We were standing on the bridge connecting the north and south sides of town last night waiting for the fireworks to begin when I looked up towards South Mountain and said out loud to no one in particular, “Aunt Evelyn isn’t home any more.”
Aunt Ev was actually my great aunt – my grandmother’s sister. There were ten children in their family and the house where my aunt Ev lived until she passed earlier this year was where they all grew up. Everyone in the family affectionately referred to Ev’s house as “Up Home” as in, “We are going up home for a 4th of July picnic.”
4th of July celebrations typically consisted of of Delmonico steaks (a rare treat) on the grill, Wing Dings from Maryland Fried Chicken, baked beans, and salad with Italian dressing. The adults would be playing poker in the kitchen, us kids out back writing out names in the air with sparklers and once they’d go out, we’d toss them into a bucket of water to hear them sizzle. Once it got really dark, we’d all move out to the front porch (“Hurry up, it’s about to start!) to watch the fireworks.
Since we were up on a small mountain (hill) we had a great view of the town fireworks being shot off from only a couple of miles away. The best view on the porch was to sit on the front part of the banister dividing my aunt’s house from the neighbor’s, though unfortunately, the front two spots were typically reserved for my two older cousins.
We’d ohh and ahh at each display and after the finale, my Gram would inevitably announce the total number of fireworks and talk about how they weren’t as good as last year’s. (Last year’s seemed always to be better regardless of the year.)
I can remember these events fairly vividly because I’ve taken the time not to just remember them, but to also write them down. It’s stories like this that lets me fill journal after journal.
Next time when you are faced with a blank page at the beginning of a new notebook, think back to when you were a child and just tell a story.