Friday, July 2, 2010

Money in Our Pockets

     I grew up in a military family in the 1960's and sometimes we were lucky enough to live near our grandparents in Tennessee. We were always excited about those weekend visits.

    We were spoiled on those delightful weekends, but not in the material sense of the word. We were spoiled by the delicious freedom we enjoyed when we came to visit. There were no shopping malls or video games and cell phones to keep us entertained, just our sense of imagination and adventure. We explored new neighborhoods, and waded in the 'old swimming hole' which was nothing more than a creek. We'd collect RC bottle caps from the grocery store and turn them in for free Saturday matinee movie passes. Afterwards, we'd walk around the Dollar General Store, looking as if we had money in our pockets.

As dusk fell the mosquitos came out in full force scouting for their supper. Grandpa would be leaning back on his chair on the front porch, nodding at passing acquaintances with a friendly, "How are y'all doing this evening?"

     We played in the street until after dark, catching fireflies in jam jars, until Mama called us inside to wash up for bedtime. Bed was a spare mattress on the floor, or the roll-away bed. Listening to the hum of the grown-up voices in the front room, we would talk and giggle and tell scary stories until a voice calling shushed us, "Y'all better be quiet now and go to sleep."

     Sunday morning came too soon. Grandma and Grandpa were early risers no matter what day of the week it was. The sounds of hillbilly music made us stir, or old-time Gospel, if Grandma had her way. She was already in the kitchen, coffee percolating on the stove, and rolling out biscuits. Grandpa would be puttering outside while the dew still clung to the grass. After breakfast, I rode the church bus with my Aunt and came home to a Sunday dinner of Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, with homemade Banana Pudding, with real Meringue topping.

     With our bellies full and the clock ticking, we'd pile into the car and head on home. Until the next weekend.


3 comments:

Relyn said...

I was just dropping in to wish you and yours the happiest Independence Day. May your day be full! May you enjoy laughter shared with family, great food shared with friends, fireworks to make you gasp, a lump in your throat at the anthem, and a full and grateful heart at all we have been given. Happy Fourth of July, my friend!

Rita said...

Happy 4th Anita! I too grew up in a military family. Isn't it fun to think back to those memories. You can almost taste the good food that we had and oh precious to relive those moments of fun. Are we not blessed to have the freedom we have here in America? The best country in the world!!!

Janet, said...

Loved reading about your fun weekends with your grandparents. Those were the days.