Every year we transport ourselves from the middle of the country to pretty far down the southeast corner. It’s a huge gathering of family on my father’s side, and my grandmother who is nearly ninety-seven, is still there in the center of it. We left colder weather and left our coats in the car. We ate barbeque till our hands and cheeks were stained, and left plates full of bones. We found the dirtiest, rustiest, simplest things the most fascinating, and we wandered around the cotton and threw frisbees and footballs and tried (almost successfully) to avoid the fire ant beds and the bees. And of course, we ate way too much – which is a testament to those who do all the cooking and the baking. If I could figure out how to balance a triple layer cake on my knees for seventeen hours in the car, I’d be all over some of those recipes. But we just stretch our legs out, run a few circles around the yard to get the circulation going again, and then feast. And there’s a whole lot of gratefulness while we’re doing it.