I remember Village Burger in Duncanville, TX on Oriole Street. Homemade burgers cooked over a charcoal fire. We didn’t get food from there much, but the smoke billowed from the small white building daily. It was beside a BBQ place where we would get pounds of brisket when company was coming. It was a splurge, but one had to put up a good front for company. Funny, I don’t remember the actual name of that place, but do remember the Village Burger. Maybe their sign wasn’t impressive. Or, I’ve driven through Glen Rose ten thousand times and Hammonds BBQ is emblazoned on my mind. Back to the BBQ, that trip into Duncanville for brisket was likely before the Baker twins started keeping their FFA project steers in our back two acres. For the rest of his days, my father compared every cut of meat he had to the quality of Abner. Ah, Abner, you were one great sirloin steak.
I remember how my ribs hurt after the horse accident. I had an itch to have a paint horse, and our neighbor sold me one. It wasn’t Chief’s fault. I like to blame it on the neighbor, but it was my weakness not telling him “We are NOT going to jump over that puddle.” He jumped all right. I flew onto his neck and tumbled down to the ground. Knocked the breath out of me and probably cracked a rib. It still hurts occasionally. Now Glenn has cracked a rib by falling against something and I send him to a chiropractor for the first time ever because I know and trust the Doc’s wife. Could be it follows if the spouse is okay, you’ll like the other spouse. But that’s not always the case. Luckily this one worked out. Ribs are very vulnerable bones.
I remember walking from the dinner table to the fridge all through my childhood, to get something. I would lean on the little wall, open the fridge door, and completely forget why I was there. Usually it was for the ketchup, so I’d get that. Back at the table, the original need would appear in my mind. Most times, having the ketchup bottle in my hand worked, but often another trip to the fridge was needed for mustard or Worchester Sauce or margerine. Now my belief is that the idea falls out of your head and stays back where you were. If you backtrack, take in the sensory cues, the idea will pop back into that blank place in your head.
I remember my Aunt Della. She had no children and widowed, and I was the only niece she didn’t see often or wasn’t already grown. She taught me to play marbles on her wool, Persian type rug. It was red and beige with black accents in a swirly pattern. We would set up the marbles in one circle and shoot them at marbles in another circle. We sat on our knees until they aches and my knuckle was raw and slightly bleeding. She made lemonade. Her house smelled different than other houses. The lack of children or animals or something. But she had a grace I admired, even wearing the horn-rimmed glasses which were the fashion of the day. Aunt Della was thin, and she moved like one who used to love to dance or maybe she still did there on her ornate woolen rug.
I remember the color red. It was my mom’s favorite. In fact, Carol and I made a special trip to Arlington after her death to buy a pretty red dress in which to bury her. We knew she’d like that, but would have said it was unnecessary. She always wanted to make things one could buy more easily. But she was gone and her body was done. Then the makeup person at the funeral home put too much blush or the lighting had too much pink and she glowed almost like neon red, contrasting against the white satin lining in the coffin. Personally, I find the custom of the “viewing” somewhat macabre. People stand around, talking and laughing while the deceased lies there unaware. It is for the survivors, the family to receive the sympathy they need to heal, but it really isn’t necessary to have an open casket with one’s deceased mother in the background. But at least she glowed.