On Sunday afternoons, when I was a child,
aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbors
came from every corner of the universe
to be at our house!
It was a small house, nothing special,
and though many attendees had much larger and more appealing places to be,
they none the less, descended upon our house
like ants at a picnic.
It was wonderful!
My grandmother always had left over Sunday dinner snacks, usually fried chicken,
chocolate or coconut pies, a possible banana pudding, apple fried pies,
or sometimes her three and four layer cakes.
Often times there were tea cakes and cookies for the kids.
Her iced-tea pitcher was always full especially
during those hot, dusty Southern summers
and there was always the aroma
of that sweet smelling coffee, my motherís favorite.
Jars of the latest canning spree lined kitchen shelves;
tomatoes, pickles, preserves and jellies
which she was always giving away. . .
Her warm, radiant smile would always light up the room,
her eyes twinkling with mischief
(no wonder my grandfather fell for her like a ton of bricks).
the crowd would mingle,
inside the small house and out in the yard; kids sitting on the floor
mesmerized by all the wonderous stories told to anyone within earshot,
sometimes over and over.
Many stories that are now sadly lost unless put to paper from old memories.
Usually the boys would sneak off first and then the mischievous little sister,
to the wonders of treehouses, secret clubs and chemistry sets.
Many trouble-laced concoctions were born from those
Christmas present chemistry sets and Sunday afternoon experiments.
Oddly, I never figured out until I was older
what was so magical about our house.
But I have come to realize over the years
how much love could be packed into one small house on a summer afternoon,
and what a blue-ribbon blessing I had received in my life.
I have been many places,
but none like the small house, with the happy hearts, and smiling faces
on Lumpkin Street.
How I long to return there on some quiet and distant Sunday . . .
What a rejoicing there will be.
© Joyce Burns, 2010