Sunday, February 4, 2007

Fish out of Water

Ron and I have spent the weekend in Southaven, Mississippi, just south of Memphis. We've been visiting his mother, celebrating her 85th birthday. Yesterday featured an 85th surprise birthday party. Mom didn't know what hit her. I was most impressed by Jamison. I enjoyed meeting all of the other people, but now one else there had his spiky boy hair, his kinda geeky glasses, nor his winning smile. I don't know whether he bats for my team, but I wouldn't mind if he did.

About a dozen of Mom's friends were at the dinner, people that they've met here near Southaven, since Mom and Alex moved here a couple of years ago. They moved here running away from hurricane Ivan, and ended up staying in a hunting lodge in Arkansas. The family that took them in was at the party. The next door neighbor's daughter and her husband were there. One of their tenants and his girlfriend and their title agent and her husband joined us. We had a very nice party at the Sheraton.

On Friday night Alex, Mom, and the two of us went to the Grand Casino in Tunica for dinner. It's very easy to eat too much in these places, and if you put food in front of me, I usually eat it. We had a long night at the casino, and Alex sent us home in a stretch limo. I guess I could get used to it, because we came home in a stretch limo last night, too after the party. Too bad Jamison was busy in the restaurant.... There was plenty of room.

The casinos are a strange world. They are a fantasy world. Some of the players are genuinely having fun. Many of the players are playing the slots with this glassy-eyed look pressing the button, listening to the bells and buzzes, watching the sevens, hoping to hit the jackpot. They happen often enough that the hope stays alive while the players lose their shirts. It's a weird place.

Today, we headed out to the wilds of Arkansas and visited two of the couples who were at the party last night. Jay runs the hunting lodge referenced above. We met his two dogs, really wonderful animals who were extremely happy to see us. He's quite a hunter, mostly deer, turkey, and ducks. We saw lots of mounted deer heads, and even a turkey head. It sounds a little morbid (if you are city slickers like us), but the turkey head was really quite beautiful. I loved the conversation, too. It's a million miles removed from my world. I enjoyed being there. We drove a couple of miles further and visited Jay's parents. We had a wonderful visit - lots of stories, so very different than the lives that we live in our little suburb outside Washington, DC.

Jamison, maybe I'll see you next year, when we celebrate Mom's 86th....