Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life : Reform, AL

Quick - a show of hands for those of you that have heard of Reform, AL {and aren't in my family}.  Yeah, not too many hands.  Reform is a tiny little town about 45 minutes outside of Tuscaloosa {aka God's Country}.  Roll Tide!  

Back to Reform.  This town consists of two stop lights within 500 feet of each other and a four-way stop in front of a family-owned hardware store and the library.  It is the quintessential small American town, where everyone knows everyone else.  People that I have never met know who I am because they knew my dad when he was a boy. He grew up here, but left town after high school and has only been back to visit his parents since.  How they still know is beyond me.  To be fair though, there aren't many people that I don't know at least by face in this town because I am related {either by marriage or blood} to most of them.

This town is special.  Sure, it is beautiful because the plants and animals are plentiful and there is no light pollution at night which makes it the perfect spot to watch meteor showers.  It is wonderful because the way of life is slower-paced and feels simpler.  But the real reason this place is special?  My grandmother.  Plain and simple.  There is not a single person on this planet that has met her and hasn't fallen in love with her completely.  She is the embodiment of a kind and gentle spirit - a beautiful person inside and out.

We visit my grandmother once a month.  We started this tradition when my grandfather passed away in July of 2010.  Initially, it was for her.  I felt that she needed something to look forward to after losing her husband.  Admittedly, it was also because I wanted Canon to know her and build that same special relationship with her that I grew up with.  Now?  Now, it is necessary for all of us.  We, as a family, crave that time with her every month.  We also crave the time away from the busyness of our everyday lives.  The lack of phone and internet service forces us to take a break and enjoy each other's company for an entire weekend.  Having that time is priceless.

You see that complete look of adoration in Canon's eyes?  He loves his Grandmama.

She was teaching him how to make biscuits - from scratch.

Often when we visit, we sit outside in her swing while Canon runs around our family land being every bit of the boy that we know him to be.  Generally, Craig is doing the same.  As Grandmama would say, "he's comes about it honest". But sometimes, she will take us to a spot that has special meaning to her, like her "home-place" {the house where she grew up}.  There isn't much left on the land.  The structures have long since gone into disrepair and are uninhabitable, but she still remembers every detail of it.  She will talk about her parents, her siblings, her chores, and tells us stories that makes us laugh and some that probably make her want to cry.  They are beautiful, as is this place, even with the shed falling in.

Reform is a magical place, though not for the town.  It is her and I wish everyone was as blessed as I am to have her as a grandmother {though I can't say I would want to share her with everyone all of the time, so back off - she's mine}.  Just kidding!  Sort of.

*P.S. - Please forgive the quality of these photos.  They weren't all taken under the guise of trying to take a good photo.  Simply to document our time together.  They are precious to me, even if they aren't "award worthy".    

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