throughout the past few days, i’ve thought of so many childhood memories that i could, should and will share. then there’s tyler’s birthday party, which has its own stories. so…because i couldn’t make my mind up i’m gonna share one childhood memory and the funniest of all the birthday party stories. it will literally make you laugh out loud (or it should).
when i was eight, my sister and i, as well as my cousin, spent the summers at my mema and grandaddy’s house. i loved their house. they had a huge backyard, good for riding bikes, pretending to have a massive log cabin, and playing hide-and-seek. the next door neighbor did as well. and one afternoon, while we were frolicking, pretending to make much of nothing, we noticed a rose in the very back of the neighbor’s property. the three of us couldn’t stop thinking about it, and after a couple of hours deliberating, we decided my cousin would climb the fence and pick it. it was the prettiest rose i’d ever seen, big bloom, deep red color. we immediately ran and showed my grandmother. (you’d think we would have kept it a secret…but when you’re 8 that kind of stuff doesn’t really occur to you all the time.) she smiled and agreed that the flower was just as pretty, and then her countenance changed. she knew that rose didn’t come from her garden of beautiful flowers, her roses weren’t red. she also knew right where it came from, ms. barbara williams’ woods. barbara was the old lady who lived next door with her daughter. when i was eight, she was the wrinkly, meanest, hunchbacked old lady that you always avoided for fear she’d hurt you. if my sister, cousin or i ever got too close to her magnolia tree in her front yard (which, by the way, was technically on both her and my grandparents property) she would call and tattle on us to my grandmother. we pretty much despised her as children.
so…when my grandmother told us that we would have to go and apologize to ms. barbara for climbing her fence and picking the rose from her yard. we were mortified. i’m positive that d and i didn’t sleep that night. we didn’t even like seeing ms. barbara, let alone, talk to her. so, the next morning, my grandmother pushed us out the door, watched us walk up her driveway and onto her doorstep. (during the walk, we’d convinced my cousin to do all the talking. mainly because, my sister was 6 and i was too nervous to form sentences. in return for not talking, i compromised that i would ring the doorbell.) i rang the doorbell, and waited for ms. barbara to come to the door. after what seemed like an eternity, there she was, hunchbacked and all. my cousin explained how we had plucked the beautiful flower from her woods the day before, that we were eternally sorry, and that we would never, ever, do it again. then, we waited, for the lash, the hitting, but it never came. instead, ms. barbara said, “oh, honey, you didn’t need to come all the way over here just to tell me that. i would never have known. but thank you for telling me and yes, please don’t be climbing my fence.”
didn’t need to come tell you? are you kidding?? we took ten steps off ms. barbara’s doorstep before we sprinted back to my grandmother’s kitchen. once there, we explained that she didn’t even care, and that it was pointless to have gone over there. then, my grandmother explained…the roses were planted in the back of ms. barbara’s woods to remember her first dog, who had died many years ago. she had planted it way back in the woods so her current dog couldn’t get to it.
it wasn’t until after we left the kitchen and wondered back into the woods to play that we realized ms. barbara had been nice to us and let us off so easy. then, being 8, we blamed it on the fact that she didn’t even remember the dog or plant. and then went on playing house.
being 8 is fun, even when you have to apologize.