Text: Genesis 32:22-32
One of my favorite childhood memories is going to visit Uncle Grover and Aunt Vessie. Now Uncle Grover and Aunt Vessie were not my uncle and aunt. They were not even one of my parents’ uncle or aunt. They were, though, relatives on my father’s side of the family. Aunt Vessie and Uncle Grover had several children, one of whom was Lillian. At some point along the way, either Lillian and her husband Howard and one of their children, Francis, moved in with Aunt Vessie and Uncle Grove or it may have been the other way around—I’m not sure of the details. However, I do have very clear memories of every room in the big old yellow farmhouse they all lived in. Uncle Grover and Aunt Vessie occupied three rooms in the house that could be closed off by a single door in the front room. The first room had in it an old woodstove, two chairs—one for Uncle Grover and one for Aunt Vessie—an old feather bed, a dresser, and a black and white TV. In the middle room was another feather bed and a dresser. And the back room was their kitchen that had a small table where they ate all their meals.
Uncle Grover played the harmonic and thus was popular with all the kids. Aunt Vessie had a curious spirit and was not one for strict discipline so she, too, was popular with the children. Many Sunday evenings, after church, my family would go to that big old yellow farmhouse where we would eat breakfast for dinner and the adults would play card games. After dinner the children would gravitate to Aunt Vessie and Uncle Grover’s section of the house. It was there on Sunday evenings, after dinner, that Uncle Grover would turn on that old black and white TV to watch world-wide wrestling. I can still hear Uncle Grover shouting at the wrestlers on TV as we children re-enacted each wrestling move on that big old feather bed. And I can still hear Aunt Vessie saying to us, “Be careful children or you’re gonna fall off and break your leg and then we’ll all be in trouble.”