Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Spencer, West Virginia
Lunch was a wonderful assortment supplied mostly by mothers and wives set upon the homemade, waist-high tables. Deserts were more plentiful in those days before dietary guilt. No matter what your family brought for the main meal, you were certain to also bring a desert.
My dad's cousin, Louis, often brought homemade ice cream though there is a family legend which says that once when Louis was short on time, he filled the old ice cream freezer with the "store-bought" variety. Whether true or not, this story is filed away in my memory with the many sensory pleasures of those times.
When the meal was over, the adults settled back into painted wooden lawn chairs and sank into a hibernation-like state as we children began running about the yard, ignoring our parent's desire for quiet. All the while, the garden hollyhocks watched and dared me to pass their gate.
While sculpting my own garden, that distant place is forever creeping in as it does in many of my sleeping dreams. Bits of that calm shady yard, along with the excitement and color that was found beyond the hollyhock gate, flow from my memory onto the landscape. A garden such a the one I remember will take years of time. I'll take the time. My stepping stones are in place, patiently waiting as the garden grows around them. I am making my own secret corners, filling them with peices of my memory and Aunt E's garden.
All photos by author off Beyond My Garden but the house in Spencer was taken by Orton Jones
The family picnic photo was probably taken by Elmer Dodson