This pastoral scene is real- it's not just a random house in "Anywhere,America" .
A dear friend lived here when we were kids and I had the great opportunity to revisit this wonderful memory recently. I sat on that huge storybook porch with Irma's mother and talked about life since 1972- the last time I had been here. Irma lives an hour away so we didn't connect this time- but what a treat to sit on that porch one more time and remember so many things.
It was as big as I remembered- most things shrink once confronted with reality- but not this time. And it was furnished just as sparsely as when Irma and I played school and house and did drama productions and just sat and talked while it rained. The only thing on the entire porch was a swing. One porch swing.The floors were painted grey boards worn smooth by the generation that had already lived here- Irma's grandparents!
Her daddy was a farmer- the real kinda farmer. He also flew a crop duster. He was kinda the town hero too somehow- I can't explain it but everyone loved him and he poured himself out for the entire town. He pitched a mean softball on Friday nights and he had a smile as big as Texas!!!
When my oldest brother died it was him,T.M. , that we called to deliver the news to my grandparents. And when my younger brother died, once again he was the bearer of the tragic news to them.
When the owner of the store died and the store appeared to be closing, T.M. stepped in , bought it and Bubba(my grandfather) never missed a day of work. Bubba had worked in this hardware store since 1920. Suddenly NOT working there was inconceivable to Bubba- and TM knew that.When finally it became unsafe for Bubba to work , it was TM who had to confront him and somehow make it o.k. And he did.
TM died,quite unexpectedly in January- his wife said they had been to town for dr. appointments and had started home when he remembered that he had not stopped to buy the rose bushes she had wanted . He insisted on turning around to get them for her. Once home he insisted on getting them in the ground as he had been promising. She was delighted of course. With the roses finished she decided a nap was in order while he went to check his cotton field.
TM suffered a massive heart attack - and the town heaved a great dark cloud over itself. He was gone with no fan fare or notice- just gone.
What a pleasure to have known such a godly man and to have been given the gift of reminiscing in a familiar wonderful place- one more time!
Ahhh- front porches- what a great deal of life happens there when you're not looking!