Dear Readers ~
Loud anxious chirps from a baby bird outside my window greet me as I enter my office to sit, gather my thoughts and write this column to you. Its wings are frantically trying to balance the awkward attempts to fly as the mother directs skipping from branch to branch within the boxwood. Looks like a mockingbird to me and I can hardly believe that I had not noticed the nest before nor heard the feeding frenzies.
SEC football fans, especially Georgia and Tennessee (since they are my favorite), have much to anticipate after their spring games. OK, so Tennessee has a new coaching staff and Georgia won out with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Do I dare think about another season like the last one despite the loss of best friends Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to graduation and the NFL? Would be one of the greatest gifts for my father who will most likely, at 86 this season, not set foot back in one of his favorite places in the whole world ~ Sanford Stadium. Trust me, if he had to do it, he would ~ though I may need to drop him off right by the entrance gate so he would not have to maneuver the proud walk among fans. He is so comfortable now in his big chair with access to instant replay. And, of course, as many people around as possible who enjoy the Dawg romps.
I am finding the AXO house quieter than normal as activities have dwindled to concentration with studies as finals are this week. These girls certainly know how to pack adventures in quality time assigned for superlatives, semi, hosting the UGA golf team for dinner and a memorial luncheon for seniors and the families of two AXOs who were killed in a car accident two years ago and, last but not least, a sisterhood event with another sorority.
By the time you read this, I will have hosted the May monthly meeting for the University of Georgia’s house directors. Since the first leg of the triple crown was yesterday, the 144th Kentucky Derby theme was perfect for us to don hats and dine on our chef’s divine menu of Derby Watercress Canapés, Caprese Salad, Hot Browns (originally introduced in the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1920), Derby Sweet Corn with candied jalapenos, Derby Pie, “Bourbon” Balls, and White Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Delicious! What fun I had with the regional “head” chef and rep, Travis, making up that menu!
Another “must see” if you have the opportunity is the movie “I Can Only Imagine” about the lead singer in the Christian band Mercy Me. The house director sitting next to me literally bawled the whole time. When the closing credits rolled onto the screen, I was completely inspired more to write, write, write! More about that later but if you have not seen this movie of faith, forgiveness, conviction, inspiration and love, please make plans to do so. You will walk away from the theater thinking about it for a l-o-n-g time.
When living in Kingsport, I enjoyed membership in the oldest garden club in the city ~ the Kingsport Garden Club ~ that was established in 1938. On April 16, the KGC held its 80th Anniversary Tea in the beautiful Allandale Mansion. Many who had been involved with the organization attended the delightful event including long-time member Ruth Montgomery who was former mayor, as well as a state representative and senator! Though unable to visit the celebration tea, Teresa Estepp took specific pictures that I assigned ~ thank you sweet friend! Not the same, but with the gardening bug in me this time of year, I did visit renowned horticulturist and former UGA head football coach and athletic director Coach Vince Dooley’s famous garden. It was spectacularly beautiful.
Mother’s Day is next weekend and I will be heading home to visit mine in middle Georgia. Her Alzheimer’s seems to have plateaued and the family is happy that she is comfortable with the routine that has been established for her to live in the home she and Daddy built all those years ago. Daddy continues to adore her everyday and I continue to admire his steadfast and everlasting love for someone who has not been able to communicate with him for a long time. My parents are a blessing to me and I will proudly be able to wear another red rose on the special day when we recognize our mothers who, like the mockingbird, nurtured and navigated my world before setting me free to explore and serve God.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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]