My Family Rocks! Sunday: My Hometown

In this post: A visit to my small hometown and recipes for Cherry Crisp and Spinach Rice Casserole. Come hang out 🙂

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Oh, how I’d love to take my friends back with me to my hometown. It’s not a place I’d want to live anymore…too many memories. But it’s nice to visit. So where would I take you if we went?

  • First, I’d take you to meet my grandparents & family because they are amazing.

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture when Michael and I met my Mema and Grandpa at the Huddle House. We also saw my cousin and his wife and baby. Eating at the Huddle House is sort of a family tradition. By the way, the Jesup Huddle House is the # 1 Huddle House in Georgia (USA)! In case you don’t know, the Huddle House is a 24 diner with greasy but tasty food.

So I did get pictures of my Granny and her new husband and home. She married my step dad’s dad (after my parents married).

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It was nice watching the birds and a squirrel from the dining room window. It’s been 27 years since my Grandaddy died. Granny is adjusting well to marriage.

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Here’s grandpa Hubert. He’s getting used to Granny’s huge family and dozens of grandchildren (great and even great great).

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  • My Granny (mom’s mother) lives in the city. So while in the city I’d take you to see the little  red caboose. Jesup came about because of the railroad that runs through the town. You’ll also see that there’s a church on every corner basically.

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Neat pic of dog tags left on the tree.

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  • I’d show you some of my old haunts. Here’s just one. The park across from Dairy Queen used to have a nice gazebo and archway.  Kids in the youth group would carry their girlfriends under it and joke about marriage.  Chris and I had dates here. Sadly, I found it and many places ran down. It made me want to cry.

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There’s a turtle in the fountain. The gazebo isn’t even there anymore.  🙁

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  • We would then drive to the outskirts of Jesup out in the country. You’d meet my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Joe and cousins.

Here’s my cousin Ricky playing around with Michael. Michael got so dirty playing in the yard. My cousin BJ (Billie) in the corner. She’s about to graduate. I feel old.

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Uncle Joe and Aunt Charlotte built so much of their home themselves. Uncle Joe still works hard despite his lung disease. He truly is a trooper. Aunt Charlotte can cook anything and make it taste good…even things you may not want to try. My husband swears that squirrel is yummy. I don’t think I’ve eaten any and hope I haven’t unless I got slipped some here lol. My redneck husband adores these family members. I caught my first fish with this beloved Aunt and Uncle.

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Their land is a bit swampy so you can find frogs everywhere and that’s fortunate for me. I happen to get great joy out of catching frogs…even though I throw them back now.

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We visited their hog which was near the corn field.

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  • That night I would take you to one of the few Drive in’s in Georgia. I have so many fond memories of the Jesup Drive In.

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Michael and I saw the Smurfs 2. It was a week day and very quiet but on the weekend the place is packed. It is the happening place to be in a town that didn’t get it’s only Walmart until I was in Highschool.

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It has new owners since I was a kid and now they have a very retro theme. You can order food on your phone and the car hop will bring it to you. So we just had to get pizza, popcorn, and a rootbeer float. Yumm! Oh and the movie won’t start until it’s dark. So though starting time was supposed to be 8:30 we had to wait a bit on the sun to sink on our side of the field (they have two screens on opposite sides). Thankfully we were near the bathroom. It always stinks having to walk halfway across the field to get to the bathroom late at night.

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  • Then we would drive to Ludowici, where my Dad grew up. We would see my Grandpa Way (Dad’s father) and Grandma Betty (Step grandma). Yes, I have three sets of grandparents. Mema being Dad’s mother.

Michael and Grandma Betty playing cards. They also played with the legendary chess set that I played with as a kid. It’s made of some sort of stone and looks like dragons and knights etc. They have faces carved on them.

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They live out in the country and near a small country church that has a big cemetery with some of the “Way” family ancestors from the 1800’s!  Way is my maiden name by the way…no pun intended.  But they are not of the redneck branch. You’ll find trinkets from their trip to Mexico everywhere and the house always reminded me of a spanish castle. I had fun pretending as a kid.

I was sad to drive up and see the wall torn down and the big pool filled with dirt and flowers. They can’t keep up with it anymore. So much is changing. I used to spend my Summers swimming in the big pool. But I’m glad my grandparents aren’t burdened by the pool anymore.

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  • We would look at my Family history and genealogy. Grandpa Way would take out the family books.

Me and Grandpa Way.

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You’d see that some of my relatives came from France. We could trace when they came to America.

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We could see who they married and when they died. We’d also read stories about my great great grandpa B. Way who was a lawyer and wrote some rather outspoken literature. We’d see that his ears looks like my Dad’s and that eccentricity runs in my family :).  The stories are quite amusing. I guess writing is in my blood!

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Oh, and expect to be fed at all of my grandparents. We’d also have lots of free places to sleep.

  • On the drive back to Jesup, I’d point to the mill (which you’d have smelled already) and say “that’s how you know you’re getting close to Jesup. You smell the mill.”

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Some people claim that the smell of Rayonier is the smell of money. I think it’s just stinky! Don’t fish near the mill or drink the water there!

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  • Then I’d take you to the cemetery that my Dad is buried in and one day I may be buried there too.

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I would tell you how great my Dad was. We’d put some more flowers on his grave. I’d point to the grave beside him and talk about my Papa who died when I was thirteen. My Dad wanted to be buried by his step dad who really was like a Dad to him. I could say the same about my Papa.  He was such a humble man.

You’d notice that the cemetery is peaceful and quiet. Maybe you’d contemplate life and death and the reality of eternity.  Behind my Dad’s grave we’d see the grave of a small child. I know the story of that child’s death and it’s a sad one. You never know when you’re time will come. I know other people in the cemetery too. I’d send a message to Jesus and ask him to give it to my Dad. “Please tell him that I love and miss him. I can’t wait to see him. He’d be so proud of his grandson.”

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  • There are many places I could show you but our trip is a short one. We had to head to Disney World. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of my home town. When I get mad there I may call it po dunk but there are fond memories too. It wasn’t that bad of a place to grow up. It was relatively safe. It was nice having a country upbringing. Before we left I’d also take you to the Vet’s office to see my Aunt Lynn but I forgot to take pictures. We could go to Screven and meet my husband’s family.

You can learn more about my in laws and my husband’s upbringing here:  http://amberdover.com/2012/12/05/thanksgiving-blessings-advent-prep/

So now onto the yummy recipes I tried recently!

Cherry Crisp

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http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cheery-Cherry-Crisp

Spinach Rice Casserole

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http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-spinach-parmesan-rice-bake-96886

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

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