Camp Grandmother’s

Life has been an adventure and I just realized that sounds like it is coming to an end. That isn’t what I mean, but after seventy-seven years on this orb, I have much to look back on. Education was fun and my career was satisfying, but pure joy only comes from sharing life with those you love. I am blessed by two wonderful daughters who brought sons into my life; even though they are called sons-in-law they are much more. Thirty years ago my first granddaughter was born followed seven years later by the second. It is hard to believe that it was so long ago because my memories of them as children seem so fresh.

From the beginning of their lives, they spent a lot of time with their Grandfather, who they called Pop, and me, Grandmother. As they grew our games became more complex but none were more fun than pretend. The oldest, Katie, was an actress and she loved getting into character and acting out elaborate roles. Her younger sister, Elizabeth, was fine with pretend too, but also loved being outdoors following her Pop around as he worked.

As they got older we went on short vacations each year before school started. One year we went to Kings Island in Cincinnati and another we spent a few days taking in the sights of Chicago. We shopped for back-to-school clothes and before we knew it grade school became high school and then college. Their days of staying at Camp Grandmother and Pop’s may be over, but the fun memories remain forever.

Only for a Day

 

only for a day

sometimes i want to go back…
to days gone by…
to times held precious…
now existing only in photographs
and in my mind

i long for those years, those days,
those still frames of life
that are such a part of me…

but that i’ll never know again…

if only for a day
i’d like to run down the sidewalk…
home from summer camp
and find momma, standing in the sunlight
in the front window,
wearing the skirt i always loved…

i’d like to follow daddy
barefooted through the garden
once more
as he digs up potatoes…
leaving the tiny ones for me
to pick up, wipe on my shorts
and pop in my mouth…
raw and earthy
like the soil they grew in

i’d like to sit on the floor
with my little brother…
play cowboys and Indians
and herd plastic farm animals
into plank fenced corrals

i’d make chewing gum chains
and white clover necklaces with my sister…
order exotic stamps for our collection…
and cut clothes out of the Sears catalog for our homemade paper dolls…

if only for a day
i’d go back to a faraway Christmas…
of cedar trees and multi-color lights…
of homemade ornaments and
tinsel icicles…
the excitement of presents
under the tree…
and Christmas albums on the record player at night

i’d relive a summer day
of homemade ice cream
from the hand-cranked freezer
and all the labor
that went into making it…
momma cutting bananas
and mixing the ingredients…
us kids weighing the mixer down…
daddy cranking the handle…
adding ice and rock salt
until the freezer grew so cold and hard that he couldn’t crank it anymore…
then the sweet, creamy coolness
on our tongues

i’d like another ride on my tricycle…
another day of fishing off the bridge over Floyd’s Fork…
another ride
on my white horse Cricket…
another season in the tobacco patch…

but these days will never be back…
they survive only in my memories…
shadows of things that happened…

“only for a day”
Sylvia L. Mattingly
September 26, 2019

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Photo by Pixabay