Make a Celebration
When I was small, I lived next door to my great-grandmother, Mama Lois, and I would run to her house barefoot. I ran alternating from the burning blacktop to the thistled grasses. And then in the cold carport that smelled like Dr. Pepper and wet pecans, I would cool my feet and then eat a Starburst on my way in.
Mama Lois had 4 daughters. The oldest is my grandmother, a red-head in her heart. She lived down the road, too, and I visited her house often for yard pears and sun tea.
On special occasions we all got together in Mama Lois’s yard. There was a pond and a picnic table, and my big cousin Keith wore ringed-kneehigh socks and spoke of Star Wars. He instructed me in the ways of the Rubik’s Cube. We ate fried chicken, potato salad, and something with jello in it. Hot white rolls in a basket. Papers plates in plastic plate holders. Buttered Corn on the cob.
One of Grandmother’s little sisters was my Aunt Judy, tall and so very unstingy with her bosomy hugs. She gave me a bag of Este Lauder samples when I was 6, and she bought me some pastel purple shorts and jelly shoes. After the 4th of July, I spent the night with her and witnessed my first french kiss. It was awesome, fireworks and MTV in the 80’s.
Only a few times of the year would we see each other, summer time for swimming and fried chicken, and winter time for unexpected Christmas gifts. Other than that were the broken days, how I knew in kitchen whispers that family was a wrinkle-maker and hard work.
The older I get, the more I see life do what it does. I look back and remember those celebratory moments, the times we declared a Picnic Day. Those highlights sit on the other side of the scale sometimes and remind us that it’s just not all bad.
My Aunt Judy and her bosom and the Este Lauder bag that I still have to this day – I loved her so, and thoughts of her remind me to make a celebration once in a while, to grab the kids and hug them up, hand them a cookie, and ask to see the cartwheels. Summer is coming early it seems. Here’s another chance.
Today we woke and called it a donut day. We ate sprinkles, and we read Wind in the Willows.