I spent the day traveling with Gregg up to Raleigh to visit his sister in the hospital. I'm happy to report that she's in a positive frame of mind, and is beginning physical therapy determined to overcome her multiple injuries as quickly and completely as possible. And she was so glad to see her big brother! She got emotional when we arrived, and then again when we were leaving. I stepped out of the room to give them a few quiet moments alone together before we left for home.
It must be such a comfort in life to have siblings. I was touched by how much they love each other. I always really wanted a brother, or even a sister, but it was not to be. Gregg is lucky to have one of both, although he's closer to Karen than to their brother Gary. All three of them love and support each other, though.
One of the best parts about visiting Raleigh was seeing how well Edythe (my mother-in-law ) is doing. She has early stage dementia and had been going downhill some over the past 6 months, but on Friday we saw the most wonderful improvement in her! Gregg thinks it's because she has a purpose in life again, taking care of her daughter. She was like her old self; her mind was clear, there was a spring in her step, and she's happily spending hours at the hospital taking on the role of mother hen. I wonder how many old people with diminishing facilities simply need to feel needed again to stop the downhill slide? All in all, a good day even if we spent a lot of it driving there and back.
Since we didn't arrive home until late on the first, I cooked the traditional New Year's Day meal yesterday. Eating black-eyed peas and greens is supposed to bring good luck and money in the year ahead. I
wonder if it still counts a day late? Either way, it was nice to have a simple home-cooked meal after all the rich food we've been consuming lately.
|Black-eyed peas slowly simmered with the leftover Christmas hambone, and onions, celery, a bay leaf, and vegetable broth. These are always served over white rice (Hoppin' John) and sprinkled liberally with hot sauce.|
|Collards would have been more traditional, but I opted for cabbage because it's easier ( and Gregg won't eat greens either way). Hot pepper vinegar MUST be served slongside greens. Also skillet cornbread, which I made but didn't get a picture of. |