Friday, August 31, 2007

Last weekend I went down to Baton Rouge to see Beth and Steve,.

I left here Thursday afternoon after my hair appointment. I went by way of Memphis. It is interstate all the way.

I was disappointed to find that the Book Warehouse at the discount mall at Batesville has closed. That was the one place I always found good travel books like Frommer's guides.

I drove on and stopped for the night in north Jackson, Mississippi. I did not know that the Washington monument had been moved to central Mississippi, but there it is right along interstate 55. I later learned that it is actually a disguised cell phone tower. Seems there is also one around there that is in an artificial tree.

I stopped at a Quality Inn for the night. I walked up to a service station and got a sandwich and coke for supper.

I tried to call my friend Nancy Miller but did not get her until 9:30. I had not heard from Nancy in months but she is my friend that when I start talking to her it is as if I have been talking to her everyday.

I caught her up on my life. Her life has changed a lot. Ash, her son, still lives at home. His room is still an electronics junkyard. Her daughter Heather lives with her husband in Starkville and they are expecting a baby, a girl. Nancy will be a grandmother! The youngest child Lana is a senior in high school. She will be going to Alabama next year.

Friday I got up and was in Baton Rouge in just a few hours.

It was exciting to be on the interstate in Baton Rouge seeing the signs for familiar streets that I had not thought of in years: Acadian Thruway, Florida Boulevard, Highland Avenue.

I was so happy when I got off the interstate at Louise Street, then Terrace and a left turn , going south on Nicholson Boulevard.

That is when I started crying. I tried to pretend that George Rodney was waiting for me at our old apartment on the LSU campus.

Instead Beth and Steve were waiting for me, but I was sad that George Rodney was not with me.

They are in the first block of apartments after Nicholson passes through the gates of LSU. They are on the second floor on the end towards Nicholson.

Beth's apartments are always cute and this one is, too. She says that I give her too much credit, that a lot of the ideas are Steve's.

Beth's style is shabby chic. It suits their pocketbook, too. They have two white, tall bookcases, bought from WalMart, but the rest of their furniture is about evenly divided between second hand and picked up on the street.

They have a nice TV set they got off the street. The owners said they lost the remote so they bought a new set.

Many of Steve's paintings are on the walls and some that Beth brought from Starkville. Steve loves the huge, spreading live oaks on the LSU campus, and is painting the one right outside their apartment. It will hang in the kitchen over the stove.

On the walkway outside their door is a garden-like setting of their house plants. Steve has some golf equipment there and practices his putting among the plants.

The front section of their apartment is all glass.Their front door is sliding glass. Most people keep their curtains pulled but Beth and Steve keep their curtains open without loss of privacy since they are on the end.

In the early evening we went for a ride to see the campus. The campus is now closed by barriers during the day so there is no car traffic but we could drive through at night. First we stopped at chemical engineering. I was surprised to see that they are in the same building as they were forty years ago. However there is a large, bright, new ChE building connected to it. Out front is still the iron pot that Etienne de Bore used to first granulate sugar, an important event in the history of Louisiana.

While we were outside the ChE building peeping in, a campus security officer came by and stopped. We told him of our nostalgic journey and he opened the building for us. The inside of the old part looks the same just about. The lab on the first floor where George Rodney had his office is still the Polymer Lab as it was when he was there.

The department office used to be on the ground floor on the left. It is no longer there; probably moved to the new part. I noticed the name on the door of the office there; it is Louis Thibodeaux. I was surprised at that. He got his PhD the year before George Rodney did. I thought he had gone into industry. The only other familiar name I saw on the faculty list was Dr. Corropio. I don't think I ever met him but I heard about him. He was a graduate student who was generally judged to be a genius. No one thought of comparing themselves to him. He was above all the other candidates.

Then we went over to Beth's building and office. She says accounting is getting a new building but she will be gone by the time it is opened. The building they are in now looks pretty new to me.

Beth has a nice office that she shares with one other graduate student, although it looks like it was built for three. She has a few pictures around. One of her and Steve, and her "inspiration picture" which is of George Rodney and I on the LSU campus on the day he got his PhD. George Rodney is wearing his doctoral robe.

She has several of her calculus books on the shelves but in a closed cabinet are other math books such as Calculus for Dummies.

It is a cute office, very new, and very nice for a graduate student.

I slept on their couch. It used to be Laura Henderson's couch. I was very comfortable because when the back pillows are removed it is about the size of a twin bed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I have not discussed the meals I ate or the people I ate with because I don't remember. I went each day to eat with a varying group of great people and had a good time.

Sunday morning was brunch at a place on A1A. They had a buffet. I think we were supposed to order something with Peruvian sauce, or maybe that was the sub place. Anyway I guess I will forever not know what that is.

I came into the restaurant and first Richard came up to hug me and Todd was next and seemed eager to see me. I did give him a hug which tickled him because he then pointed out I was hugging a Florida national Championship shirt that he was wearing.

A lot of people left after breakfast, the Ruckers and the Hendersons. The Ruckers were going down to Ft. Lauderdale where they were taking a cruise to Key West, Cancun, and Belize.

That afternoon we went to the beach. Marty, Charlie, and Evelyn went for a walk. Steve put Calista on his surf board and let her go up and down with the waves. Beth had on her white bikini that said Just Married over her butt.

Monday morning everyone left. Steve took the Sparrows to the airport. Sonja and Calista left for the airport in their rental car. I went to Beth's to pick up some plants.

Then Adrienne and I left for Tennessee. We talked to Julia and she recommended the hotel they had spent the night in the night before. She told us to ask for Room 103. We did but that room was occupied, but then the clerk said "I will put you in the room your other sister was in." I was surprised she knew that but she said that my sisters had talked about the wedding in Florida so she put two and two together.

The last day Adrienne and I stopped in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and visited Helen Keller's home. That was fun. Adrienne is like Jay; she is always ready for an interesting stop.

It was a treat having Adrienne on the trip home. It was good to have someone else to share the driving, but mainly I enjoy her company and her conversation.

Usually I am so happy and relieved to get home and be by myself but this time I wasn't. I had had a good time around people I love and I missed it. Too bad, I don't have another daughter to marry off.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Webb relatives at the wedding were Julia, Jay, Sonja, Adrienne,Calista,June, Harry, Alvin, Abigail,me, Beth, Steve,Anne, Ken, George, Adam, and Emma.

Before the wedding I met Beth's friend Leslie and got to try on her six carat diamond engagement ring. It looked great on my hand.

As we were lining up, before going in, I started to go over to Beth but she said not to, If you do I'll start crying, she said.

Evelyn went in first, then me.

Then the priest with Steve, Paul, Bobby, George, and Adam. Adam and George were holding their pillows behind their backs, but that was okay. Steve wore a suit but the other four wore yellow shirts with ties.

I guess the flower girls came in in order of height: Calista, Emma, and Brittney. They wore identical pink dresses and carried little pink paper baskets that Beth had made. Then Laura Henderson Russell and Anne. They wore teal dresses. Laura's was strapless and Anne's was a V neck sleeveless.

Then the bride escorted by our friend Richard Henderson. Richard said that Anne was just shaking before they started out but then when they were going down the aisle she was rock solid.

My dress was beautiful on her. The dress wound up costing more than Anne's wedding dress. It was worth it. The seamstress took the dress completely apart. She took out the darts to give more in the waist. She added sheered pieces to the waist and shoulders to add length and put braid over the old dart spaces and the new sheered pieces. The entire dress was then lined and she added buttons and loops so the train could be shortened. all beautifully done.

Guests enjoyed the ceremony. It was meaningful to everyone, especially the bridal couple.

The priest asked the guests to support and aid Beth and Steve in this marriage. When the audience's I Will was not loud enough, she asked it again.

Shortly thereafter, she moved to the front level with the congregation with Beth and Steve still on the dais and facing the congregation. This allowed the audience a great view of the bridal couple.

When they were taking their vows, the groom, unexpectedly and touchingly, started to cry. It was so sweet.

Afterward communion was served with Beth and Steve holding the chalices of wine.

During rehearsal the priest had lined up the children since all baptized persons are invited to take communion. We had to pull them out. I would have said because they are good little Southern Baptists but actually none of them were Baptists.

It was touching to see Deana (?) helping her mother up to the altar to receive communion.

Then that part of the wedding were over. It was time to party and eat barbecue.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adam and George behaved beautifully the whole weekend. I had told Anne not to set adult standards for them but my admonition wasn't necessary. They did walk out for the wedding carrying the pillow behinds their backs but that was okay.

They do have a tendency to start friendly fighting when they get bored. They think "I am bored. What can I do? I know! I can hit my brother!"

After the rehearshal we went over to this sub shop for food. Julia, June, Harry, Alvin, and Abigail had arrived but they decided they were too tired to go.

This venue had the most missteps of the whole weekend. First they were supposed to put Congratulations to Beth and Steve on thier sign outside. They did not do that.

We had had a professional make a DVd that showed pictures of Beth and Steve growing up to be played there. We finally got them to play it but there was no sound. That was a big disappointment to Beth. The montage is beautiful however.

Then it was back to the motel and hopefully a good night's rest before the big day.

I always had a dilemma at the motel. There were so many people there that I wanted to spend time with but my time was limited.

The next morning was beautiful but it was supposed to rain but the wedding went off not wet.

I did not get to the church as soon as I meant to do. I went to the reception hall to place the ladles and Steve came in. He told me that he had found another bag of those unpoufed pompoms at the house where he was staying. (He was house sitting and caring for a dog for his boss.) He asked what he should do.

I told him that he should not mention it to Beth, throw them away, and tell her on their 10th wedding anniversary. Beth says he has a hard time not telling her the truth and manages always to arrange it so she finds out. He hid the pompoms not very well behind a chair and she found them. She wasn't upset since he told her that I told him not to tell her.

I was out in the hall when I saw George Rodney's niece Deana. It was so good to see her. Lightseys attending were sister Bebie, brother-in-law Charles, niece Deana, her daughter Natalie and granddaughter Grace, niece Brenda, and her daughter Kate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thursday night we went over to Laura and Todd Russell's house in Neptune. I had never been there. Richard and Carol Henderson were staying with Laura for the wedding. Todd was working in Savannah and did not get home till Friday.

I think they call their house a condo but it seems more like a townhouse to me. It is a beautiful two bedroom house on two levels. I finally got to see Todd's beloved Florida national championship memorabilia. Last winter in the championship game when the Ohio State guy ran all that way for a touchdown right after the game started, I thought "Poor Laura! Todd just died of a heart attack." He was at the game but luckily he survived to see the victory.

The Ruckers also arrived on Thursday night. They went immediately to Ken's favorite seafood place on the river.

Friday was pom-pom day. Beth wanted the hall for the reception at church dressed up so that it didn't look so stark. She found this big, big pom-poms in a Martha Stewart magazine. From Martha Stewart they cost $5 each. Beth's version cost 43.7 cents each. Good thing because they had made 350. She and Steve had spent hours and hours accordion folding stacks of tissue paper and tying the middle with wire. But on Friday the ends had to be cut in points or scallops and the layers pouffed out. Each one took a long time.

Thank goodness we had good friends and relatives to help. Marty and Charlie Sparrow, Laura Russell, Carol and Richard Henderson, Anne, Evelyn Kilgore, Sonja and Adrienne Manuel, Beth, Steve, and I worked all day.

I left for a while to go to Beth's house to make punch. Beth had plans for four different punches. I had to make limeade, lemonade, a raspberry punch we called summer punch, and an orange punch we called sunshine punch. We had little labels on ribbons to tie to the punch jars.

I made two punches at a time. Unfortunately I kept forgetting which punch was which and what I had already put in the pot. Then I accidentally got some raspberry in the lemonade syrup and had to call Anne to go get more sugar. Some one had dropped me off and I had no transportation. I did get them made and I had compliments on the punch.

When I got back to the church, they were putting the pompoms on fishing line and tying them to the poles and lights. It looked spectacular. It was the most beautiful setting I have ever seen like that.

In the meantime, Ken had taken Adam, George, Emma, and their cousin Calista to the beach. I think they all had a good time, too.

We all worked late and then hurried to get back to the motel to get dressed for the rehearsal. In the meantime, my sisters Julia and June, June's husband Harry, June's son Alvin and his wife Abigail had arrived. They were tired and chose to stay in and rest and not go to the rehearsal and dinner.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wednesday was a flurry of visiting venues where things were to be held. It was a whir of activities that I don't remember much about.

Thursday Sonja, Adrienne, and Calista were there to help. There was a crisis that morning because Steve was in great pain from a tooth that needed to be pulled. He gave Calista a lecture on brushing her teeth.

Beth found a dentist downtown that would see him, but he thought Steve would not be in good shape to be married on Saturday if he pulled the tooth so he gave him some drugs and made an appointment for the next Tuesday.

Sonja, ADrienne, Calista, and I went to the beach and got sand for the center pieces for the reception.

Adrienne and I went to the airport and picked up Marty and Charlie Sparrow from Starkville at the airport. I was thrilled that Adrienne was willing to drive. Marty, Charlie, and I enjoyed having her as our driver for the few days.

I moved into the Days Inn Thursday night.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beth seemed to have everything in hand so I didn't go to Florida until the week of the wedding. I left here on Monday and arrived on Tuesday. My car was stuffed full from the gifts that people had given her.

This time I went by way of Tupelo. I did not like that way; it was not good going into Birmingham. I then went to Atlanta which Jay tells me is the wrong way. I have never gone what I now believe is the right way but I believe it would be to go through Corinth, then over to 65, through Birmingham and through Montgomery, then hitting 10.

I did get a kick out of listening to a sports call-in show in Birmingham. They were looking forward to SEC media day. Evidently the LSU coach has been avoiding saying the word Alabama when Nick Saban is mentioned. He says "the team that he coaches."

Also they talked about Michael Vick and the dog fighting case. One black guy called in and told of the difference between Black people and their dogs and white people and their dogs. His points were: White people buy dog food for their dogs, while black people feed their dogs table scraps. White people let their dogs sleep in the bed with them, while black people let their dogs sleep outside tied to a tree. White people take their dead dogs to the pet cemetery, while black people throw their dead dogs in the garbage.

The radio host said that if that had been a white person, it would have been the most racist thing he would ever have heard.

Anyway I did get to Jacksonville, but I was there during rush hour. I always seem to get to Atlanta and Jacksonville during rush hour.

I was going south on the interstate waiting for the JT Butler expressway to take me to the beaches. I knew where it was; I was waiting for it. But suddenly, not only was there a lane to the right of me but it was filled with cars. I couldn't get over. I went to the next exit and called Beth. She gave me directions and I made it to Jax Beach but I almost ran a red light. I learned a lesson. I cannot be on the phone while driving in big cities.

It was wonderful to see Beth and to realize that the day we had been working for (Beth more than me) was almost here.

That night two of Beth's friends came over to practice on her hair. They decided on a style although all of them looked about the same to me.

I stayed with Beth that night.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I got back from Nashville at nine last night. Anne is in school this week but the kids are not so I was up there babysitting.

That is not a chore at all for a grandmother. I was so touched today that I almost cried when I learned that Janice and Desiree plan for Nola Gracyn to spend Friday nights at her grandmother's house, just as Desiree always spent Friday night at her grandmother's.

Nolensville Elementary is moving into a wonderful new building. It will be great but it is a hassle for the teachers getting ready for the new year. There has been some problem getting the movers to move certain things. They would not move some of Anne's boxes. They will not move anything wood. I don't know why.\

Anne worked from 8 till 9:30 at night Monday. So many things to do at the beginning of the year and even more things to unpack.

I read to the children every night when I am there. I had been reading from Robert Bennett's Book of Virtues. At least, I thought I was. I mentioned it to my speech therapist. He recounted part of his favorite story from the book. I had never heard of it. This time I was more careful and learned that I had been reading from Bennett's Book of Heroes.

I bought The Book of Virtues and now we have many, many nights of good stories to look forward to. I read them the speech therapist's favorite, about the good girl who was given a gift so that when she spoke diamonds and roses came out of her mouth. Her mean sister had toads and snakes coming out of her mouth. The children loved this.

Monday morning I took Adam for his checkup with his allergy doctor. It was a good checkup. He is doing fine. He doesn't have to go back for a checkup for a year and he can cut his maintenance dose from a shot once a week to one every other week.

That afternoon we went to the community pool. We stayed so long that Ken called us to say he had supper fixed.

Tuesday I took George and Adam to their karate class. They look so cute in their little uniforms. I must take a picture of them sometimes.

That night Anne came home early at 6:30 for their dinner guest. JT Ellis was a good friend of hers in high school. He works for Dell in Austin but was in Nashville to install some new servers or something like that. He came over and spent the evening and everyone enjoyed that. If you look at an old post where I was recounting throwing snowballs at guys at State, you will see the name Edwin Ellis mentioned. That is JT's father.

After JT left I watched someTV. I saw Barry Bonds first two at bats where he got a single and a double, but Anne needed help with sewing some curtains for her classroom so I helped her with that and missed the record breaking home run. But I don't regret it. I once saw a movie where a man said he was blessed with work. Helping Anne is a blessing to me.

Wednesday the maid came to clean. This was Anne's reward for having a job. While the maid was there the kids and I went to the mall. I bought them some kidzine animals. Or some other spelling. Evidently you put the code in the manufacturer's website and you get to play games and creat things. I really don't know much about it.

They were afraid Anne would be mad that I was spoiling them. I explained that parents aren't allowed to spoil their children because they are responsible for their children growing up to be good people. Grandparents are not responsible for that so that we get to spoil them. And it is a reward for getting old.

Wednesday afternoon I took Adam to occupational therapy. The part he doesn't like and the most important to me is the tasting. Adam tasted green beans and something else. Next week it will be broccoli and cauliflower, both favorites of mine. Adam has progressed from eating no vegetables to eating some, particularly raw carrots. He does cooperate at the therapy sessions.

Spending so long with them was a revelation to me. They are growing up and maturing. And they are becoming good people. They play better together and are more compassionate with each other.

The boys are going over to play with twins Nicholas and Phillip tomorrow. Nicholas and Phillip are different sizes like George and Adam are. Anne says the four play well together but if they pair up George plays with the big twin and Adam plays with the little one.

I came home exhausted. I felt a little better after getting something to eat. The children are easy to babysit but I am always tense trying to anticipate trouble or danger which never happens.

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