I know I’ve written about Daddy quite a few times, about how he has been such a rock for our family. It’s been eight months since he passed away at the age of eighty-eight years old. Last month, he would have celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday.
I spent the weekend with my mother, who will be eighty-one next month, at the family’s “retreat” in a small coastal community called Bennett’s Point in South Carolina. It is a place where time seems to have stood still for a while. Oh, there is a paved road, a volunteer fire department, several small churches, and quite a few new houses with all the modern conveniences, including satellite TV and Internet. The Baldwin family still runs B&B Seafood, even though St. Jude has come in as a distributor of seafood to local venues. The Billie B, a shrimper, still docks at the landing, as well as a couple of other trawlers along Mosquito Creek (aptly named, I might add).
My brother and his family also joined us for the weekend. While they went out on their boat fishing and riding around, Mama and I took walks, visited with friends, went “sight-seeing,” and read the days away. In the evening, we gathered for supper. James and I shared memories of our childhood and a few of the adventures we had. We remembered going to Owensboro, Kentucky, when Daddy was the sight superintendent for the construction of an addition to a Holiday Inn there. James is five years younger than I am, and I wasn’t sure he would have the same memories I had. He did remember going on a tour of one of Kentucky’s distilleries and swimming in the pool at the Holiday Inn. He also remembered seeing the Delta Queen travel through the locks on the Ohio River as the grand old lady made her way to New Orleans to have her steam engines converted to diesel power. We both remembered the old steam calliope playing as it entertained the spectators who sat along the bank of the river as well as the passengers on the steamer. It was an evening of laughter and of tears, too, because we missed hearing Daddy’s take on those events. What stories he would tell!
I don’t go to Bennett’s Point often, but I find it a place of peace and restoration and remembrance.