Rose Hill, NC. Mama C's House
I'm three night shifts out from hopping on a plane back to Wilmington, North Carolina to be with Scott and his family for our first married Christmas, and I'm ever so thankful for the blending of our families this year and how we are sharing time with all of the different people we love so much from each part of our family.
After spending last week at home and flying back to work a few shifts, I've had time to reflect on things that have been really special to me this year. I've also been listening to a lot of country music over the past couple of weeks, which I typically reserve for summertime listening, but for some reason it's been comforting lately. Sometimes I think I'd like to live in a country song. I listen and I feel like I'm experiencing life a little slower and a little sweeter, just how I always like it.
Mama C's house is a place where life is a little slower and a little sweeter, too. Mama C is Scott's grandmother on his mom's side of the family, and she's one of the loveliest ladies you'll ever meet. Many of you already know that Scott and I got married at her house in Rose Hill, North Carolina back in April. Sometimes I can hardly believe our wedding was there. Every time I drive back down her oak-lined driveway, I'm flooded with memories of our wedding day. I think of the hours spent putting together our centerpieces and arranging flowers in Mama C's mudroom. I remember Uncle Nash pulling up with a truck filled with hay bales that he and some of his children helped unload and place throughout Mama C's yard. And I remember peering out of the upstairs window to look out at all of our family and friends gathered in the front yard under my favorite oak tree, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.
So last week when we stopped off of I40 to say hello to Mama C on our way to Wilmington, I felt all of these things. As we drove down her driveway, I looked up at the live oaks and could feel all of the stresses that have been weighing me down lately falling off of me. I left them there at Mama C's, tangled in the web of oak trees that line her driveway. I looked to my left and saw the spot where I stood and vowed to do life forever with Scott as my husband. We sat in Mama C's kitchen that afternoon nibbling on fruitcake as we looked out at the pond in her backyard, and I just felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. The things I was so bogged down by in Indy were taken from me, and life slowed down to a pace that allowed me to finally breathe again. I felt my shoulders relax, the tightness and tenseness in my back fell away. And I laughed, maybe harder than I had laughed in a really long time.
I'm going back to Mama C's in a few short days to spend Christmas with this part of the family, and I really can hardly wait. It's a place where I dream and laugh and sip sweet tea, where worry and fear are not welcome. I need this again. I've already accumulated new stresses and burdens that I can't wait to deposit in the oak trees, and my lungs need that fresh air that comes only with country living.
Have you heard the song "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" by Tim McGraw? This song keeps coming on the radio and I cry almost every time I hear it; it reminds me so much of Mama C's and the simpleness that comes with life removed from a giant city. Take a listen if you haven't, and if you can bare to swallow a little country music. Can you believe that at one point of my life, I loathed everything about country music? It's my life blood now (maybe that's exaggerated. You get my point, though).
Do you have a place that surfaces these feelings in you? A safe haven? A solace, a happy place? I hope that you do. And I hope that you have the opportunity to go there often. Someday, I want our home to be what Mama C's is to me now. I want to feel that when I walk in the door and see a fluffy (if Scott will allow the fluff) dog racing towards me or when I see our little small people (better known as children to most) playing with their toys on the living room floor, and when we eat dinners together and when we pray together before bedtime.
Lots of love,