Thursday, October 27, 2016

the village of satartia

People who know me well know that "Satartia" is a common word in my family.  Whenever I talk about Satartia to even some of my closest friends, I feel the need to explain myself.  After I've said it, I always follow it up with-- "You know, my family has a camp over on the Yazoo River.  It's just a trailer in the middle of nowhere, but we call it a camp."  That's my watered down explanation of Satartia,  but it is really so much more than that. 

First of all, Satartia is a town on the map.  We just use the word to define the "camp."  Mattie Kate called it "tartia" when she was little, and sometimes I catch myself still calling it that.  Satartia is about 25 minutes from Yazoo City, an hour from Vicksburg and around 45 minutes from Madison.

A lot of people probably wonder how in the world we ended up with a "camp" in Satartia.  So, lets take it back to the 1990s.  Back in the day, my daddy and his buddies went to the Delta for what they liked to call "Squirrel Camp."  Squirrel Camp was basically a bunch of men hanging out all week, hunting squirrels and roughing it. I think some of them actually stayed in tents.  Whenever I was just a little girl, I can remember going to squirrel camp.  Daddy would stay all week and mama would take us over on the weekend.  I only remember a few things about squirrel camp as a kid--the camp fire, the camper, being in the great outdoors, and that one time my mom and I saw a man get arrested late at night at a convenient store in Yazoo City on our way to the camp. I was terrified. I labeled the place as highly dangerous. These days, we try not to go to Yazoo City at night, so I was probably onto something.

Squirrel Camp was the same week every year--opening weekend of squirrel season.  Whenever I started cheering in high school, the cheerleaders always had mini cheer camp the same weekend as squirrel camp. I just stopped going because there was always that interference.  My 10th grade year, I recall my daddy driving home from squirrel camp to escort me in Homecoming.  and driving back to the Delta after the game. 

This Satartia thing didn't just happen over night.  Whenever we first got the place in Satartia, we actually called it "squirrel camp" and we have been there on the opening weekend of squirrel season since maybe 2010 or 2011.  This year was the first year we missed "squirrel camp" weekend in a long time.  Squirrel camp just turned into a family camp instead of the guy thing it once was.  It probably has something to do with the improvements in accommodations.

There have been a few issues with flooding in Satartia since the trailer got moved in back in 2010.  One time it had to be moved in order to stay out of the water and back a year or so ago daddy had a moving company come lift it up to keep it from flooding.  The picture above was taken after it was lifted up.  It was a hot mess, and yes we used that ladder to get inside! After it got lifted up, he redid some stuff around the trailer.  Satartia got a facelift.. and a set of stairs to get inside.

Satartia is a lot of things. To my daddy, Satartia is a dream come true.  To me, it's having nothing to do and nowhere to go.  To my family, it is precious time. Back whenever times were good, my family went on a lot of fun vacations.  Now, we just go to Satartia.

There is literally nothing in Satartia except for a run-down convenient store and a few churches. Despite its short comings in the way of entertainment, it is a special little place. Satartia is like a little bubble and whenever I get in it, I forget about most everything else and life is a little simpler that way. From time to time, I find myself putting off leaving.  It isn't the place that I don't want to leave, but the people I am surrounded by!  When I've been surrounded by my people for a few days, I am usually not too happy about going back into the real world where there are responsibilities and places to be. 

Other than my daddy, nobody really goes to Satartia unless everybody goes.  It's all or nothing. 
Who wants to go to Satartia with no company? 

The crew usually show up on Friday evening or Saturday morning and we leave Sunday afternoon, all depending on real life obligations that sometimes interfere.  A lot of times, Sunday afternoon rolls around and Daddy decides that he's just going to stay until Monday. Monday turns into Wednesday and he's been there practically all week.  He would live there, if my mama would go with him. We spend a lot of long weekends there like July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Spring Break etc. Last Thanksgiving, most of the crew spent almost the whole week at Satartia. 

Things to do while at Satartia include but are not limited to:

Front Porch Sitting

(check out MJ and Mattie in their Headbandz)

Playing Intense Games of Pictionary and Uno

(Intensity evident by Austin's backwards hat)

Baking with Aunt Re

Squirrel Hunting

(as evidenced by the dead squirrel Mattie is about to pick up)


Building Fires for Smores

Shooting The Occassional Fireworks


(Jake Freeny is going to kill me for this picture.  Obviously he didn't bring appropriate clothes.  On this night, the boys went frogging and Mama Jim stayed up to see what they got.  Jake brought the catch in to show her!)

Taking Walks

Putting Puzzles Together


(this counts as an activity at Satartia- its everybody's favorite)


Taking Selfies

We have also been known to play hide and seek in the dark, pick up sticks, and play baseball in the front yard. 
Where Mattie Kate has been, Baby has been too.  Baby has made her way into a lot of pictures at Satartia.  Looking for baby should probably be added as another Satartia activity. 

Back whenever I was studying for the CPA exam, I spent a lot of time on the front porch with my Becker (my study material).  One time, Kea said something like, "Are you not done with that test yet?"  They (Kea, Jake and Landon) always wanted me to take them to the movies in Madison and I always said that I couldn't because I was studying.  (Madison, MS is less than an hour from Satartia.)  After I passed my test, I promised to take them from Satartia to do something fun.  The last time we were all there, I was actually going to do that until I realized there were no vehicles present large enough to accommodate us. 
Speaking of studying at Satartia-- Last Thanksgiving, I had passed two out of four of the CPA exams and I was studying for FAR (Financial).  FAR was by FAR the worst of the four tests for me.  It was a beast and it intimidated me something serious.  I had already failed it once.  I was days away from taking the exam, and a Satartia trip was in the making.  I obviously didn't want to miss the trip, but I knew I needed to utilize the time I had left to study.  I decided to go onto Satartia and do what studying I could.  I vividly remember answering ten practice questions at a time using the iPad on the front porch.  I would take breaks and go sit at the kitchen table with Mama Jim, who was putting together a Santa Clause puzzle.  The night before the exam, everybody was still up in the living room, and I knew I needed to get some sleep.  I got up to go to bed and they all gave me their good luck wishes and love.  Jake said something that I can't recall exactly, but I remember it sticking with me.  It may have just been good luck- but I just thought it was super sweet coming from him!  I went to bed with such a full heart at the thought of my whole family sitting in their pajamas in the living room at Satartia giving me their support and encouragement.  I guess you could say that it put things in perspective for me a bit.  The CPA exam palled in comparison. 

Austin took me to Jackson for the exam the next morning, and rode around Jackson waiting on me to finish the four hour nightmare.  And what do you know... I passed that one.
Another vivid memory of Satartia is a few years back whenever the fisherman found a "sandbar" down the river and we all loaded up in our life jackets to go check out the fishing.  I think it was Labor Day weekend, because we had quite the crew there.  We loaded into 3 boats and set out for the sandbar.  Daddy Jim & Mama Jim didn't go because MJ couldn't get down into the boat.  At the time, her hip was bothering her pretty bad and she had not had her hip replacement yet. 

I know I'll always look back on the memories we are making at Satartia with a smile.  The first Satartia trip we ever made was in Fall 2010. I played with two year old Mattie Kate on a mattress that was outside in the burn pile.

Now her little eight year old self doesn't even request a game of hide and seek. 
I don't know how long we will continue to take Satartia trips as a family,
but I'll enjoy them while they last!

Here's to you, Satartia!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

the weekend

This weekend post is almost a week late, but I'm just now finding the time to blog. 

Austin and I had a fun weekend planned, so last Friday on my way home I told myself I was going to document the next two days!  I did a mediocre job.  Maybe the more I blog, the more I'll remember to take pictures of stuff that I normally wouldn't take pictures of!

Bandit and Daisy are always excited to see us when we get home from work!  Whenever I get home before Austin, they're usually sitting on the hill at Mama Jim's house.  Sometimes they come without us calling, and other times they wait for us to holler for them.  Then they run as fast as they can down the path Austin cut from our house to Mama Jim's house.  It is one of the highlights of my day!  I usually tell them how much I missed them and ask them if they had a good day.  #crazydoglady

I had stopped by my mom's house on my way home from work Friday to get this set of bibs that I thought I would probably never wear in my lifetime, but I was wrong. I was wrong because...
#thosefeetthough #turnedout #ballerinastyle

My mom bought these things for me from Dirt Cheap in 2006 whenever we went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  We planned to ski, but since there wasn't enough snow-- I never wore these suckers.  Good thing I sometimes keep things I don't think I'll ever need again.  Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that they were bought over ten years ago and I still fit in them?! Score.  This trip was spur of the moment and unexpected--just the way I prefer them.  When we got home from Wyoming, I told myself I needed to chill on the vacations for awhile.  That being said, whenever this opportunity arose for us to go skiing in February and Austin was onboard, I was obviously thrilled.  
Traveling is my jam. 

I changed out of my ski attire and we took a four wheeler ride to an unknown location to do unknown things.  #deerseason I love being outside on these pretty fall days! 

I asked Austin to take my picture with my fur babies Friday evening before we left to go to the barn.  Blurry, but we are all looking at the camera so I consider that a win.  We headed to Bro. Eddie's barn for some bluegrass and gospel singing with some of our favorite folks. 

I had not been at the barn since shortly after our wedding, so I was reminiscing a little bit.  The barn may have been filled with lawn chairs, but I could still see us in the middle of it busting a move to Footloose.  I hope one day whenever we have kids, we can take them to barn singings and they'll run around and have fun outside and it'll just be a full circle moment.  We got home around 10:15 and made our way to bed.  They stay out late at the barn!

Saturday morning, we went and "worked up a tree."  Read: cut a tree up for firewood.  Daddy Jim had been working on cutting this tree up and Austin decided to go do his part, too.  This was before 8 am, and I really just watched Austin while I fought the dogs off of my oatmeal cream pie and cheese crackers.  #breakfastofchamptions
Whenever we got back, I cleaned house and ironed clothes for several hours before I got my things together to leave for our road trip. 

Around 11:00, we went to Austin's parents house and met his mom, Jamie and Ally to head to Hernando for Austin's cousin's wedding.  The ride was enjoyable other than those few minutes when Austin and Ally were competing for the loudest music. He knows just how to aggravate her.  

We got to the room, got dressed and waited on our shuttle to the venue.  Leslie's wedding was beautiful and we had SO much fun!  We burnt up the dance floor and stayed until the bride and groom left.  We took a limo ride back to the room and Ally missed it because she was snoozing.  

Sunday on the way home, we made a stop in Kosciusko to see Mrs. Suzanne's daddy's grave.  We enjoyed visiting Pop's grave and Mrs. Suzanne gave us a little Kosciusko history.  Have ya'll ever heard of Mrs. Kelly's grave?  There is this creepy statue of a lady in the graveyard with graves around it.  She was once holding an ax, but it has been vandalized.  That's worse than Sullivan's grave in these parts. 

Sunday evening, Austin crashed.  I washed some clothes and then we got ready to go to the annual Peanut Boil at church.  The peanuts were good, and the company was better.  Austin participated in the cake auction and scored 1/3 of an Italian cream cheese cake that Mama Jim made.  We listened to some good music and stayed until most of the people around us had been long gone.  I love peaceful nights in the church courtyard. 

It's the simple things that mean the most.