Two weeks ago, John, my sister and I made a whirlwind trip back home to the farm. It was John’s first time back in years, and if he were the type to post comments on my blog, I know he would back me up on this—he was fully entertained and slightly amazed at all the things we managed to cram pack into three days.
After a delayed flight, a drive from Little Rock plagued with typical I-40 road construction and severe thunderstorms, we picked John up at the Trolley Stop Market in Memphis (long story) and headed straight to the Riverlawn Country Club in Osceola where everyone truly knows your name. The Bat (my mother) was already entertaining people in the bar. Ahhhh, the familiarity of home. We even stumbled into what was left of a wine tasting. Bonus: Although massive storms moved through, the Bat Cave maintained power. A rarity.
Friday morning began with a trip to Newcomb’s in Osceola because what’s a trip home without a visit to Newcomb’s? Incomplete. When we were kids, Newcomb’s was a drugstore and gift shop rolled into one. Although the drugstore part is gone, I can still hear druggist Jimmy Lynch teasing my sister and me, “Girls, I talked to Papa Creecy today, and he said to buy whatever you want. Just charge it to him.” Bonus: While there, I bought a really cute shirt and saw Mrs. Byford, my Rivercrest Accounting teacher who somehow looks even younger now.
After a quick visit inside the Mississippi County Museum in Osceola and a chat with photographic artist Jason Stark at Osceola Printing (check out his amazing photography on Facebook), we headed to Dyess for the Johnny Cash VIP Tour (read more here if you haven’t already). Bonus: Saw old friends, met new ones including members of the Cash family, ate incredible fried chicken courtesy of Whitton Farms.
Saturday morning began with an early morning hike around the rice field, which will actually be planted in soybeans this year, crop rotation and all… After exploring Wildwood Antiques in Etowah (what an intense, amazing collection in the middle of the Delta), we headed to lunch at Wilson Cafe with high school friends.
The oyster bisque was extraordinary. As was the Nice Salad (I love that name) and the Donut Bread Pudding (we shared).
And check out these Billy Moore Folk Art paintings on display at the cafe. We bought the middle one!
After a tour of our friends’ country house (yes, we invited ourselves over because it’s okay to do that back home), we managed to watch the Dallas Mavericks game at the Bat Cave. (Television watching at the Bat Cave is always tricky…) Then it was over for cocktails, appetizers and an overall fun evening with my college friend Craig F. and his wife Beth who recently renovated his grandmother’s home in Osceola. Let met just say, southerners know how to pull together an impromptu spread. Bonus: Their home is amazing, and they promised us first right of refusal if they move back to Memphis. John may be a bit concerned about this.
Somewhere in all that we managed to go back to the country club—Friday night I think? Bonus: When our server discovered he was out of Momma’s favorite pink wine, he drove into town to buy more for her. That doesn’t happen in Dallas.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Cheers Theme Song
I was dying to be back in the South, where the livin’ was easy, where the fish were jumpin’, where the cotton grew high.”
― Johnny Cash