Moments to Remember

This is so not me! Not that I wouldn't love for this to be me.
Well, perhaps momentarily. I don't really fit this mold.

But there is one place I do fit in. I'll tell you about it.

I was born in the flat fertile
Mississippi Delta in 1940.
I grew up in a white clapboard
plantation house on the heels
of the Great Depression when
cotton was still running the show
in the South, and well before the
Civil Rights Movement.

Love took me out of the Delta, and it was love that brought me back, for there are some things that cannot be forgotten or left behind. So, here it is. After all the years that have come and gone, here is a Delta girl seeing the grand old South through a window, all but closed now.

There were days hot enough to melt lead, and bitter winters that tested and forged the human spirit. And in a way, that's how I felt looking back on it. There we all were, scratching at the ground for our white gold and imagining the world beyond the cotton rows. It's my life and a heritage of pride in my homeland, my view of America, of family, of love, and ultimately of the House Not Made With Hands.

It took fourteen years to come to those words, written on the inside flap of my first book, my memoir, dedicated to my husband of fifty-two years. 

We have romped the years of time together since I was sixteen, he was eighteen. And if I had it to do over, I would change some things. I fooled you, didn't I? You thought I would say it was all perfect. How foolish of me if I caused you to think such a thing. 

Not perfect, by any means, but I cannot imagine one day of my life without him. He is the mainspring of my being, the starting place of my passion, my be all and end all, the way God meant it to be.

Toward the end of House Not Made With Hands, I visited an old familiar place in Southwest Roanoke, Virginia and reminded myself of just how much I do love this man of mine. I relived some moments we had spent together many years before in that old house built not too long after the Civil War, I'm sure. I confirmed what I knew to be true since the day we married on that cold Christmas Eve in 1957... I had been walking in his shadow for all those years. Blessed beyond the ability to speak it, so I just borrowed King Solomon's words that day as I sat in my car on Cambridge Avenue SW in Old Roanoke ...


As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, 
so is my beloved among the sons. 
I sat down under his shadow with great delight, 
and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 
He brought me to the banqueting house, 
and his banner over me was love.

And so this is where I fit in. Always have. Always will!

Jane Bennett Gaddy