My Old Kentucky Home
As one mother jetted off to a new exciting solo adventure overseas, I set out to take the other mother back home to visit family and friends for as she says “her last visit home.” Take the last statement with a grain of salt as the Crazy Lady has been dying for the last 20 years, but in fairness it maybe the last trip she takes to her home state or it maybe the first of many who is to say but God and modern medical science.
My dad used to say “Kentucky is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” A bit harsh, but since he grew up there and it gets cold I saw where he was coming from. I also don’t think he ever saw any different than when he left in 1976, which to its credit a lot has changed. But with every visit back to Kentucky like so many other places my heart has called home, I am reminded of all the great things that are Kentucky and oh my is it green!!!!!!
Only a week away from the Derby, the controversy is all most people are talking about (if you don’t know Google), which makes me happy. I miss people who actually care about the Derby and can debate which is better Keeneland or Churchill Downs. My vote Keeneland, but to my shame I haven’t been to Churchill Downs (yet).
Arriving from Texas to the green green of Lexington, Crazy Lady and I found our way to our hotel and a nice place for dinner that only involved walking across the street, which meant I could have an adult beverage which was needed after a travel day with Crazy Lady.
The next day was the only reason we came, a trip to “the mountain” to visit my Uncle and Aunt. To be exact it isn’t a mountain it is a large hill, but when you have 95% of your life in flat lands you think anything is a mountain. If you ever make it to Kentucky make sure you have a car and drive, drive anywhere, get out of the city (trust me it isn’t far) and just enjoy all that makes the Bluegrass State pretty. Even with rain clouds looming it was a pretty drive up “the mountain”.
We had a great visit with my Aunt and Uncle, my aunt made homemade Rubens, (drool and be jealous) and just for the Crazy Lady and because my Aunt is a saint, JAM CAKE!!!!! Everyone has their thing, Crazy Lady’s is Jam Cake, and well since I swear it is only sugar and maybe something to hold the sugar to the sugar it is a treat you can only enjoy on special occasions. Plus to even a seasoned baker the icing can be a bit tricky, but the real reason it is so amazing is the memories it invokes in both her and I. Did I mention my aunt is a saint?
After sufficiently wearing out our welcome and our bellies full of homemade food it was time to take the Crazy Lady home and on a little trip down memory lane. On the flight to Kentucky I had asked my mom if she wanted to go by her childhood home and she was a firm no, as she had heard it had gone downhill. A bit of jam cake and a chat with her brother and she realized that maybe a little peak wouldn’t hurt, so that was our first stop. Much like my dad my mom doesn’t see her hometown as anything to write home about and she would say it was no different that when she left at 18, or even when we as a family left some 10 years later, but Maysville is trying and with the help of some of its residents will make a comeback especially, I feel in these days of remote work.
While on Riskypsy aka the Year of Luna, the Old Man and I were blessed to see many many small towns and all I wanted to do was grab them up and hug them. At the time we could have lived anywhere and we choose the road, but we could have also holed up in a small town and become a part of it and tried to help it survive the day and age of technology and big cities. I understand not everyone has the luxury of remote work, but if you do why the heck are sitting in a big city raising your kids when you could be helping a small town stay relevant and be able to afford traveling the world to teach your kids the beauty of all kinds of living. (Rant done).
While touring Maysville and after stopping by the cemetery to say hi to Mama Dee and Papa, I stopped by the Russell Theatre to get a picture to send my cousin and tell him look where I was today. But small towns have a different rhythm and guess who photobombed that picture, you guessed it, my cousin. We chatted, he showed me the inside of the theater new seats and all. After a brief chat I was on my way as the Crazy lady was craving a stromboli from her favorite place (yes after all these years it is still there), and my cousin and his wife still had to step up for feeding a jazz band of high schoolers, and then put on a concert.
The ride home was all we both wanted, I having memories of me having one set of grandparents drive me to the other set of grandparents for a summer visit. And mom had memories of her youth and all the places she galavanted while being a teenager. Plus let us not forget the all the horse farms. Oh so pretty!!!!!
What do after you visit blood family? Well then it is time to visit friend family. I took on the role of driver and escorted my mom and her friend out for a Mother’s Day brunch and a good gab session. May sound boring, but it was actually quite fun and I was happy to see my mom getting to spend some quality time with her BFF and catch up on some gossip. So so much gossip, even got some on my own mom from back in the day. Which was just as good as winning the lottery in my mind.
Got up on gossip, family said hello to, it was time to take mom back home and then get home myself. I don’t get to Kentucky often and I am always glad when I do, I look forward to my next trip which God willing will be a Derby trip, if not Keeneland is there just begging for me to place some bets. I will state again if you get a chance it may not seem like it but Kentucky is a great place to visit and worst case you can test all the bourbons and then it will seem like the greatest place. So go visit Kentucky, place a bet, drink some bourbon,and make sure you get out and see the countryside.