Just recently me and the girls got to take a trip to my hometown of Pensacola, Florida. They love going and visiting my parents also known as GiGi and Granddaddy and their Uncle "B" and cousins while there. It is a place that I use to travel to frequently, but have now had to make it a annual visit since we live so far away here in California. I always know when I have landed home because as soon as I step off the plane I begin to sweat from the humidity and I can feel the stickiness that only a southern raised person can love. Our trip was full of business and we had lots to get accomplished in three weeks and amazingly enough we did it all. We started off with a birthday celebration for my dad and we actually surprised him with a great party, food, and guests. Then we headed to SC to check on our house and meet our new tenants. We also took time to visit with ageless friends and do a little shopping in the downtown Beaufort area. Oh how my heart still loves that place. That is another post all of its own. Then we headed back to Pensacola.
Most people know that my hometown is special because that is where I grew up, but it is also the place where I met my husband while he was in flight school so going home for me is a huge walk down memory lane. It is a place that is familiar, loving, and full of family. It is the place where I can be me, relax and eat the best seafood in the world. It is the place where my southern roots began and where hopefully one day will end. It is this sweet place that never gets old to me and becomes more appreciated by me with my own age. It is a place where my children understand how to fry a fish, eat a crawfish, shell a shrimp, can go wade fishing, and can appreciate the pruning of your fingers from swimming in the ocean all day. It is a place where as my Grace describes as the place with "the best smelling air". That would be the salt she recognizes at 7 that lingers in the air and can be felt on your skin.
Watching my children be at home with our family allowed me to remember me and my brother and cousins growing up. The beach trips we took, how we fished off of the 3 mile bridge with my papa, ate home cooked dinners every night with my mama and daddy, the ball games we went to and celebrated, the vacations taken, the spankings I got, the hugs that were given and reminding of how much I was loved everyday. It reminded me how no matter how old I get my family is always there for me just as they were when I was growing up.
Needless to say leaving home this time was a little more painful. It is funny how that works for me. You can't wait to leave a place when you are young, but count down the days til you can go back when grown. Oh how much I love my sweet home Pensacola!