Well, we got a late start on Friday due to having quite a few errands and things that had to be done in order for us to get on the road. The trip down on Friday, 280 miles, went into the very late night, actually early morning because it was about 1:30am when we finally arrived at my sister's house. We talked for a bit and headed off to bed. My sister and I were both nervous about the next day. My sister's house served as a halfway point for all of us. She lives almost exactly midway between his house and our house. I will be calling him B and his wife K from now on. I want to protect their right to privacy, but I need something to call them. We knew B and K were already in town and staying at a nearby hotel.
The next day we called him and made a plan to meet for lunch and then go back to my sister's house afterward to talk.
It was so strange! I swear my younger sister is a spitting image of him and it was disarming to see her facial expressions on his face! Also, mannerisms were flying around the room at the speed of light. It was bizarre. I don't think I ever realized, not even with my own children, how much gets passed on with DNA until now. With my own children I can tell myself it is all learned behavior, or that most of it is, but that just isn't the whole story. I wish I could paint a better picture of it, or I had a side by side film to show and tell.
We had lunch at a local seafood place and then went to my sister's house and started a talkathon that lasted for about 9 hours. It was like he had decades of stories he had been storing up to tell us and once the gates were open he was off to the races.
Surprisingly enough, to me anyway, I was quite at ease with him and with his wife and didn't really feel ill at ease at all once we got past the first few awkward moments. Also, I have to say thank goodness for my partner because having her there made for familiar surroundings and really helped with my nervousness.
He talked about growing up in the same neighborhood as my mother's family and hanging out at my mother's house all the time because her older brother was one of his best friends. If I left with the right impression, they were all friends since early childhood. They lived very near the beach, like blocks away, and spent a lot of time there playing, hanging out, and being kids.
I heard a lot of their not so good stories too, but don't feel right about sharing those. I will say that I believed him and think he was as honest and upfront. As honest and upfront as any of us can be when trying to tell the stories of our past.
His wife is a year older than me, which gave us all a giggle. They seem to be really close and she really seemed nice. I have no issue one way or the other with people's love relationships. I think it also helps that I am not one to hope a person is this way or that way. I try to base my judgments about people on their apparent character, or lack thereof, and go from there. I really had not preconceived ideas of how I wanted him to be. I did know what I didn't want and what type of person is usually not a good match for me and he seemed to be above all the things I think of as unbecoming in a person. That was a relief.
I know that this visit left me open to more visits. K seemed very keen on visiting us here in TN so they could see the big city of Nashville, lol. She says they would love to plan it for the Spring and fly down and stay longer than 3 days.
We left my sister's house on Sunday, after having brunch with everyone and saying our goodbyes. J, my partner, and I decided to take some back roads and side trips on our way home and went to Gatlinburg for a few hours. We walked around looking at the shops. Ate dinner, wonderful hot dogs of all things! Took some pictures and had a great, relaxing, time together. There is no one on the planet I enjoy spending time with more than J! We got home around 11pm.
I have been sewing almost non-stop since we got home and sewing always makes for good thinking time. lol That is why the seam ripper is my friend sometimes. I get so deep in thought I lose myself and forget what the heck I am doing.
I am pretty resolved to see where this new relationship will go and give it a chance to grow.
I am also resolved to keep my spaces on this planet in my control rather than allowing other people to control my actions and thoughts. This was a resolve that came over me as I was sewing, thinking, and singing loudly to some of my favorite playlists this week
"Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head." ~Ann Landers
Here is a nice family portrait from the trip. Not really, just a neat attraction at a fun house in Gatlinburg. I will try to get the rest of the pictures uploaded to my Flickr one of these days.