Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Imprints from Yesterday

"I think it was the tree at the end of the circle?"

"I think Aunt Alma stayed with us."

"She didn't cook, did she?"

What do we remember most? What imprints on a child's mind?

We were just kids. Since my sisters were both at home, we assume I was about five or six. My parents were in Michigan. The debate between sisters established that my Uncle Sam had his first heart attack, the reason our parents had left their daughters. Probably the only time they had left us.

"I think that was when we got Whitey," my sister wrote.

"Yes, I said it was. We got Whitey when Mom and Dad went to Michigan," I replied. In my head I was yelling, "Read all of the email!"

When my uncle had his first heart attack, we got our puppy. I remember sitting on the porch swing with my great aunt holding a tiny pup.

"I remember Aunt Alma running across the yard," I wrote.

"She didn't run. I don't think Aunt Alma could run," June answered

"Who drove to the doctor?" Peggy asked. "I must have. I don't think Aunt Alma drove a car. I think I was too young."

"No, she had a bad foot. Back then you needed two feet to drive," June added.

The conversation is still continuing today. The entire conversation came up when someone from our past wrote to me about my column in the local paper. A face, a memory surfaced and sent the Loxley girls into action. Francis was a Bright back then.

"I don't know if you were ever to our house," Francis wrote.

Long before that fated day, Dad had taken his daughters to the Bright's house to pick a puppy from the litter. Such sweet tiny babies. I chose the white one.

One sentence and we were on our way to a memory.

"Why were you looking up," Peggy asked.

"Because you called my name," I answered a bit sarcastically, if that's possible via email.

Peggy was sitting on a limb filling the heavy bucket with apples. The a rope was attached to the bucket. Peg lowered the bucket to June where she would empty then sent it back up for a refill.

"Pam," she shouted.

I looked up and the bucket hit me squarely on the forehead. Little Pam needed stitches.

The memories of children. Those things that stand out drawing sisters together. Taking us back to others in our lives and places we no longer live. A time spent with a great aunt. A day still shared in our later years. The memories of children.

"I thought I was in the tree," June said. "I can't imagine Peggy climbing a tree."

Our dog Whitey was killed the day my Uncle Sam was buried after his last heart attack.

A moment in time.

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