This is a photo of my great grandmother Robison holding me (yep, I'm the baby). My Dad on the left and my grandmother on the right.A lot has changed since that day 65 summers ago. Now I wish I had asked more questions through the years - asked my parents what they dreamed or wanted back then? I wish I'd asked my grandparents about their story and how they met, what their world was like before I came into the picture.
My parents were barely out of high school, from tiny towns in Arkansas and moved to Gary so my Dad could get a job in the mills there. Opportunities just were not readily available where they were from so they took a deep breath and left knowing they would see their families maybe once a year after that - it must have been hard.
|Nana & Pop (mom's side)|
Life was grand - hot summers and DQ - rides in the car with the windows open and radio on - riding bikes - making tents on the clothesline in the backyard, neighborhood kids everywhere chasing up and down our dead end street. Iced tea in glasses with terrycloth sweaters on them to catch the sweat, lightning bugs to chase, scraped knees with bandaids, fizzies to drink, bologna or pb & j sandwiches, church every Sunday, Miller Beach on a blanket on weekends and an annual trip each year by car to Arkansas.
Trips to Arkansas - The Farm ahhhh so many cousins that I adored, aunts and uncles that were so special, the swing and rockers on Granny's front porch, molasses on hot biscuits, peanut brittle cooling on the counter, swimming at the creek, riding on a horse or tractor, singing while Carolyn played piano, walks to Burley's old store to get a bottle of ice cold pop from the cooler, homemade ice cream, red dirt roads, at the gas station Dad would say "fill 'er up ethyl" to the attendant. Going to church, Sunday school. Nana's in the City ahhhh swimming at the town pool, going to the town square shopping, aunt Tommie's bedroom with all that fingernail polish and jewelry ;-) naps on pallets on the floor with the oscillating fan cooling us down (still love that sound), visiting Mr. Crawley and the neighbor down the hill with the big tree that held the swing, more cousins I adored and only Nana could make the best iced tea, burger, chocolate pie, and chocolate chip cookies a girl could ask for and rides to the drive-in complete with carhop. But the leaving left scars I cannot express - my Mom would get so sad and cry upon leaving - saying Goodbye became something I hated and still find it excruciating.
As the years roll by it is marked by events mostly so make lots of memories, love a lot, take care of you or you'll be sorry later and don't spend your money collecting "stuff" you'll want to get rid of later LOL...we have way more than we need.
You know.....65 summers sound like a lot when you are 20 - but let me tell you the truth - they go by in a nanosecond. And there are no do-overs - every T you get to in the road, every decision you make - take you to a new set of decisions and another T in the road - CHOOSE carefully - life is a grand adventure of ups and downs, pain and pleasure, life and death.
My parents are gone now, I miss them every day but I am blessed to have a handful of amazing friends. Time is one of the things you can't buy more of - and none of us knows how much of it we really have so spend it wisely.
Put down your ipad - put down your phone - and live a little !