15 December 2010

Naomi P. Wright: Part 2 of many.

Granny & Grandpa lived in a small town in Indiana when I was growing up. There was a traffic light by the time I can remember, but my mom tells stories of it being turned off on weekends when it was first installed. What was the point when there was no traffic to regulate?

I remember sitting out on the wide front porch in rocking chairs. Really! We did that! And there was something cold to drink in sweating pitchers. I think it was lemonade cause I liked that, but I'll bet there was iced tea too.

People would walk by, stop for chat and end up sitting on the steps with a glass in their hand. Others would amble past and either join the conversation or would take one of the other visitors with them.

I remember sitting on the three steps that made the sidewalk accessible to the level of the front lawn and the rest of the walkway that approached the porch steps. My three little steps had a cement edging that would accommodate my toys and whatever scene I was creating. Sometimes I would reenact what I was hearing from the porch even as the porch dwellers were watching and being entertained by me.

There were Lilly of The Valley growing round the shady side of the house. "Poisonous! Don't eat those!" Grandpa said. You know, I'd never thought of eating those flowers before.

Nadine & Mr. Clements would stop in. Granny's friend Amy would find an excuse to pass, and stop. Cousin George would report in on his mom and ask us to stop in to help her with her jigsaw puzzle. If Granny wandered off to walk Amy back to her house further along Main St, Grandpa might shout, "Naomi P. Wright!" when he was ready for his dinner. Imagine her scurrying back, not to cook his dinner, but to shut him up.

This was life, summertime in my childhood. I had no idea then how good I had it, how rich the tableau was and how it would all shape my idea of right and wrong, friendship and respect, community and courage.

I detour through Hagerstown nearly every time I'm back in Indiana. It's not much a diversion off the big highway just to the south, but you have to choose to go through there. It's not far from New Castle, from Richmond, from Millville. Grandpa's family was from Millville. It's where the Wright brothers developed some of their flying schemes.

We're related, ya know.

1 comment:

Woven and Spun said...

Lilly of The Valley are my favourite flower. And I can taste that lemonade right now!