Natchez thus far:
It's June. It's 98 degrees. It is peaceful. For 24 hours now I have wanted to write about how Natchez seems like a different world. It's almost impossible to describe - the resort-like feeling and the ongoing conversation with family. I relaxed onto the Sevylor long-body floatie in the pool, first laying face to the sky. The trees and perfectly blue sky above me reminded me of Costa Rice, the sun kissing my skin like it had finally met its soul mate. Then I lay on my stomach, face looking down into the ripples of the perfectly crystal-clear swimming pool, my shadow at the very bottom. It's a funny feeling, knowing how relaxed you are, and yet knowing that in 3 days it will end.
The "outdoor kitchen" as I like to call it, although it's just a large gazebo with a purple table and grill under it, provides the perfect writing area. Shaded, breezy. Still swim-suit-only-warm-enough. Sometimes my brother and Dad talk, sometimes they just sit and listen and watch. I think that's everyone's favorite thing to do - sit, watch, and listen.
My uncle Bob comes in and out of the picture. Sometimes he's working in his "Bob The Builder" van, other times he joins us in any set of the camp chairs (there are three sets, one set on the pool deck, one set in the shade outside the gazebo, and one on the patio). Each set of three is inviting. We move from one set to the next every 4 hours or so. Bob is humorous, always providing me with a smile. His "no-rush" attitude seems to bring out the best in everybody.
My Dad works his butt off around here. The yard is beautiful with blossoms every which way and the pool never has a leaf in it. He makes all the dinner and 4 gallons of iced tea throughout the day. I don't know what people would do if he wasn't here. I reckon they wouldn't know the first thing about living out here.
My brother arrived today, calm as ever after a red-eye flight. How does he do it? We went for a scooter ride and got some iced coffee, bought some sunglasses because he was squinting. He doesn't say much, but he sure is great company.
Mary is even quieter than anybody, but when she speaks, every time it is of her gratitude for my Dad and Bob, or the projects they do for her on the house, or how wonderful it is to have such great friends. She is full of wisdom and kindness, and I can't seem to find anything else in her.
Buddy and Jack (dog, cat) are with you everywhere you go. Buddy slept at my feet last night under the covers, without stirring once through the night. In the morning he poked his head out and rolled over for his morning belly rub. Must be nice. It was great to have company.
Dad just jumped in the pool. The quiet hum of the motor is soothing, and the various other sounds in Mississippi are endless: birds, branches in the wind, the faint sound of cars (although we live across the street from an enormous park, so the traffic is minimal). It's like a resort. It's like going to the king and queen's home and being allowed to do whatever you want for a week.
the back yard haven.
where I spend hours.
I forget what these are called, but Dad won't shut up about them.
Back of house, and fountain.
Uncle Bob, left. Dad, right.
Bob and the deck.