Saturday, March 9, 2013

Camelot Ends

We grew up in Camelot. My sisters and I. Today I recall lazy summer days spent lying beneath pecan trees or chasing the occasional butterfly. Sweet East Texas sized iced teas that Mom would lovingly pour into either our regular dinner glasses (mason jars) or our outdoor set, that stack of old plastic yogurt cups, in any color of our choosing. Lunches of peanut butter and jelly, cut into shapes from Mom's cookie cutters, eaten on blankets under large trees, and kool-aid, there was always kool-aid. Stray dogs that became life long pets, mostly mutts that we never taught to do anything more than be there when we called. Cats from the barn, lots of them. All with fluffs of baby in tow. The occasional curse from Dad, who just smashed a finger. All you could see of him were blue jean clad legs, and that plaid shirt tail, as he was waist deep inside the hood of car. A line of fence posts, lining the family farm. An occasional scrape from getting too close and hung up in its barbed wire. Bicycles and baby toys, strewn about the yard. The laughter of children, and the groaning sound of oil trucks coming up the road. Mom always had flowers planted. Roses from Nanny's yard, and light blue philodendron from Great Grandmother. Back then ladies shared seeds, and sprout-lings. They gave you cuttings from plants you admired from their yards, with specific instructions for getting them to grow roots from nothing. Magic in water!  Doodlebugs were our best babysitter. Summer nights brought lightning bugs twinkling inside mason jars, and left over sparklers from fourth of July. Bonfire smells with burnt marshmallows and roasted hot dogs filled the air. Church on Sundays, only to return home to a big roast that Mom had put in the pot early that morning. Summer meant church picnics, bringing people together you'd not seen since last year. It also meant pinched cheeks and being called "precious". The happy news of weddings and births, and sad news of those having gone home to meet the Lord. Occasionally family would come in from Dallas, sharing stories of the latest happenings. Guests meant good food, singing, and sad goodbyes. The end of summer brought the sounds of school buses. Hearing them coming for miles, the sounds bouncing off the hills. School time meant Halloween was not far behind. There'd be candy and festivals, homemade costumes, imaginations running wild. Cooler night air and the shortening of days brought brilliant Texas sunsets into view. Time to take out the mothball smelling barrels from the attic. Stocked full of sweaters and winter clothing. Now was when you'd see how much you'd grown. Thanksgiving and Christmas could only mean one thing, you'd be able to get out of going to school, if only temporary. It also meant trekking to Dallas to see family. More eating, more singing, more time to talk of family long gone, and reminisce.  Our home was one of books, and music, art and nature. Plays put on by little ones excited to share what they'd written, and two sisters close in age who got into anything they thought they could without getting caught.  Winter time brought icicles, red noses, and indoor activities assigned by a very ingenious mother. Our Peter Pan. Mom's pots became our helmets. The kitchen tablecloth our capes. Our shield was made of cardboard and tin foil, and our swords were Dad's wrenches, borrowed lovingly from his tool box. Our home was old and full of history. Our yard was big, it was our stage, our "new lands" and adventure.  It was our shelter, our refuge. It was where we grew into the people we are today. It was our Camelot.
 Dad called today and said he had sold our place of dreams, our Camelot. Camelot Ends here, but thank you Lord that our stories don't.

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