Our vacation this year to South Carolina was precipitated by a Christmas letter. It was tucked inside the card from my husband’s favorite aunt. I had never had the opportunity to visit with Eric’s Aunt Cleo except by telephone. I was enchanted by her Southern drawl and her easy laughter.
Have you ever talked to someone and felt an instant connection? It was like that with Cleo. After just a few moments on the telephone with her, I felt as if we had been friends all my life.
Cleo is the youngest sister of Eric’s momma, and I’d heard plenty of stories about her. She is vivacious, fun-loving, and funny. She earned her place in my husband’s heart as his favorite aunt when he was an adolescent. Aunt Cleo took the young boy aside and entertained him with bawdy jokes. If that won’t win an impressionable young boy’s heart, nothing will!
I’ve been looking forward for years to the opportunity to get to meet her and hear her dirty jokes. Our parental duties didn’t allow us much free time for a vacation, and we hadn’t taken the time.
I saw her card on the table with a Christmas letter tucked inside. Y’all, don’t tell anyone this: I don’t usually read Christmas letters…I just skim them. I have the attention span of a gnat. You can’t put a whole year’s worth of activity on one page and expect me to read it. Give it to me in a bulleted message so I can hit the high points.
I glanced at the card instead, and was stopped dead in my tracks by her note to me. In that instant, I knew at once that we had to plan a trip to South Carolina, come heck or high water.
Are you wondering yet what a baseball player has to do with it? I’ll tell you tomorrow in Part II.