Sunday, June 2, 2013

Such Good Roots

Today was the Scronce family reunion.  I guess it's to be expected that the numbers have dwindled over the years.   Even still, it doesn't make it any less sad and bittersweet.  The past few years the reunion has been held at the reception hall of the Methodist church where my daddy and grandmaw and fifty-eleven other relatives are buried.  But when I was growing up it was always held in the pastures behind my granddaddy's house, in the yard of the old homeplace where my daddy was born.  There were always lots and lots of people. Young and old and in between, we played softball and ran through the cow pastures and took turns drawing some of the sweetest, coldest water I've ever drank out of the old well.  The night before the reunion, my daddy and his cousin Marshall would  sit up all night drinking beer and sipping branch-water and eating and smoking boston butts in their special made portable smoker.  That was the best damn barbeque I've ever eaten in my life.  It was different then.  I never thought about who wasn't there when I was a kid.  And I surely never considered those who wouldn't be around the next year.  But today, I found myself counting the dearly departed in my head and I felt old and bruised.  Tender in my heart and thankful and proud for these clannish genes of mine.  They don't know it, all these cousins and nieces and nephews of my wonderful papa, but they're the reason I moved back home.  They're my roots, salt of the earth and dear to my heart and I am proud to be among their numbers.