Family time was great idea

Published 1:16 am Saturday, November 19, 2011

“I have a great idea,” my granddaughter Melissa said when I answered the telephone last week. “Why don’t you and Mom meet me at Aunt Joan’s in Marietta next week?”

“Sounds good to me if it’s OK with Joan,” I said, realizing that we’d be spending three days in Georgia when I really should be home preparing for Thanksgiving.

No matter. Melissa lives in Lexington, Ky., and any time we can get together, we jump at the chance. Her mother, Amy, and I finally rolled out of town around 10 a.m. Tuesday, a couple of hours later than we had planned. We enjoyed the beauty of the fall foliage along the way. The closer we got to our destination, we encountered more of that heavy, dreaded Atlanta traffic. “Seems like we’ve been on the road hours and hours—what time is it anyway?” Amy asked. We knew we had switched from Central to Eastern time when we passed into Georgia. The time on the clock in the car, my watch, and our two cell phones all differed. When Joan called inquiring about our location (we were 20 minutes from her house), I had to admit we were thoroughly confused as to the time. Before I retired that night, I adjusted my watch an hour ahead.

The next morning, after feasting on Joan’s delectable breakfast with her and her husband Kenny, we four set out on a much-anticipated all-girls shopping excursion. Our first stop was a favorite store where Joan and I left Melissa and Amy to dash back to Joan’s house to pick up my forgotten Nook. Then we moved on to peruse a couple of thrift stores. In the last one, we heard we were under a tornado watch. It was raining when we headed back for lunch. The weather was crazy. The sun came out. It rained again. We left again, this time for Barnes & Noble. Amy had a gift certificate in hand. I found a place to sit to complete free downloads of a couple of books on my Nook.

Melissa and Joan left Amy and me in the bookstore while they stepped outside in sunshine and visited a department store. A little while later, Melissa rushed inside to get us. “We need to leave before it starts raining again,” she said. When we stepped outside, a big, dark cloud loomed in the distance. Before we reached the house, it began to rain. The next morning we learned that there had been some damage and power outages in the area.

That night our perfect host and hostess served us a delicious meal in the dining room, complete with crystal, china and elegant napkin holders.

We talked, reminisced, ate, laughed, and now and then I even wiped a way a tear or two. It was a warm, wonderful, and special family time—a pre-thanksgiving get-together. Yes, Melissa, it was a great idea.