Thursday, September 6, 2007
when i was blond
I consider myself very fortunate to have had a musical childhood, nothing fantastic ever happened and to this day, I have never been to Disneyland. I wobbled between and around the knees of my great great grandmother, my great grandmother, my grandmother (my favorite because she always had a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other and blues in the background), and my mother.
I was even blond as a child: the milkman’s baby. My mother was told to sit me out in the sun to brown’un me up, but the rebel she is, my mother refused, bucking up to the entire neighborhood’s hen den, “My baby ain’t no damn piece of meat! You must be a fool!” She was only 17, but fierce.
To this day watermelon is my favorite fruit. The yellow ones, the orange ones, the red ones, doesn’t matter to me as long as they are sweet and full of juices. Here, my face is all melon as my cousin looks on. We were on our way to Crockett, Texas to see my great great grandmother. At rest stops, we unloaded baskets and tin coolers of food, lots of food: summer sausage, crackers and cheese, catfish, sandwiches, potato salad, fried chicken, fresh homemade breads, pecan pies, banana pudding with vanilla wafers, roast beef, green beans, and of course homemade teacakes. We swam in tanned colored lakes, not beaches. And we marveled over the height and pungent smell of pines aligning the country roads. We craw fished in creeks and played jacks or marbles. My grandmothers dressed me in ribbons and ruffles, even to go to the grocery store or for short visits. We caught light bugs in jars and sometimes bees…lit on honeysuckle. And still today, when you drive through Texas there are incredible explosions and explosions of wisteria. This time was a savoring moment for me and a fine foreshadow for the rest of my life. I was very privileged.
And though my grandmother is my favorite grand, I cannot cease writing about my great grandmother; that's her to my right. I was always in her armpit.