Monday, July 20, 2009

Union Hill and Nephews

Okay, NSB, this blog's for you.

Saturday night I picked up my youngest nephew (he's 18) and headed over to his cousin's Eagle Court of Honor. The trip was long -- well, fifty or fifty five minutes, so my nephew spent most of his time texting Christy, who was headed to see Harry Potter.

I dunno, what movie it is -- the current one?

Harry Potter Grows a Mustache?

What disturbed me is that he texted Christy back and forth all of this useless information. Each time his phone made an electronic texting? noise that he had received a text, I asked him: Well, what did she text?

Him: She's going to the Harry Potter movie.
Me: And what did you say?
Him: How many times have you seen it?
Me: And what did she say?
Him: That I couldn't count that high.
Me: And?
Him: That's it. It's the kind of stuff we text all the time.
Me: Interesting. Why don't you just call her?
Him: That's annoying.
Me: And this isn't?
Him: Nope.

So, that's what the texting fuss is about?

Later, I called my oldest nephew who lives in Houston and told him that Him was texting an older woman.

Old Nephew: Put him on the phone.
Me: Don't hurt him.

Him: Yo, whatzza up? ................Dude, she's only a year older. No. .........................No gory details on Facebook. bwhahaha ......I promise I will not be the family member telling those kinds of stories. ............. Dude, why haven't you accepted me to play Left for Dead? ....................... I've asked three times........ I'm feeling like a loser.. bwhahahahahah..................I'm just 18, dude.................. No kids table anymore..... Pretty tight.... Yeah, later, dude.

Me: See, isn't that better than texting?
Him: *rolls eyes*

My other nephew's Court of Honor was off Exit 19, down Cumming Highway, right on Union Hill Road to AJ Land Road... about 11 miles off the Interstate....

Union Hill Road was old farm county. One home had four or five farm instruments up for sale and three John Deeres. Made me sad.

The sun was low in the sky as we drove, and at times, the land around us had me wondering how long before somebody uglied it up with a spanking new subdivision -- after all Exit 19 has a whole strip mall of the latest "gotta have" stores.


The Union Hill Community Center was the old Union Hill Church. My brother greeted us in the gravel parking lot under four or five huge elm trees. This was Saturday night in July, and it felt like spring or fall. Low humidity, gentle breeze, and temperate weather --- the atmosphere of the place was so "country." Cars crunched in the lot and looked to park anywhere -- folks walked up and greeted each other with "hi's" and hugs.

Inside, the community center was set up with about 75 folding metal chairs, and the stage at the front was set up with a candelabra made of wood (Boy Scout style -- like made by the troop kind of candelabra) and two folding chairs and a pulpit that was ready for the ceremony. Draped over the pulpit was leftover 4th of July festive ware --- as well as flag bunting across the bottom of the stage. As the ceremony progressed, the bunting fell one piece at a time -- the tape that adhered it to the wood giving it up after two weeks.

The Eagle Scout court of honor ceremony is rather dry -- this is my fifth nephew to become an Eagle Scout; my other nephew somehow didn't get those pledges of loyalty, duty, and honor.

He told me, "I was in the IB program."

I spent my time in that hard folding chair taking in the rugged beauty of that small, old church. The walls were painted a stark white enamel contrasted with green chair rail at the bottom. On either side were four huge windows just high enough so that you could only look upward. (I guess, if I'm gonna gaze out a window at a church, it should be heavenly.) Big trees on either side -- more elms I think -- shaded the windows, and the breeze stirred the leaves as the ceremony went on and on --

After the level of Eagle Scout was officially given to my nephew with the presentation of the Eagle Scout scarf, we lined up for a soft drinks, some pretzels, Goldfish, fruit and cake -- pretty good fare, I guess, for driving so far.

When I stood up at the end (I don't know why folding metal chairs are so uncomfortable -- I used to could sit in them -- but now they seem kind of "government issued" to keep one from sitting too long), I glanced out the window and I could see a pavilion with about six or eight picnic tables in pretty good shape --

That view took me back to church suppers when I was a child out under the trees and right next to the cemetery at my grandparent's church .. Salem Methodist Church, Appomattox, Virginia. There's ya some history, brothers and sisters, just miles from where Lee surrendered to Grant after the "War." I remember some great fried chicken, watermelon, and peach cobbler. Food that still conjures up old memories for me.

As I drove out of there, it was that smidgen of a time right before dark.. that blue to black that comes on quickly -- like the pulling down of a curtain or a veil. It had this magical, mystical feel -- and as I made a left on Union Hill Road, I thought -- wow, in so many ways, the past is always right there with us -- even when we are looking at the future as we live in the present.


ETA: Those cakes where they scan a photo in and put it in the icing totally crack me up for some reason. I think my nephew looks like he's running for office....his face plastered on that Scouting paper plate. LOL

My niece and I .... at the ceremony. She's the Eagle's sister.


  1. Hmmmmmmmm I thought I had already commented on this. What a nice trip down memory lane!

  2. oh the imagines this post has brought to mind...wonderful! Thank you.

    Great picture of you. Looks like retirement fits you perfectly!