September 10, 2009

Fellowship Chairs

My family had these web lawn chairs growing up. You know the ones…70s era, tubular aluminum frame with straps of woven vinyl, nylon, or polyester. I think about these chairs a lot lately (early fall, the second weekend of football season, and my parents were here visiting last weekend). My folks would set up the lawn chairs at the end of the driveway, Evan Williams & Diet Rite firmly in hands and enjoy fellowship with the neighbors. [My Dad took his last drink when I turned 16. He turned instead to Diet Coke. I guess he gave himself an upgrade on account of not purchasing as much booze.] Point is, I think about those chairs most at this time of year.

I watch my son playing in the yard until dark, my husband grills out often, we do our share of cocktailing only with a different brand – if we only had those lawn chairs to sit in while enjoying our time of fellowship then the circle would be complete.

I almost lost my Dad this year. In May, just when we were signing the lease on our office in Nashville, my father unexpectedly was admitted into the hospital for heart surgery. He had a magna bovine valve replacement as well as a bonus aneurysm. Complicated by diabetes, almost full blockage in his arteries (except for the Circle of Willis), the odds kind of sucked. Dad pulled through. He was finally well enough to travel this past weekend and came to see me. All I could think about was how much I miss the picture of my folks sitting in the web lawn chairs at the end of the driveway of my childhood home – happy, carefree --.

Seems like back then we were surrounded by great food – I just didn’t realize it. My paternal grandparents’ dairy & Angus herd fared well. My maternal grandparents ran the Marianna Tractor Company and had a farming irrigation business. Dad owned a packaging company which sold film to meat packers. We had a ton of food all around us. We entertained often – a giant pit in our backyard where we placed a fence length and grilled hogs. Fellowship was sharing food with our friends and sipping cold drinks while sitting in those lawn chairs. Fellowship chairs. I am going onto Ebay after this post, ordering some green web aluminum lawn chairs, and planning a menu for sharing this weekend. Cheers to you Mom & Dad.