no avatar

Sincerely, Susan: There's nothing like summer in the south

By Susan E. Kendrick • Jul 4, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Dear Readers ~

I’ve just returned from an early dinner in my parent’s little golf community home in town. Once again, I am writing to you from the cabin deck on their lake. A soft breeze conjures gentle thoughts as the sun shines behind the cabin offering a reprieve from the day’s penetrating heat. I am sitting next to the “Kendrick Liberty Bell” that brother Wade found overlooking an array of activity while my red-bone coon/chocolate lab mix, Abbey, lazily slumbers near my feet. She wakes quickly to observe every movement from geckos slithering about, spiders and bugs scurrying to who knows where, butterflies gracefully dancing among the remaining blooms on the mimosa trees, fish surfing and jumping for the new hatches, while my niece, Laura, and a friend swim around the boat dock. Abbey has become a little unsettled, however, as someone nearby (half a mile perhaps?) target shoots with a rifle.

Meanwhile, as the martins continue to do their daredevil dives banking left and right exposing their white bellies, I am reminded of a time many years ago when I co-owned a single-engine four-seater Cherokee plane in which I took flying lessons. Forever in my memory, the call letters: “5-3-2-3 Zoo-Loo.” Watching the martins amazes me more since I know a wee bit about what it takes to soar above the clouds, lakes, hills and mountains.

Sapelo Island in early June was a treat. More good seafood and bridge. It was so quiet on the island that I was able to scoot about in a golf cart in cute pajamas early morning under canopied covered trees majestically draped with Spanish moss. Interesting findings, like Christ’s Chapel ~ the smallest church in America ~ on Hwy. 17 in Memory Park ended my trip. I love the coast!

You know it is summer in the south when all the magnolia trees bloom their sweet demanding presence among many homes. The AXO lawn where I am house mom bookends two. I have enjoyed the fragrance and nostalgic natural art so much that I took my own magnolia blossom photo. A home in which my family lived when I was small had one of these glorious trees in the front yard. Hours were spent under its branches as little sponge-absorbing minds and imaginations soared. Forts were made from rocks, pebbles and sticks, and completed with bird feathers masquerading as people.

Growing up in the south when I did offered an idealistic childhood. I don’t remember bugs or the heat during summer months. I do remember not wanting to come in at o-dark-hundred because most neighborhood kids were still playing kick-the-cans in our yard. That is unless it was Sunday evening when the Kendricks would watch “Lassie” and “Walt Disney” (still enjoy a few “Lassie” movies on TCM). And, I do remember my skinny arms hand-cranking the ice cream maker for the inevitable delicious results. I think I just may plug in Daddy’s electric ice cream maker this year.

Mid-summer is fast approaching as I look forward to visiting Kingsport and Bristol: Tomato pie at Mustard Seed, buying baby gifts at the Variety Shop, firecracker shrimp at Stir Fry Cafe, sharing a meal with dear friends in Chop House, trout in Riverfront overlooking the refreshing Holston gushing waters, visiting Reedy Creek Winery, seeing a couple of plays at The Barter, Fun Fest, sharing time on “Mitoray’s Mountain” and making the rounds in White City where I used to live.

Well, the frogs have started their nightly resonating as the sun moves lower behind the trees. Abbey has decided that the target shooting does not warrant investigating (thank goodness!) and is slumbering again while my mind is wandering as the fish continue to jump. I must learn what is hatching so I will be prepared this week to cast a few lines!

Our country has so much for which to be thankful. Please remember all those serving in our armed forces and this country’s leaders. They need us, dear readers, to be on our knees for their safety and wise decisions. Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America!



Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. Email Susan at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar, email us at [email protected]

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos