Friday, April 1, 2011

Quick! Look Outside!

When I was growing up on the farm, our closest neighbor was the maiden lady who lived on the farm a mile south. Elma had adopted us from the moment my young parents moved to Shady Oaks when I was 18 months old. She showed up regularly to sit at the kitchen table and drink coffee and talk while Mom went about her business.

By the time my older sister and I were old enough to walk the gravel road to Elma's house by ourselves we had three younger siblings so when Mom needed a break to care for the babies, she sent J and me to visit Elma. It was like having a play date with a friend--but that friend was old enough to drive and buy pop and candy! Woo! Elma  drove us all over the county, plying us with ice-cold Pepsi's in swirled bottles. She had an attic filled with antique toys, pet sheep (we "helped" her take them to the vet in the front seat of her car), an old barn where we looked for nests of eggs, and the wonderful misconception that these two little girls were perfect in every way.

Elma was the best playmate in the world, but in retrospect I realize she was not beautiful. She was a little wider than she was tall, had a mole on her chin that tended to sprout hairs, and avoided new-fangled inventions like underwear.

That's why, when Dad woke us up one spring morning by yelling, "Quick! Girls! Look outside! Here comes Elma in her bathing suit!" we set the land speed record for running down the stairs to look out the front door. And there was Dad with a grin on his face.

"April Fools!"

I woke up this morning knowing I would immediately text my sister: Quick! Look outside! Here comes Elma in her bathing suit!

And then I smiled.

No comments:

Post a Comment