Reminiscing Sunday Afternoons

 

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).

For hours,

 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