Last week I drove to Sumter to visit Nanny for a couple days. We didn’t do too much except enjoyed each other’s company. I love being able to see Nanny, and only wish I could do it much more often.
On Wednesday evening after we went to supper and prayer meeting at her church, I suggested we at least drive by Swan Lake since I hadn’t been in a while. Swan Lake is a beautiful park a minute drive from Nanny’s house with lots of flowers, old magnolia trees (my favorite), and of course, swans. We ended up getting there with a few minutes to spare before they closed the gates (one time on the fourth of July we got locked in and had to hop the fence to get home).
I have so many memories of taking picnics to Swan Lake when we’d go to Sumter for visits in the summertime. Nanny would make pimiento cheese and pineapple cream cheese and nut, and we’d always have Tom’s chips and Coca-Cola. After we ate, we’d climb and play under the huge trees, feed the swans, and walk across the tall bridge that connects the two sides of the park. I remember thinking how magical everything about Swan Lake seemed as a little girl, especially if we visited in the evening as the sun set and its rays streamed through the trees’ branches onto our sun-kissed, summer skin. In the fall, we’d laugh and scream as we threw handfuls of bright yellow leaves up in the air as Aunt Cassie snapped photos of “the cousins.”
I love visiting Nanny. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have had our grandparents in our lives know there is definitely something special about the love and acceptance of a grandmother. Every time I go to Sumter, or to Creekside to visit Nana and Grandaddy, I leave with a full heart, but also one that deeply wishes I could be in two places at once in order to spend more time with them. As I grow older, I am increasingly thankful for the wisdom and truth that my grandparents possess, and I love every minute I get to spend soaking it all in.