Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cry Me a Tennessee River

People who know me well know that even on a good day I am sappy, weepy and overly sentimental. Adding hormones to the mix does nothing to ease the likelihood for me to get choked up over a toilet paper commercial, broken nail or cinnamon roll in the shape of a baby's foot. Traveling to Walland, Tennessee to visit Rocky’s family and attend a baby shower in our honor was ripe for a blubbering episode or two.

It was another sappy-filled gratefully blessed kind of weekend. It was the kind of weekend where your father-in-law drives twenty miles because someone mentioned donuts. I wish I were kidding. Apparently, Big Rock felt compelled to introduce me to the East Tennessee Donut of Legend, the Richy Kreme. This place has been baking donuts from scratch for more than sixty years, rolling out the dough by hand. By hand! Of course this labor intensive process can only satisfy so many pregnant ladies and they are sadly only open until they sell out, which of course is why Little Rock and Big Rock drove all the way to Eagleton at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday while I was still asleep.

Rocky and I also had the chance to have lunch at Calhoun’s on the River where we celebrated our wedding reception three years ago. It was nice to reminisce and think about how far we have come in just a few years. Another culinary highlight was the discovery of the Sonic Cherry-Limeade Cooler, a delicious blend of ice cream, cherry and lime “juice.” I am thanking the gestational diabetes gods for leaving me alone so I could partake in the smooth, sweet and tart goodness and cursing the fools who believe that advertising a Sonic more than 100 miles away is deemed necessary. No cherry-limeade chillers/coolers/floats is enough to make a grown woman cry.

Saturday afternoon we went to the church hall for hot dogs and all the fixings. But I really cannot begin to give the baby shower justice. It was some kind of wonderful. Rocky’s aunts, uncles and cousins drove from all corners of the state and my mom and Mary made it in from Nashville to help us celebrate the future arrival of B.B. King. The guest list didn’t end there as the entire congregation of the Walland United Methodist Church was invited. The new preacher and his wife came, the Sunday School teacher, the organist, the volleyball coach, the golf pro, a Lady Vol. We make it back to Walland maybe three times a year and yet they couldn’t be happier for us. We had something like 53 people in attendance grinning from ear to ear, rubbing my belly and telling Rocky newborn horror stories. LindaRosa was a proud mother hen greeting people and telling them about the baby. Big Rock manned the gift table and my mom saved all the bows. My sister took notes as I opened gifts with homemade afghans, his first pair of tennis shoes and a box full of infant-sized UT propaganda.

Maybe I am getting old. Maybe this softie is getting softer. Something about the weekend made me begin to wonder if my pining for Nashville is roughly 196 miles off target. Perhaps the church, the family, the donuts could all make up for the absence of a Nordstroms, Guapos and reliable cell phone reception.

As overwhelming as the generosity and as satisfying as a Sonic run was, one thing that could really turn on the waterworks is that our camera’s memory card was corrupted and we don’t have a single photo of the weekend. So until our friends and family print off their photos, mail them, and I scan them (we are talking about East Tennesseans here), you’ll have to be placated with a verbose entry sans pictures but hopefully full of the gratitude I have for the amazing people who know how to make a girl happy.

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