Saturday, August 28, 2010


In the South, we’ve had “peeps” for centuries---our People---those who came before, those who are kin, those who define us and care about us and love us and put up with us through thick and thin---they are the rocks and the concrete we’ve built our history on.

On first meetings, we don’t ask about your family---the boldest ask who your PEOPLE are---who they’re descended from, where they settled, and are your Jamisons kin to the Jamisons in Lauderdale County?

At a gathering, a stranger may be eyed for a bit, with a hushed word amongst the older ladies---Not so much “She’s FROM Georgia,” but in the vein of “I think her people are mostly in Georgia.”

Or, “I can vouch that she comes from lovely people,” alongside, “His people are known to be on the trashy side.” Or “Her people won’t have a THING to do with her since . . .”
Of course, a dowager will raise herself to her full height and pronounce, “MY FAMILY is from xxxx,” living for the name and the provenance, but still she’ll wonder about other folks’ people.

We have quite a few of our own People, the generations before mostly delineated in all the
Family Forest posts last year. And they're not all of our lineage; our bloodline people are firmly THERE on the tree, but the Heart-People, the acquired people, the people of marriages and friendships and little children born not of our blood, but of our hearts. Five of the GRANDS that I talk about are technically "steps" to me, and three to Chris,---but that's not a part of our thinking or of our vocabulary.

We're just Family, all together, and that's the way it's always been---these seven little pieces of our hearts out there walking around---and I cannot think of them except as OURS.

And friends---several deep friendships make those folks our People, as well, lived tried and true through childhoods, through milestones and through good solid times together. Today, we're going to meet two of those friends---we'll spend the weekend talking and walking the Fair, having a picnic, going out to dinner, watching one of their own compete in the hardest athletic competition there is. And we're all proud of him.

We DO need People. We're born to some; others are born to us. The ones who choose us---well, that's just the best Lagniappe in Life that there is.


Tonja said...

Great post. Just like the lady who was buried today, Aunt Eunice, not by blood...but by love. She was as much an aunt to me as any of the 'real' ones! And, I loved her as much.

Family, I think, is the people you call first with good news, and first with bad. And, they're the ones who come and sit with you...either to celebrate or cry.

Denise :) said...

Well said! :)

Jon said...

How sweet it is to see you still blogging away!
Keep up the good work, my friend. I enjoyed your obseervations about family and people in this post.

Jon in Vicksburg, MS on Sunday Night

racheld said...

Speaking of Acquired People, it's SOOOO GOOOD to see you back, Jon!!! What a bright start to Monday, and IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!

Your timing could not have been better. It's great to see you, after all this time.

And of course, I'm always delighted to see the comments from ALL of Y'all!! Tonja, I thought of your Aunt Eunice and what you said about FAMILY, and mulled it in my mind as I packed for our trip, and just dashed it down at the last minute before we got into the car.

Kim Shook said...

Is the 28th REALLY your birthday, Rachel? I've asked you a million times (well, close to it) in emails and you've never said! It's also the birthday of my beloved Grandma Jean! Happy, happy day, my friend! What a day for everyone who has been touched by your life to celebrate! It's very fitting that you chose today to speak about Heart-People, because you are one of mine. When I remember to be grateful for things (I'm working on gratitude), you are at the top of my list.

Rhonda Cook said...

I loved reading this, you hae a wonderful way with words.