A Song of South Turkey Creek

Summer has arrived at South Turkey Creek and I have fallen into my summer slumber. The container pots are wilting. The garden is in an all-out frenzy of madness–plants fighting over garden space. Kitty Two spent four days in a tree (chased by the Coast Guard Son’s dog, Bear) until common sense took over, and I got someone to go get her. Jekyll Island beckoned around the first of June and we answered the call. Miss Priss made her debut at Jekyll (more on that later), which was a “splashing success.” The teen and I picked out the largest church in town for our summer worship. We decided jeans, coffee, and a good sermon were in order on Sunday mornings, and we found all three. The attic fan keeps us cool at night. Movies are a must, naps are frequent, and the grill is the only thing we heat up in the kitchen. Pure. Hot. Heaven.

But the clock is ticking on South Turkey Creek–soon to be home to Cruella de Vil and company–and the time to move is here. I need to get about the business of finding a new home. And, oddly, South Turkey Creek is fading for me. This is no longer “home.” I find myself looking at other places and thinking, Would I like to live there? Of course, if there is no place for a garden, the answer is no.

I am captivated by the thought of open rooms with few furnishings. After 20+ years in the same place, I am taking little with me. No clutter. No extra baggage for the road. Just me and the teen, the daughter-in-law, the granddaughter, and the Coast Guard Son. Lovely people. Lovely family. Here they are.

 Gorgeous, aren’t they? Obviously, they don’t actually live with me, but they are my family and in that sense, they go where I go, or perhaps at this phase, I go where they go.

I’ve been so worried about leaving South Turkey Creek. I hated that Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, was forced to leave her African farm. Her words, “If I know a song of Africa, does Africa know a song of me?” actually tormented me. Why did she have to give up her farm? I’d wonder this to myself as I drove the logging road that leads to South Turkey Creek. I assumed the same fate would not befall me. I think, as people, we can never see ourselves suffering as others do. As my friend, Debbie, says about her divorce, and the women who don’t understand what she’s suffered, “Her time’s coming and she doesn’t have a clue.”

She doesn’t mean that the some poor woman’s marriage will end in divorce. She means that suffering comes, no one escapes it, and none of us have a clue. If we did, we’d bury our heads and never look up. Suffering comes, but thankfully it comes on quiet feet, even if it feels like a two by four when it hits.

Suffering came. I got blind-sided. I lost a lot. I lost South Turkey Creek. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. How else would I have learned how faithful my God is in times of trouble? How else would I have discovered my own inner strength, the strength of my children? I have journeyed a long way, but there is still more journey ahead, and for now, I want to enjoy my last summer at South Turkey Creek A final farewell. When I leave, I will carry a song with me.

If I know a song of South Turkey Creek, does South Turkey Creek know a song of me? What a blessed time and place for a young mom and slightly fanatical gardener to have been.

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