Monday, June 6, 2011

"Y'all come back anytime!"

"Come back anytime!"

That has to be the biggest lie in the south.

When I was a child, on hot days like this we would sometimes go swim at our aunt's house. We'd pack ragtag towels and pile into the station wagon and talk Mom's ear off as we rode to the fancy brick house with the wrought iron gates around the pool. Over to the side sat a little plain house with grey shingle siding. That was papaw's house. Papaw Jack was Aunt Bett's brother...and our link to the pool.

I only remember that we were welcomed by my aunt and then scurried through to the pool. We would splash and play and every once in a while I would look over at mom, toasting in the sun, watching us. She was never in the air-conditioned house. I can't ever remember seeing a cold glass of tea sweating rings on the cement table beside her.

On days that Bett's grandson would appear, things would get weird. We couldn't play with that float, it was Sir Hadley's float. We couldn't go down the slide because his highness was going down the slide...though he never did. He just stood there, blocking the way. Always looking at us like we  were polluting his pool.

I remember that soon after he arrived, whether we'd been there an hour or 10 minutes, suddenly Mom remembered something she absolutely had to do and we were being packed up, back into the battered station wagon. I remember aunt Bett drove a burgundy Cadillac, although how I know this, I don't know, since we never parked in the garage, only on the dirt drive leading to the side yard.

And though I never actually heard it, I distinctly remember the wrought iron gate closing behind us with a "y'all come back anytime!" ...

and a hushed sigh of relief as we drove off.

Sharon Raines has two books available: 'Through Mom's Eyes'at and 'I'm still the cuckoo of this clock' You can also check me out on Twitter. Franks1wife

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