Aunt Baker is my Daddy's baby sister. Since I can remember, she's been beyond special to me. For Mama, she's the sister she never had. Visiting with her and Uncle JL was a highlight of our vacation. Our plan was for Mama to stay there from 10/26 until I returned from Talladega and the NASCAR race a week later--we'd both continue to experience Southern hospitality at its best during the coming days.
Here's Aunt Baker, on the house phone.--she's got a cell phone and is on a family plan with us which allows us to talk daily. We're at their kitchen table, our usual spot for sitting, visiting with each other, sharing memories, a truly wonderful time together, just as we always experienced when there.
The delicious supper Aunt Baker prepared--chicken dumplings, green beans with potatoes, rolls, iced tea.
Meet Raphael, quite the old turtle, who has been with Aunt Baker since the days of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You see, back then she got three turtles, one for each grandson. They lived on the kitchen counter in a 9x13 glass baking dish. The other two met their demise at some point, I don't know when or how or what their names were. How did she know Raphael was the sole survivor? I'm not sure. But survive he did, graduating over the years to ever larger containers for his home.
When Aunt Baker gets him out of his home, he walks the linoleum and the carpet, often sitting in sunlight that hits the carpet inside the patio doors. I can't count the number of times I've come through the back door and been greeted by Raphael coming toward me. Or been followed down the hall to the bathroom. He goes right in and stops, waiting until I'm done, then follows me back into the kitchen. I always say, "Hi, Raphael" and "Raphael, you want to go to the bathroom with me?" One time, years ago, Aunt Baker had put a pair of one grandson's just-washed shoes into the dryer. Naturally, they clunked. I looked towards the dryer after a few minutes and saw Raphael in front it, looking up! I guess he wondered what all the commotion was.
Their other special, lovely pet is Ginger, the Golden Retriever.
Uncle JL had worked hard all day at the grocery store, so I didn't stick the camera in his face. You'll see him soon.