This has been an exciting week for me friends. But before I get into too much of that I want to share with you some photos from our family friend's home in Memphis. After the funeral we had the most wonderful, small dinner with family at the Craddock's home. There were just 12 of us and we went around the room and told stories. We laughed so hard and it was just the most wonderful memory from the funeral week.
The Craddock's are the saltiest salt of the earth people you would ever want to meet. Since none of Francie's immediate family were left living in Memphis much of the burden and tons of the loving was heaped on the family of the Craddock's. Bill and my uncle Johnny were the closest of friends. When John died, Bill made an extra effort to comfort Francie and Granddaddy during the loss of his close friend and their youngest son. Bill is also as close to a super star in my mind for helping the Episcopal Church and our clergy. But that is a story for another day. Just know I hold them in the highest regard and so did my grandparents. It made perfect sense that we all land at their home for great wine, a simple dinner and delicious conversation and rousing laughter.
Bill and Margaret moved into the coolest mid-century modern house a few years ago. I had to give you a sneak peek of the art work and cool space.
I think the home was built in the 50s. This floating Carrara Marble table was just the coolest. The console separating the living and dining room had enough space to set up our bar.
Their daughter Maysey is an extremely gifted artist. I was lucky enough to get to see her work in New York and even go to an opening once at the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis.
I have always loved this piece she did on her take of their summer home in Perdido. The houses are all on stilts. Our grandparents had homes 50 yards from each other in Destin too. We found out at this fun dinner that Maysey's grandfather was the first boy to ever kiss Frances! My granddaddy and Big Bill were children together. She had never told me that, but I think it is precious. This painting reminds me of our little Destin house and the sea oats growing underneath and around it. It is the greeter when you enter Bill and Margaret's home. It speaks to me saying, "Come in. Let me comfort you and rock you like a cool breeze from the ocean." I love it to pieces.
Her wire sculptures are fantastic. These small rocking chairs just remind me of my grandparents. A perfect pair who again were married for 67 years.
Maysey's bridges tug at my heartstrings too. Many of the bridges that connect shore to shore over the Mississippi are rusted out and impassable. She uses embroidery here to soften this rustic bridge and stitched it on reclaimed flour bags. Her work reminds me again of Francie, who taught me how to sew and do needlepoint. This piece was in the show I saw in person. I remember other bridges called the Three Sisters and old hoop skirts hanging from the ceiling that cast shadows on the walls. They sing of strong southern ladies.
I happened to be in Memphis during my birthday. My aunt Susan and cousin Lucy surprised me with a cake the day before. It was such a treat to be with so many people I love and to celebrate the end of Francie's life, and one more year for me.
Thank you Craddock family for being so good to our beloved Frances. She loved you all like her own. Thank you for the amazing hospitality in a time when all we really needed was to laugh and hear stories. Susan and Luce, thanks so much for the cake. It was fantastic. I love you all with the deepest part of my soul. Hoping everyone had a great Valentine's Day.