This is what happened a week ago. I think. I've been sick, so it might have been two weeks, but I think it was just one week.
Daughter Bess lives in Screven, way down in southeast Georgia; and she and husband Sam had a new little baby on February 13. Baby William Isaac Blackstone spent his first week in the intensive care unit in Savannah, and followed that up with another week of quarantine, so we didn't get to go visit until last weekend.
We packed up Claire's Truck with our stuff, except for the fat black Manx cat SugarBelly, and headed down there: my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA; 12 year old Kenneth, 10 year old Alicia, and me. The plan was: arrive in Screven on Friday, do a day trip visit to my friend Billy & his wife Vicki on Saturday, and on Sunday.....
...yeah, on Sunday. There's the rub. What would we do on Sunday?
We are an inter-racial family. We live in metro Atlanta, where anything goes, and we attend a church where we blend in nicely. Nobody even looks at us twice, unless I am singing loudly, in which case they look to see where the beautiful bass singing is coming from. But: that's in metro Atlanta.
South Georgia? That's different. I grew up in middle Georgia, and I've lived in south Georgia (thirty years ago), and things are different there.
And I was as wrong as wrong could be. First Baptist Church of Screven is a place where people love each other.
The people in the Sunday School were MOSTLY wanting to see baby Isaac, but they had PLENTY of affection left over for Vanessa and for me. We were enthusiastically greeted, and offered food and coffee and water and a place at the table. We got to hear a great teaching by Brother Lloyd, and sat in amazement as he put together, on the spot, a 500 mile round trip visit to see a member who had been missing for two weeks, because her child was in the hospital in Atlanta.
We were SO impressed, that we stayed for church, even though we had planned to leave right after Sunday School. LOTS of people came up to meet us.
And they sing beautifully. So I sang loud. It was great!
So, lovely people of Screven, I am sorry that I decided, based on where you live, that you were going to have a problem with my family. I hope that I can show a stranger the same generosity of spirit that you showed us; you humbled me, and taught me that I need to be a better Christian.