Some Seattle friends were visiting Ark Encounter (a full-size replica of Noah's), a new attraction just a mile from downtown Williamstown, Kentucky, where my roots are on my mother's side.
We had invited the 3-generation crowd to meet us at Elmer's General Store for ice cream/sodas/sundaes. Local musician Jimmy Million started playing his guitar and signing. When mom stood right in front of him and started singing the alto, he said, "You need to come up here!" I joined them onstage and sang tenor. Our friends sat the church pews in front of the stage, taking video and enjoying the music and folksy atmosphere.
In this down-home environment, I felt so connected to my heritage. I also realized that even though Papa's hardware store is no longer standing, and the Grant County newspaper has moved out of the building where it was when my mom worked there, the Lusby legacy continues in this town.
My aunt has a table at Elmer's where she sells books authored by her and by my mom, along with other items that are part of her Go Far, Go Light business. At Bruce's Grocery, up the road a ways and just a mile from the Lusby home, they still have the little letter "H" Papa used to indicate when he was on duty as the hardware guy, a part-time position he held up into his 90's.
When Jimmy sang a solo called "Grandma's Bible," I got all teary, remembering how MY Granny loved the Word, marking in it with her green pen. (Yes, it was always a green pen.)
I signed Elmer's guestbook, "Karis Pratt, granddaughter of Hubert Lusby, Seattle, WA." He always told my mom and aunt to "remember who you are." I know I will.
I'm a young-at-heart vagabond who still hopes to have a family that wants to adventure through life with me. I embrace opportunities to dive into nature, be cuddled by children, appreciate beauty of all kinds, and to share moments with friends, family, and new people. I'll never know what I want to be when I grow up, but I've made my peace with that. Just want to bring some joy and hope to others as I walk my path.