Friday Night at the Garner House

Of all the things I had thought would be the easiest as well as most difficult to acclimate to upon my return to East Texas, I have come to understand just how much I had thought too much of one and too little of the other.

For I looked forward to the home-cooking outdoor grill & barbecue culture that abides from the Big Thicket to the south-side of Texarkana, yet I dreaded the sultry sweaty beat of the humid East Texas heat.

While I have found the Spring to be, thus far, mild and honey-sweet as my beloved’s iced tea… I think it is merely the delightful contrast between our present day and too many long cold Mid-Atlantic mornings of gray late-Winter; but let us see how I feel during the Summer droughts of July and August.

However, the great heaps of fried, baked, barbecued, and smoked meats have taken their gastrointestinal toll upon me of late, nowhere more so than this evening at the home of Jesse & Shannon Garner.

Today was the last day of school and there were numerous events occurring at once this evening, everything from a family reunion that one of our couples attended to the state semifinals of our local varsity baseball team, which contributed to a discernable drop-off in the attendance of this week’s Friday Night fellowship.

Be that as it may, the turnout was more than adequate and there was no want for discussion or delicacy.

It was my privilege to come to better know the master of this household, himself retired early from the military after a battle-scarred career that stretched from the shores of the Caribbean to the deserts of the Persian Gulf.

He is the classic larger-than-life East Texas character, possessing an endearing mixture of homespun humility and fight-tested bravado. I think very much of him, I look forward to coming to know more of his life and testimony.

As with other nights…  there was certainly no shortage of children running underfoot. A precious sight, I have noticed the glad familiarity with which they regard each other…  and the way my elder son is charmed by the tempestuous red-haired daughter of Lance & Tana Sandel.

As with other nights…  the hours passed much too quickly, and the blue day soon faded into purple night.

As with other nights…  I was left longing for another Friday’s return.


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