From Zero To One Hundred

We spent the weekend in Mississippi, and for most of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, our primary activity was Dodging Storms. The weather was absolutely terrible, but fortunately we avoided the worst of it. I am pretty fearless when it comes to bad weather as long as I’m sitting in my house, but if you put me in a moving vehicle in the midst of pelting sheets of rain, I will go all mashing-on-my-pretend-brake-from-the-passenger-seat on you. It’s a little annoying for the person who happens to be driving, but I for one find great comfort in my panicked behavior.

Friday night we had a great supper with my parents, my aunt C, my cousin Paige and her little boy Joseph. There was fried chicken, deviled eggplant (I will share the recipe later this week because IT. IS. DIVINE.), butterbeans, seven-layer salad, cornbread and banana pudding, and every single bit of it tasted like home. It was actually very special to be reunited with the seven-layer salad; I made it so often when David and I were first married that I burned out on it, and I honestly don’t think I’ve had it in about ten years. But oh, now that I remember its deliciousness I will be making it again very soon, and it will be my sweet privilege to serve it so frequently that I burn us out on it all over again.

Hi. My name is Sophie. From time to time I get in food ruts. It’s lovely to meet you.

After supper we sat around the table for about an hour, talking about who’s getting married and our favorite vegetables and whether or not Chinese chicken salad is a suitable entree’ for a bridesmaids’ luncheon, and out of nowhere Mama mentioned how she’s just sick and tired of everybody dying. And the thing about death is that it’s not really one of those things where you can just get fed up and take action. I mean, if you’re sick and tired of not being able to find your favorite brand of hair spray, you can usually do something about it. You can call a drugstore or talk to the person who cuts your hair or something. And if you’re sick and tired of not being able to get your favorite mashed potatoes on the Golden Corral buffet, well, you can take that up with the manager.

But if you’re sick and tired of death – well – that’s not really an issue where you can do much to effect change.

Anyway, Mama’s statement led to a back-and-forth between her and C that might as well have been titled “People We Know Who Have Died,” and after they’d named about six or seven people, Mama said, “You know what really made me sad? When my friend Margaret died. I just couldn’t believe when that happened two weeks ago. Or a month ago. Or six weeks ago. Or three months ago. Or whenever it was.”

About that time David piped up from across the table and said, “So what you’re telling us is that at some undetermined date within the last two days or two weeks or six months, your friend Margaret passed away?”

“Why yes, that’s exactly right,” Mama replied. And we all got very tickled. Mama’s recollection of the specific details wasn’t really the point, I reckon.

Saturday morning we left the house pretty early to drive to Jackson for the christening of David’s goddaughter. Our friends Todd and Marti had a little girl named Gracie back in December, and since they live in California, we were way past ready to finally see Miss Gracie in person. In fact, when we got to Todd’s daddy’s house Saturday morning, I may or may not have snatched her from her daddy’s arms and completely monopolized her for approximately one hour. But I couldn’t help it. She’s four and a half months and at that stage where she’s just a chunk of love who likes to smile and stare. I could’ve gnawed on her cheeks all days long.


We hung out at Todd’s daddy’s house for a few hours after we finished with everything at the church, and it was so fun to visit with the families and watch all the kids run around and marvel at how quickly the time flies and yes, I know that’s a total cliche’, but do you know why it’s a cliche’? BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

It was the sweetest, best day.

After the worst of the storms had passed, we drove back to Mama and Daddy’s, but I can’t tell you about any of that right now because it’s almost midnight and my eyes seem to be closing involuntarily. So just know that I’ll be back later to tell you about a giveaway that I think you’ll love. Not to mention the tales of even more food and – get ready – Sissie’s 100th birthday party.

Yep. You read that correctly. We celebrated Sissie’s ONE HUNDREDTH birthday.

It was a big weekend, you know?

See y’all in a little while.

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  1. Your weekend sounds just delightful! Can’t wait to hear about the birthday party! So glad you all stayed safe and sound.

  2. nanette lynch says:

    SISSIE!!!!!! I have been reading your blog for more than a year and I just LOVE the sissie stories in your archives! I have missed her so and frequently thought she too might have been on that list that your mom spoke of!!!
    I am now craving butter beans and chicken which is weird at 6:00 am!
    Can’t wait until Part 2.


  3. Oh my, that is one beautiful baby. I would have been all over her, too. ;)

  4. You are going to share the 7-layer salad recipe too, right? : )

    Glad it was such a fabulous weekend all-round!

  5. I always love reading your blog. Your weekend sounds so wonderful. I think my favorite line was “It tasted like home.”
    Love it!

  6. Do share the eggplant recipe…sounds wonderful!

    Time flies. Yes it does. Just really feeling it now as my ‘baby’ graduates from college in another couple of weeks. Sigh.

  7. I’m so sorry about all the dying. 2004-2005 was like that for us. It was just crazy.

    And I chortled at the GNAWGNAWGNAW… Love it.

  8. You HAVE to share photos of Sissie’s birthday party! I’ll bet she was wearing a sassy little belt with her sweater. That Sissie… now SHE’S Darling Plus! ;) I want to look like her when I grow up!

  9. strawberryrose says:

    I like storms when I can sit in my house watching a movie. I wondered how Sissie was doing. Love that y’all got sweet family time.

  10. That baby is PRECIOUS and they are like a fashion magazine poster family – too good looking ;)
    So excited you got to love on that baby girl and sweet Sissie – 100 years old and I bet she had a blast!
    Life is fun!

  11. Layered salad is just the best. I have a friend that makes it in a punch bowl for large family gatherings. Although, creepy, it is ingenius.


    Sissie turned 100!!! Grinning ear to ear.

  12. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who gets in a cooking rut. I have fixed the same 5 meals for my family each week for about 6 weeks now. They are planning a revolt!

  13. Such a sweet, sweet baby! Why is it that no matter how many kids I have seeing a sweet baby like that always makes me want more…. :)

  14. Jess from Jersey says:

    When you said “GNAWGNAWGNAW” I immediately pictured/heard Darryl from last week’s Office making fun of Kevin while eating the cookie… “numnumnumnum”

  15. That baby is so precious!

  16. That is so wild to me that you were at Todd’s baby’s baptism. My brother-in-law and his wife were there, too. Do you remember meeting a guy named Tim? That’s him. AND you were at my church! Even tho’ I wasn’t there, that’s cool.

    It really is a small world. That’s another one of those cliches that really is true. You can find a connection with somebody around the world if you try.

    Look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

  17. sophie,
    when I read your blog I want to be southern. and your friend. but i live in ohio, so i figure the chances of both are slim and none. i love your blog anyway!

  18. Girl. . .you have been with THE FAMILY. I can tell all the way from Texas. You are talkin’ a mile a minute and sound just like me when I get back from MY Momma and Daddy’s house. Or off the phone with her. You have a SOUTHERN voice if ever I heard one. . .and I love every last syllable.

  19. This is Todd and Marti from your post about their First Dance on the TV show!!! (And this is a reader who spends wayyyyyyy too much time enjoying your blog and committing parts to memory!) That baby is one cute little thing!

  20. Your car has one of those brake pedals on the passenger side too?????? My husband will never believe it.

  21. Just have to pop in to saw that I had an aunt Sissie. Her real name was Mattie, but I never knew it until I was in my teens. She and my other great aunt lived with my grandmother and I answered the phone one day, told the person there was no one named Mattie at the house, and went on my way.


    My grandmother and sister called her “Sister,” my mom and aunt called her “Sisse,” and no one ever called her Mattie. So how was I supposed to know?!

  22. “Say” not “saw.” The coffee hasn’t made it down to my fingers yet this morning.

    And I totally meant to ask if your Sissie has a name, or if Sissie is her name. Of course, you might not know either! :)

  23. Teri from Indiana says:

    Congrats to Sissie. My grandmother celebrated her 105th birthday on the 16th. Her party was this weekend. When you’re that old, it’s easy to laugh at the things they say. She was cranked because no one invited Grandpa. Sorry but he died 49 years ago & I think he gave up on her “getting out home to fix his supper”. Someone told her that Ted could just fix his own meal and she just rolled her eyes.

  24. That bit about your Mama and her friends that have died is priceless. I love how your husband responded.
    Can’t wait to hear about the 100th birthday party.
    Hope you are doing well!