Oh to be here.
A North Dakota summer and it staying light forever. Dark eventually but plenty of time after supper for all the grandbabies to play outside until the streetlights go on. A treat for them it is, so bundled up most of the time.
So far north and what they are used to. Funny. Strange looks with every story about the house on Dauphin Island.
Alabama and far more golden sunshine it was. Outside all day year round and no winter coat. Indeed, barely knowing what wool was, what with living in a place so warm even sheets were too hot to sleep under by Easter.
But a tall, dark and handsome man wildcatting in the bayou and life changing. Following work instead of the sun and ending up by Canada. Impossible. Home still by a warm and shining sea but a family used to snow and ice and not about to move. Something about needing snow boots to feel normal.
But pictures in the bottom of the jewelry box to look through when it gets to be too much and memories coming back. The baby brother that died in Okinawa in that last charge up some hill or other and Mother. Morning at the beach and a picnic on the running board with sand in the deviled eggs and a mason jar of sweet tea.
Something to cling to . . .maybe next summer . . .maybe the one after . . .but under the rings and a safe place to live forever . . .
Oh to be here.
New Orleans and back home after a summer visiting around wherever a cooling breeze can be found. Canada, South Dakota and the Fourth of July on a mountain peak up in the Rockies in Colorado.
Traveling fun but being home where gumbo doesn’t come out of a can even better. Accents that sound normal and flowers that linger. Funny. An odd thing to miss, but no. Snow around the inn with the fireworks coming down and all. Very pretty but odd-looking to anyone born near the bayou.
Feet a bit sore and knees that ache but a balcony to sit out on and watch the world go by and another facing the other way with a courtyard and birds. Not Father’s, no, that one sold after one of the storms but this one the same if you close your eyes and pretend. Voices going back and forth and a whisper from the back where the grooms lived after the war until automobiles came in. That and the stock market going and the chauffeur departing for who knows where once the second war began. Shipbuilding down by Canal Street somewhere or one of those raincoat factories.
Two grandsons coming later and a dinner outing but time. Books pulled out and pages leafed through. Old friends, they were. Bookshelf to bookshelf and house to house with their own rest when everyone went away. The same old book smell as it must have been back in the way back time. No, that would never change.
But an old photograph for a bookmark that wasn’t there before. One of the grandchildren, maybe from one of those boxes of old papers in the attic.
A memory. All dressed up with hair curled up and almost looking like a girl. Mother, it would have been. Wanted a little girl and didn’t get one and hair curled on every fancy occasion thought of.
Junior page at the Mardi Gras parade though. Worth every minute with hair screwed up in papers. Riding through the middle of the city and waving while the king and queen sat on the float and bowed. That not so fun but the candy was. Someone afraid a child would be scared and a whole bag of it stuffed under a cushion.
Four pieces for every block and a stomach ache that lasted for days. . . worth it. . . like going to heaven and back . . .mile after mile of waving and beads being tossed but boarding school after . . .teased for years but one didn’t know it then . . .no happy and that without end . . .