today (still March 23 in Georgia here) is a most beautiful and healing Easter Sunday for me.
Honey and I spent it with what is now our new family, too, the family from our stepdad Larry's side. we not only got to know him and his world better, but we were introduced to real-life Southern charm, hospitality and warmth.
we went to church at Larry's brother Johnny's church at Pitt's Chapel in Macon, where Johnny is a Methodist minister of. Macon is two hours' drive away.
it was my first church service outside a Catholic church and it was beautiful, with the preacher's and choir's old-fashioned gowns and simple rituals and songs and sharing and sermon and all. i've attended services other than by Catholic priests but they were always in modern, big-city venues like office buildings or seminar halls or even beaches and gardens, but not in an old-fashioned wooden church building like Pitt's Chapel. think Laura Ingalls and The Little House on the Prairie and you'll get an idea of what i mean.
then, we went to a wonderfully delicious Old South home-cooked lunch at Johnny's wife's sister's home in a farm ensconced by forests. the dishes were delicious; i just couldn't memorize their names, though. they were made of simple everyday crops like squash and carrots and beans but they looked grand and tasted sumptous!
their house looked like those old Southern houses in the country one sees on tv or in films, where there are real wooden rocking chairs by the porch, and the distance from the porch to the kitchen is just 3 or 4 steps away, with all the rooms connecting to the kitchen and the dining room, where everyone gathers to talk, kid around, swap stories, or just say hi on the way in or out.
the children were running around in the wide yard, where there was an old-fashioned fountain made to look like a well with a tin pail pouring water into it. we got to chat with a pretty five-year-old named Olivia Grace, who sidled up to us as Honey and I were browsing the titles in their wall-length bookshelf. Olivia was excited by the fact that she gets to look for the Easter eggs all by herself, as all the rest of her cousins were boys and older and didn't seem interested (maybe she was the only one who still believed in Easter bunnies).
they welcomed us as more than guests and more like family, and it felt warm and good. i even joked and laughed with them, and they with me. it felt even better to realize that despite the differences in skin color and culture and even faith, we shared a common sense of humor about everyday life and witticisms.
it made me see, too, how living with such a warm, faith-centered joyful family could be like, and it made me think and dream of my own complete family again someday...
it is 6:07pm now and we're back home, and i feel refreshed and renewed, ready to take on new beginnings in my life.