As a kid, the cheery sound of Mom’s voice brought me awake. “Rise and shine,” she would call up the stairway. Six children would pull the covers more closely around their chins and resist the summons. “Time to get up, Slug-a-bed” she would urge in a bright tone of voice.
I’d probably stayed up late reading. I would huddle on the top stair step to use the light of the dim overhead bulb to read past my bedtime. Now as an adult, I still find it hard to get to bed on time. That made it hard to get up. This morning I needed a cheery voice to pull me out of bed.
I fixed myself a cup of hot cranberry juice and added some green tea to it. This definitely wasn’t in keeping with my childhood memories. Mom didn’t drink tea or coffee, so none of her children did either. Dad was the sole coffee drinker in the family. He had an aluminum coffee pot to perk the coffee in.
I think a few of my sisters drink hot or cold tea as adults and Karen learned to drink coffee while living in India. I’m still struggling to acquire a taste for tea, so I disguise it with added lemon or cranberry juice. I’m determined to get the health benefits that green tea gives, plus I really need to let go of my mug of hot chocolate. Too many calories.
The photo shows Mom and Dad smiling on the occasion of their 40th anniversary party. Surrounded by their six children, they were happy to visit with their many friends and extended family in a party in the yard.
To the right, you see the front porch of their home where they lived the last 25 years of their lives. It was on that porch, that we visited on hot, Kansas days. Why waste time in the air-conditioning when you had shade and a porch swing. We would gently rock forward and back creating a breeze while we chatted about how the garden was doing or what news there was of siblings.
Time passes and the big tree had to be cut down. Trellis with vigorous vines on each side of the front steps replaced the shade of the tree and gave privacy on that porch. Visiting great-grandchildren played with Barbie dolls and a large wooden dollhouse out there.
A wheelchair ramp accommodated visits from their son and gave the folks easier access while using their canes. The floor of the porch started rotting away so it was rebuilt. The chain was close to breaking on the porch swing, but the carpenter spotted the defect and replaced it before it broke and dumped anyone on the floor. Mom’s sister took a head-over-heels tumble off the side of the porch into the rambling rose-bush. Amazingly she didn’t break any bones. Another family story to add to the memory bank.
Now the house sold. A new family will enjoy that porch. We grieve that we can no longer climb those steps and sit on the porch swing with Mom or Dad to chat and catch a summer breeze. A sad time…
Gail and Clyde Martin Family