As the weather starts to get cooler and the sense of Fall is actually felt here in Texas I long for certain childhood memories. Just the other day as I was sitting at work all of a sudden I had a flash of memories that came to mind. My aunt baking or my grandmother sitting in her rocking chair watching the news or my uncle bringing in the last harvest of vegetables from his garden. Sweet memories, I can see them so vividly in my mind that it seems so real and I feel I'm actually still there. The certain smells that hit me when I would step inside my aunt's house, a smell that I was home, it was normally fresh coffee that had been brewed or the clean smell where she'd just mopped or had something baking in the oven, a pie for my uncle since he always wanted dessert with his meals. Or the smell of Fall just seemed different being at their place for some reason.
Right before my grandmother passed in January of that year, she had always talked about taking a trip. She said "next year was going to be her year to take a trip and she was going no matter what". Well she did take the ultimate trip just not the way she planned it I'm sure. She was always a nervous soul. She always felt outdone by her sister, who you can remember I talked about in a previous post, about how they lived next door to each other. My aunt "SIS" as everyone affectionately called her, was a better baker, dresser, house keeper, you name it or so in her mind. While she may have never been better at things, to my grandmother she was. My grandmother was the baby and my aunt the oldest. I'm not so sure why she always felt in competition with her sister, it surely wasn't because aunt made her feel that she was.
Now my uncle, he rarely allowed anything to bother him. The circumstances just rolled off his broad shoulders. I can still see him in his ticking stripe overalls, white shirt, and black work shoes. He was a tall man, a big man, solid and strong. My youngest son Mark reminds me so much of him. My uncle could grow just about anything he set his mind to. I still remember the red potatoes and green beans my aunt would make in a cream gravy. His last year on this earth, he planted another garden but the doctor told him he was going to have to cut down on his gardening and do less of it because of the heat. He would stay all day outside, tending to it, or riding his tractor in the fields. With his last garden, he decided to experiment planting peanuts. And boy did they produce, probably way more than he could have expected. I think not being able to garden is what killed him more than the cancer he had. It was what he truly enjoyed and just laying around thinking about his sickness wasn't good for him.
Here's my uncle with one of his priced watermelon's that he grew. He always had so much harvest of vegetables that he shared it with his friends and neighbors.
I miss spending my holiday vacations with them "in the country" as we called it. They only lived about 12 miles from town but to us it was the country and seemed so far away. Their house sat on about 40 acres and the land seemed to go on forever. I always knew on any given Friday afternoon, I'd load up my suitcase and down the road my dad would go to take me to their place for the weekend...