Okay, this is my second post in a 30- day run. I scrambled to my files and came out with this, written some years ago, but just stored there in my files begging to be shared. What better chance to share it than here on my blog as I attempt to blog a post a day for November, 2013? So here it is, slightly edited and imperfect. : )My pleasure to share with you.
I REMEMBER MAMA
The whippoorwill was calling this morning, long after daylight. It was an unusual sound– the whippoorwill’s call in the daytime. At night we hear them call again and again. Their call is a peaceful sound and reminds me of my childhood summers, when I used to sit on the front porch with my family, and listen to the whippoorwills as we waited for bedtime. Nobody talked much . . . I remember just sitting there with Mama, Daddy, my sister, Yvonne, and my brother, Bill. There at our homeplace on Banner Mountain. I remember wandering in the grass of the front yard, trying to stay cool, no lights on in the house . . . Then we would wash off our feet in a washpan of cold water, and throw the water into the yard, go into the house and go to bed.
There was a peach tree not far from the edge of the back porch. It not only supplied fruit, it also provided Mama with the necessary equipment to keep us kids in line. I loved the rich experience of being the one to take a switch to Mama when she needed to punish my brother or sister. (Our four older brothers and sisters had already left home)
I remember Mama sitting in the shade of an oak tree in the summer when the garden vegetables were ripe. She would sit there in the yard and shell beans. I remember seeing her cry, sitting there, as she read a letter from my brother, who was overseas, during the war. I didn’t like to see Mama cry. That is the first time I remember seeing her cry and it worried me very much. The only other time I saw her cry was after I married. I was packing my things to leave for another state. I had received a lovely wedding shower of gifts. When we had finished taking the last load to the car, Mama and I were walking back to the house. “It seems like I can hardly stand to see you go,” she said. Her voice was choked and tears moistened her eyes. The ache was so deep inside her that I could not understand it at that time. Only now that my own children are growing up, do I know the magnitude of my mother’s feelings at that moment when her sixth of seven children prepared to leave home.
© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols