The last cousin has left the building. Life at the Ander House has settled back into the normal routine but not before a whole lot of fun. On Monday John, Becky, Mark and Carol set out for the Biltmore. I wouldn't have gone anyway but the chair we had ordered in May was being delivered Monday. So I stayed around home, making a few empty beds and getting a few things picked up. The chair was delivered around 12:30. I texted Becky to let her know I needed to stick around home because tiredness had crept in. I was thrilled that they loved the Biltmore and had spent the entire day there exploring the house, shops, gardens and exhibits. Then they grabbed some dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Guess I had scared them with the suggestion of eating all the leftover mushroom and pepperoni pizza. Luckily, I had found a veggie slice and didn't have to dine exclusively on the other. It was so fun hearing what they had done and how interesting they found the whole experience. Yes, I will admit it, we all were Vanderbilt nerds for the evening. Tuesday morning we decided to eat breakfast out and we went to Tommy's in Weaverville. It was delicious! Bonus, we were there at the end of breakfast so they brought all the biscuits they had left over to our table. So the cousins got to experience the whole southern breakfast thing. We ambled over to Mountain Produce where they could pick up some fruit and veggies and then we returned home knowing the inevitable was coming. They needed to get packed up for the rest of their vacation in Gatlinburg. They all pitched in and helped me get the beds ready for the next group in. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that and how much it helped me. Before embarking on their next adventure, Mark suggested we call our cousin in Kentucky. None of us knew him all that well because he is our second cousin and he is about fifteen years older than us. We or rather I thought he had written a book but it was he read a book about all the murders in Muhlenberg County from 1900-2000. We have all heard this story of late about our grandfather and his brothers, a jerk that lived in the area, a coal car in a coal mine and electricity. We have wondered if this is really true and Ron said our family name has the most references in the book. He was so interesting to talk with on the speaker phone. His voice sounded just like his dads. Ron is still preaching God's Word and pastors a small church. Yesterday afternoon I did some research, found the author's name and email and also looked to see if the book was available for purchase. It is a self published book, so it is hard to track down but I think I have a few leads.
There is one disconcerting thing about hearing all the stories of those who have gone before us on my father's side of the family...life does not end well. Just about each one we could recall and with the latest news on our funniest aunt...we come from a line whose later days are pretty screwed up and crazy. I didn't know that our great aunt Lizzie, not Borden, killed herself and before doing so, rewrote and changed up that will to benefit others, not family. Hmmm.... We have the legacy on my grandmother's side of the family of duel secret families and hearing her life story this weekend, explains a lot of why my father continued in her footsteps when it would have behooved him and others for him not to. My determined purpose is to end life well...better than the beginning. Let's face it, in all our families, there can be dominate traits that can either be excused or accepted instead of faced and surrendered to the power of the cross. We would be under the curse and our God given rights (at least that is how we can see it) of comparison, control, competition, hard headiness, being self centered,wanting our way, harsh in judgement, jealousy, grudge holders, and any other lovelies you can think of but somehow these negatives have been considered strengths not things to overcome. As Ron said yesterday, add drinking, gambling and the opposite sex to these and you got yourself a whole heap of trouble. OK, he did not say whole heap but I just went Ellie Mae Clampett on you. Guess this list could be true in all families of thinking well, this is just who we are or it is what it is. No, it doesn't have to be. Proverbs 4 says guard your heart for out of it flows the wellspring of life. Believe me, I am guarding my heart because coming from a long line of conspiracy theorists, I do not want to go down that road. Doesn't end well...no one wants to be around you...and the adjective crazy is put in front of your name...exclusively...always...world without end, Amen.
I just got off the phone with the genealogy and historic annex in Greenville Kentucky. They are giving my phone number to the author and he will contact me concerning ordering his book. She said, it might be a few days cause his mother in law is illin'. OK, she didn't say illin' but she could have very easily. Think we are on the right track.
In all the fun and laughter of the last few days I hadn't had a chance to see what my brother had brought me from his boxes from our father, who is not in heaven but in a rehab facility, anyway, I digressed. Doug gave me a begonia plant that was started by my grandmother, then mother, then him and now I have a part of that plant. I really need to keep it alive. He brought me four plates, four of the plates I have written about earlier...what joy to have these things that were touched and loved by my grandmother and mother. A few doilies, a couple of blankets, pictures and hair. Yes my friends, you read that correctly a snippet of some long blonde hair. No one knows who it belonged to or why it had been saved but lucky lucky, I am the possessor of this hair in a plastic bag. I think the best way to honor the person who saved the hair and the person whose hair it was, I am going to put it out where the birds can use it to build their nests. And maybe just maybe in the annals of Kentucky time, of Muhlenberg County, it scares off snakes and raccoons. Thus it will all end well.