#86 Mammaw’s birthday & a little jaunt.

Meet my Mammaw, Ouida Walters Rasberry:
(us on Mother’s Day 2007)(my brother Clark and his sweet wife Amanda at Jim and Mallorie’s wedding)(Ben and I with Mammaw, Christmas 2007)

Today she rang in her 87th birthday. When I tell you she is the most remarkable woman I know, it’s with great reason. She’s been through 2 strokes, possibly the West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and still pulls the weeds in her garden, curls her hair, powders her nose and cooks a fine Southern supper every now and again. She’s only about 5′ tall in her Sunday shoes, but her confidence, gracefulness and wit make her seem 10 feet tall. To celebrate, her sister, Aunt Bert, cooked the most out of control feast I’ve ever seen. Our whole family got together at cousin Kent’s antiqued-out house and gorged on turkey, pork loin, dressing, squash, turnips, sweet potato casserole, corn, rice and gravy, hot tomato gravy, snap beans, yeast rolls and the biggest birthday cake I’ve ever seen. As my family calls it, we had a weddin’ dinner. It has nothing to do with weddings, only a big family gathering with a huge soul food meal. There were elaborate place settings, place cards and lots of photos taken (though I don’t have any of them. Ugh.. soon!) I love that little woman so much, and I am always thankful for another year to spend with her. If you were to ask her how it feels to be 87 years old, she’d just say “Good. Good.” She never loses optimism, and I am forever trying to let it rub off on me.

After the party we went with Josh, Emily and Khiron to a classic car show in Collins. To make it worth my while, Ben even took me to the antique mall where I found a set of small 19th century silhouettes in simple black oval frames. We went to the car show then and had dinner at the very cool Mercantile BBQ on Main Street. It was just like stepping into a movie… Creaky old wooden floorboards, plaster-dusted brick walls and seriously, the most hospitable restaurant owner you could hope to meet. If you ever get the chance, get off the bypass and head for downtown Collins. It’s got seriously fine BBQ.