June 18, 2021

GRANDPARENTING FROM A DISTANCE

This photo from summer, 1971, is Inez Connelly with Patrick and Heather.  We were visiting them at their comfortable Nashville home on Stonewall Drive.  This was perhaps Patrick’s first visit to Nashville!  The Connellys had made a weekend trip to Columbia to meet him in March—and were already on “baby watch” for granddaughter Marla, born in Nashville to Bill and Jane just a few weeks later.

The Connellys seemed to be most able to relate to their grandkids in their sporting activities—basketball, T-ball, soccer. And they rarely missed a game that any of their Nashville grandchildren played.  It was different when they lived in a different state.  They made a couple of trips a year to South Carolina and we usually went to Nashville a few times.  

Our favorite visits together probably were at our mountain log house in Beersheba Springs.  They could easily come up to spend a day or a weekend and everyone enjoyed the relaxed pace, the mountain scenery and the cozy house.

Flash forward five years—this photo of Papa Con with Heather and Patrick was taken on Labor Day, 1976.  By that time, Tom and I were divorced and the family relationships were much more complicated.  Papa Con was a quiet and gentle man and loved babies and children.  He didn’t like for people to tickle babies—thought it was actually a bit painful for them. He would spend time playing and talking with the little ones whenever he could.

Strangely enough, my Nashville home is just a couple of miles from the Connellys’ home on Stonewall Drive.  Occasionally I drive by to look at it—it’s still a well-kept, beautiful home that looks very much the same it did when I first went there.

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