wait to load the dishwasher, wipe the counter tops and in general ‘air’ the place out. There’s no place like home.