I loved the four distinct seasons that Kingsport and the Northeast Tennessee area would bring ... even enjoyed the snow during the winter. There was always an occasion to bundle up like a snow bunny in winter finery; I sure missed that this year! Disappointing, but in middle Georgia, winter never arrived. God gave us the four seasons for a reason and I don’t like to miss out on one of them!
Memories remind me that I was like that as a young adult as well. The first time I tried snow skiing, I was tricked. Friends encouraged me that I did not need lessons ... That I was a natural athlete and could command the bunny slope by plowing ... I recall wondering what plowing was at the time. So, the only lesson I received was the verbal one as the lift took us up the mountain. “Just ski off the lift when we get to the platform and go to the side. We will ski down the slope together.” Rising above vacation cabins, villas and skiers crisscrossing the fresh fallen snow, the scenery was beautiful. The air was crisp and clean. I looked cute in my snow getup. I was confident. We arrived at the platform where I proceeded to ski off and down the little embankment flat on my face with skis and poles catawampus. I could not get up as skiers whipped by me. With every attempt to stand, I laughed harder. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r ~ and even longer to get down that slope ... over two hours. There is nothing like having friends who believe in and encourage you but ~ REALLY?! I was pitiful and went straight to taking lessons. So much for my confidence!
By the time you read this column, the special 40 days of Lent is underway. The AXO sorority for whom I am a house mom will have celebrated Fat Tuesday with the FIJI fraternity next door in a Mardi Gras party. The in-house girls love entertaining and enjoy any excuse to celebrate. This scenario is perfect for me as I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining in The Lodge during my time in Kingsport. Life is a celebration and any occasion to recognize an opportunity to do so is both exhilarating and fulfilling so I have carried that with me to Athens. Plus, not everyone feels that way ... However, most do enjoy a fun gathering which brings much pleasure to this little hostess.
Several of us house moms are heading to a mountain destination in North Carolina for the college spring break (of course, the beach is out of the question during college spring break and will have to wait until the summer). We enjoy each other’s company and look forward to relaxing for a few days and playing bridge ... a game for which I am currently taking lessons to learn all the conventions. What a great game! Always had fun playing with my three “bridge babes” when in Kingsport. Not sure if two of the three read this column but I am sure that all would be happy to know that I have continued playing due to their efforts ~ patiently sharing their knowledge of card strategy. Oh, how I miss those Friday afternoons when I probably endured more belly-laughs than with any other girlfriend time.
My columns about the loss of my two Scotties apparently resonated within the Tri-Cities and beyond as many of you readers love dogs and continue to reach out to me sharing your heartfelt stories. Your ongoing condolences and well wishes have comforted me beyond measure. I have been writing for decades and your gifts of contact to me are more than I have ever received as a writer. Well worth the wait as the warmth exudes from your very expressive pictures and/or tell-alls. The fact that you took a few minutes out of your busy lives to contact me is a good deed for which I will forever be grateful. Thank you, thank you for your thoughtfulness. We are biblically told that all of us are united and little did I know that the death of two precious pups would unite so many of you strangers and friends to me. You continue to be a blessing!
With the subtle entrance of spring, as blooms begin to peek through the gentle grasp of a mild winter, we are promised new life, new beginnings and new opportunities. Isn’t that exciting?! And, for God to give that to us despite ourselves? St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and is another reason that I miss Kingsport where annual celebrations with the Mahaffey family and Father Mike found us eating corned beef and colcannon as we recognized the Irish. I will try to make up for that in the AXO house where we have several members who are of Irish decent!
Until next month, Happy Spring and Erin Go Braugh!
Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar, email us at [email protected]