Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Real Good Dancers

See that picture there? That's a picture of two very handsome men in the front seat of the driver's Model A Ford. Or it could be a Model T. Maybe a Model C? I have no real idea.

But I know who the men are.

The one on the left is Paw-Paw. The one on the right is Mr. Moon.

Paw-Paw is Billy's grandfather and Billy is bringing him and Maw-Maw (whom, as you might assume, is Billy's grandmother) out to the house this morning. Then we're going to Monticello to the Mexican goods place where I'll covet the tin merry-go-round again and we might even go to lunch.

I'm excited.

I've never met a more gracious and loving couple than Paw-Paw and Maw-Maw who have welcomed Mr. Moon and me into their home down in Tate's Hell more than once. They've fed us and liquored us up and let us enjoy the beauty of where they live. One Sunday afternoon, Paw-Paw took us on a boat ride up Doyle's Creek, a little ribbon of water that twists and turns through North Florida jungle that I doubt anyone's truly tread since the Ancients.

Besides being gracious and loving and welcoming, Paw-Paw and Maw-Maw are just a gorgeous couple. Every time I see Paw-Paw I get a little extra volume out of my heart-beat. He's that handsome. And Maw-Maw is just as beautiful as he is but she carries a gun in her purse so I'm always sure not to flirt too obviously with her man because she's a woman that not only has a gun, but would not hesitate to use it to defend her love.

Mind your manners around Maw-Maw!

But really, it's not the thought of the gun that makes me mind my manners around Billy's grandparents. It's the way they hug you and make you feel so special and loved. If you're a friend of Billy and Shayla's, you're their friend too.

Come on in. I've fried up some sausage and made a pot of gumbo and over there's the beer and have you seen my hummingbirds? Now y'all can sleep down here in this room and we'll be doing some oysters later so just make yourselves at home. Here, come sit by me. We're so glad you're here.

That's the sort of people they are.

And every time I'm around them, I'm reminded of how damn good people can be.

I'm reminded of how lucky I am to know them.

And I sort of feel like celebrities are coming to my house today.

Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw.

I'd rather spend time with them than with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who, if they're really, really lucky, will be together as long as Billy's grandparents, who are going through life together as gracefully and romantically as a matched set of ospreys flying through the world, and especially down by the Creek, making everyone they meet fall in love with them, making everyone they meet feel lucky, feel loved, feel cherished.

And having fun.

Y'all want some cane syrup on those biscuits? Jessie, get out your mandolin. Play us a tune.

It's always a dance with Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw.

I better go put on my dancing slippers. They'll be here soon.


  1. Sounds like fun! I wanna have biscuits with you and MM and PP! More cane syrup, please!

    I was driving through Tate's Hell the other day. I love that sort of north florida folk lore.

    For some reason it makes me think about Tailypo. Are you familiar with that scary story?

  2. This reminds me of my mama and my sister... Good people. It's nice to know good people isn't it?

  3. You may laugh at this, but a lot of times when I read your posts I picture scenes from that wonderful book...WinnDixie....

  4. Hey - I'm jealous! I'm stuck here at work while YOU are off galavanting with my youngun, and my parents! Oh, life is SO unfair! But I love y'all anyway.....Denise (daughter of MM & PP, mama of Billy Lee)

  5. Nope, Lady Lemon- don't know about Tailypo. What's that?

    CME- it IS nice.

    AJ- there's a BOOK? I only thought they'd made that movie. Huh.

    Denise- I know. Life is totally unfair.

  6. Oh it's all so true! They are the nicest people in the world, and boy do they know how to make someone feel loved. Glad that you got to do that today.

  7. Hearing about Paw-Paw and Maw-Maw is special. We're surrounded by so much that is hip and phony and pretentious that honest-to-goodness real people are a treasure. And I love that Maw-Maw packs heat!

  8. I love spending time with my best friend's grandpa. He kind of 'adopted' me years ago. He is 85 and has the best stories. He also cheats at cards, but that's another story.
    Hope you had a great time!

  9. Well, Jessie Girl, they do love you best, of course. But we had a fine time in Monticello.

    Rachel- that sounds wonderful! My brother has an "adopted" father and I am jealous of him for that. I think we go after what we need, one way or another, don't we?

    Nannygoat- no pretensions in our little world. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

    HWB- thank you, my brother.


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