Typically I have managed to fly in on the banana peel of time as we head to my sister's house often to be greeted by a little get-together of welcoming friends. For the duration of my stay in Grenada, food and great gatherings are never in short supply. Mary Duncan Hall, what a tribute to Arnold's writing and to Dyre sisters you gave! Whether Toni Harris' pound cake and orange muffins, Carolyn Laster's best-ever grits and quiche, Margaret McCool's tomato basil soup, Wanda Kay Jones' absolutely delicious pimento and cheese, Martha Harbin's banana pudding, Sallie Jackson's tomato pie straight out of the oven or Patti Hernandez's cheese bread, I can always be assured that only time spent with wonderful friends can hold a candle to hometown culinary delights, even "homemade" cheese straw delicacies from Lauren Leslie.
There is nothing that soothes my soul more than to head out to the property that is now my sister Sarah's place, the very land that was my home for most of my growing up years. Mother and Daddy memories layer up and hold me tight. Recently some of Arnold's Navy buddies visited with us at Sarah and Terry's home. One of those men is named Arnold. To hear that dear name called and spoken with ease although not calling out for our brother caused my breathe to catch the first time I heard it from across Dyre's Pond. The second time brought tears to my eyes.
Downtown Grenada and in and around the ole stomping grounds of John Rundle High School cause history to almost beat out what is a town in the throes of reinventing itself. As we enjoyed Hill Fire's production of Knee Deep that concluded the Afterglow Film Festival, all held in the old Lizzie Horn Auditorium, I found myself filled with hope for the future of this much beloved Mississippi town. To Isabella Kinder for working with sister Montgomery County as part of your inspiring vision, to Robin Whitefield for seeing and saving an eco-system, to the lights that point the way to a busy car-lined lined street leading to Molly's Bar, to the Loft, to First on Green, to an old post office turned bridal store, and more who have invested in a future, may you continue to grow and become. May the past find ways to connect to the future of my hometown.
Of course, to Spenser's and Spain's , I only need to say Rock On!
Back at the airport for my return flight, I took in with continued hope the number of industries active across the way. We were met once again by friendly employees, including high school friend Steve Howell, husband of long-time friend Sandra Stroud. We laughed, we said good-byes, and we talked of "next time". As the Cessna took to the air, the beauty and breadth of Grenada Lake and years of treasured memories washed over me with the certainty and longing of a dear Southern drawl calling me darlin'.