Thursday, August 24, 2006
Last Thursday, my oldest brother, my son, my two granddaughters and I took a trip down Memory Lane.
Well, Dennis and I went down Memory Lane — Uncle Kris, Binky and Gremlin just rode with us to Gleason, Tenn., to visit relatives.
Most of the elderly relatives from my childhood are gone now — Aunt Myrl, Uncle Herbert, Grandma Duke — and Old Joe, the horse that lived to be in his 40s or 50s I think. My childhood memory remembers him as being 48 or 52 or some such very old age.
That Thursday, my sister Jackie from Missouri drove down and we all met at Alice’s house. Her son Larry was there, his daughter-in-law Marie and his granddaughter Emma.
Alice and her late husband Jr. Chappell lived next door to Aunt Myrl and Uncle Herbert until their deaths. Then Alice moved into Aunt Myrl’s house and Larry and his wife Linda moved into their house.
Now Alice has a long-arm quilting machine stretching the length of the living room. The old horse-hair sofa is gone, but the dining room table and chairs are still there and most of the old photos.
There have been a couple of changes — back in our childhood, my sister Peggy and I would sneak out at night, swipe fresh tomatoes off the garden vines and then head to the outhouse. We loved the outhouse! It was fun!
Dennis and I also loved to haul water for Aunt Myrl. She had a well with a steel cylindrical bucket that emptied from the bottom — it was so much fun to haul the water up and dump it into the bucket to carry and sit it on the ledge in the screened back porch. An enamel dipper was always there for a cool drink of water.
Oddly, Larry, who had to haul water for his mother Alice and grandmother Myrl, didn’t remember the old well with as much affection as Dennis and I did...
One year, a cousin, Michael had a hawk’s foot. I don’t remember how or where he got it and now, I’m not sure I want to know. But that foot was so cool. It had a tendon or something that was longer and he’d pull it and the talons would clamp down on whoever was lucky enough to get their finger pinched by a dead bird’s claws.
Michael and I are about the same age and his younger brother Clifford and my brother Dennis are about the same age, so Mike and I really enjoyed torturing the “babies.” One of our favorite pastimes was climbing up into the big old trees and dropping bark or small sticks down on their heads while they played underneath.
There’s only one tree left standing now — the others had to be cut down. Old age gets all of us, one way or another I guess.
I’m finding that I’ve turned into my father — all day Thursday I kept telling Larry that in my memory, he was 5-years-old.
Sometimes, I’m just glad I have a memory...
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