Thursday, December 9, 2010
Sunday Dresses with Polka Dots
These polka dotted beads make me think of the Sunday dresses of our neighbor Ruby. During the week she wore any old thing working around the house and in the garden, but on Sundays, the fancy dresses and red lipstick came out. Nobody was a bigger part of our life on Trammel Creek than Ruby. She was the only neighbor within shouting distance and had lived there her whole life. She was in her seventies when she taught my boys to ride their tricycles by following them across our yard on her knees. She raised lush gardens every year and always shared the bounty of her tomatoes and okra when mine didn't measure up. It was pretty snakey close to the creek. When Ruby killed a snake with her hoe, she'd bring it down to show my delighted offspring. They'd hang it on a fence post because she told them that was how you make it rain(and it always seemed to rain soon after). She had a spacious house, but lived only in the back portion. The front had a parlour with a functioning player piano and maroon velvet furniture. It was used only at Christmas when her family came to visit.In her small living quarters, she had a recliner,a television, dozens of African violets and her party line telephone.(Party lines meant that you could pick up the receiver and hear your neighbor's conversations since everyone was on the same line. This was very entertaining and somewhat frustrating when you needed to make a call.) All her meals were eaten in front of that t.v.,preferably when Wheel of Fortune was playing. When we came to visit, we'd hear her shouting out the answers as soon as we stepped onto her property. There never was a day that Ruby didn't visit us at least three times. The visits were short and surprising as we never knew when she'd sneak up to the window and bellow, "Heeeeey boys." I've never seen anyone who enjoyed life more than Ruby. Trammel Creek was her whole world and for more than 80 years it was enough.