(Conversations week sweepstakes (now until June 30th) continues... see Conversations Week post for details)
My sister Kentucky lives way out in the southern suburbs.
Interestingly, my doctors are out on that side of town. I feel like I need to pack a picnic lunch when I travel out that way. It takes no more than an 35 minutes to about 50 minutes to get to my desired destinations, but come on... you dealing with me, a chicken who lives 4.6 miles from work. Anytime longer than 20 minutes in a car feels like an eternity to me.
She does a little exploring out that way, but she doesn't like a lot of what she sees. But there are places she wants to go. A good month ago, we explored the Old Mill restaurant, and I think she and her friends live in that place now, lol.
Last Friday, I picked her up so she could go to the appointment with me. Then we went for lunch, and I drove her home. She was pointing out some of her favorite spots to me.
She pointed to a sign. "I've never been there before, but I want to go."
It was a pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm. These types of farms are scattered in the far suburbs, where there is plenty of land. You definitely don't see these places where I live, in downtown Atlanta. Normally farmers bring their offerings to the various city farmers markets. That's as good and fresh as it gets.
"You wanna go tomorrow?" I asked, as tomorrow was a Saturday, and we had discussed earlier that we each didn't have plans.
"Yes we can go," she said. And we can go to the Peac.htree City Farmer's Market, too."
Hot diggity dog!! I was going to get to hang out with my sister 2 days in a row! I was so geeked and excited that I could barely sleep!
The farmer's market was fun...
I bought some nice squash, potatoes and green onions.
I sauteed up my squash...
They sure were good. I taught Kentucky how to sautee her veggies, but she can't get it right. I don't see what's so hard about sauteeing veggies. I taught her how to fry chicken, and she gets it right everytime. I guess she will just have to keep working on the veggies.
After the farmer's market, we headed a couple of miles down the road to that farm. They were allowing people to pick strawberries, blueberries and blackberries that day. They had a really nice store, with all kinds of homemade relishes and jams, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (you know I like that...).
So we went out into the fields and looked around.
And the fields are huge.
"Ya'll got snakes out here?" I asked.
"No ma'am," the man said. "No snakes."
I eyed him suspiciously. And if I saw a snake, it would be on him. He will see LadyLee tare up the fields and the store trying to get away from it. LOL
Anyway, there were TONS of strawberries.
We also picked blackberries.
You really had to look for the ripe ones, as most weren't ready to pick.
Man.... It was so hot out there... If someone would've hollered "Ceeeeeeeeliiiiiieeee!", I do beleive I woulda hollered "Yes, Mister!"
Yes. It was HAWT. Kentucky didn't follow me to the blackberry patch. She went back in the building. (I think she was hot).
I was middling around in the blackberry patch and I heard something moving. It sounded like some paper crinkling. First thing I thought was "Snake!!"
And I skipped merrily away! (Didn't tare down the patch).
Kentucky came out to the blackberry patch later. She found a bag of blackberry cobbler mix, and decided to make some blackberry cobbler. I walked with her and pointed out some of the blackberries. We went in the shed and paid for our berries.
My berries and 2 peaches came out to $3.57 cents.
I was so glad to spend 2 DAYS in a row with one of the greatest people I know- my little sister.
There was much fun in the sun...
Much laughter... and much talking.
While driving to and fro to our destinations, and finally to her place, we talked about what was heavy on her mind: our mother was not picking up the phone when she called. Our mother was mad at Kentucky.
"I just don't know what to do," she said. "I keep calling. I keep asking if she wants to get out and go do something. And she says no, she doesn't want to be bothered."
"Just keep calling," I said. "Or get Milk and Cookies [our baby brother] to call."
(That's not what I wanted to tell her to do. But I'm trying to be positive here, for her sake).
Milk and Cookies called our mother. "Kentucky, she said she don't want to talk to you anymore," he said.
Man. What a horrible thing to say. I would call our mother myself, but I'm not going through all that. That is between her and Kentucky. I know I don't need to call because that will just throw Kentucky in further trouble. And I really don't want that.
So here I am, having to talk and talk and talk about this. It drains me a bit, because I think I take the easy way out:
I'm not going to fight with anyone. I'm not gonna make you love and respect me.
Kentucky works hard on that. She is the good sheep. I am the bad sheep. And I don't mind.
And it just pisses me off that she gets treated like this. And what's scary is that she is getting older.
"Lisa, I am learning that I have choices. And I don't have to deal with this. I really need to work on myself and my own personal development."
I want to call my mother and say, "Uh, Ma'am... alright now. She is getting older and she figuring out that she don't have to take your sh**.
And she is getting like that with her father, too. That's not good.
Or maybe it is.
I don't know. I try to stay neutral. And I spend the many hours just listening... and picking her emotions and heart up off the floor.
For mother's day, my sister came over, and she bought me a gift - a potpourri rain-scented packet from a Pi.er One. And she just kept saying over and over again... "Thank you for letting me talk. Thank you for listening."
And I could hear the tears in her voice.
And I realized then, that I've been fulfilling a mother role of sorts for her. Just like so many have done for me.
I think as children, we want to please our parents. Our mother is hard to please, for whatever reason. I gave up on that years ago. I couldn't take the stress. But Kentucky is a kinder, gentler type. She takes the emotional beatings, and gets right back up. And I do whatever I can to support her stretch to have a relationship with our mother.
But this recent falling out between our mother and Kentucky has been pretty hard. Hours and hours of pontification abound. Kentucky talks, and I just listen, listen, listen. I am mentally tired of it all, to tell you the truth. Mostly because I don't have solutions for her. I want her to have the happy ending she desires. I just don't know how to help her with that.
You know me...my answers are hard and cold. Folks can kick rocks. Folks can kiss my ashy kneecaps. I have no tolerance for tomfoolery and emotional manipulation. NONE.
That's not a good path or a proper answer for her. I am like a puff of smoke: I will disappear into thin air. I have UFO tendencies. If family sees me, they sit and stare. It's rare to see me.
Kentucky is different. She is a helper and problem solver. I am to an extent. But my patience is running on fumes.
Yes, the disagreement going on between my mother and Kentucky.... It's been so hard.
...because it involves our sick grandmother.
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