Is it my imagination or is there a hint of fall in the air? I haven't traveled much but I'd be willing to bet there aren't many places in the world that can compare with Tennessee when it comes to fall colors. Not even Alabama. (Did I really say that?) It's hard to tell when fall has arrived at home unless you look at a calendar. Spring, summer and fall just seem to flow together and all at once it's December. January and February are pretty chilly but after that its up hill all the way.
I think I miss the fields of yellow and white daisies and browneyed susans most of all. Daddy and Grandpa always left a strip of them down by the creek every spring when they put in crops. They said it was for me, Mother and Grannie, but I always had a feeling it was just as much for themselves as for us. We had a big garden near the house and Mom always planted marigolds and zinnas around it to keep out the bugs, I don't know if it worked or not but it sure was pretty.
No one had grass in their yards back then, at least no one I knew. There was just sand or packed dirt and it was kept clean by sweeping or brushing it with a brush broom. This was just what the name implied a broom made of green brush with the leaves left on, wrapped and tied very tightly with cord or sometimes wire. After raking all the leaves and trash off the yard you would sweep or brush it with the leafy end of the broom. At our house this was done every week unless it rained of course. On Friday the backyard was done and we played in the front of the house. Then Saturday morning the front yard was done and we had to play in the back yard so the front would stay pretty. If this sounds strict it really wasn't considering we had nearly an acre of yard to play in and a field of fruit trees and pecan trees to play under.
Maybe it was a good thing we didn't have grass in the yard. There were so many bushes, trees, and flowers it would have been hard to keep mowed. Grannie had six big hydrangea bushes across the front of the house. Three on either side of the steps -- white, blue and pink. They must have been way over six feet tall because they were taller than Daddy. The blooms were easily six to eight inches across and people were always stopping to admire them which pleased Grannie and Mother. I don't think anyone ever stopped without taking at least one bloom with them when they left. And if the figs, apples, peaches or plums were in season Grannie would fill up a sack or a poke as she called it and they had to take that too. She kept flour sacks of pecans in the hall closet and if she happened to think of it she would make you wait while she got one for you. It didn't matter if you had a garden full of vegetables or not, if you happened to come by when hers was coming in you got vegetables like it or not.
Mother was handy with tools, she could do just about anything she st her mind to. She and Grannie strung wire and string from the roof to the porch for the morning glories and wisteria to run on. It made a wonderful shady place to play or read or just daydream on a summer afternoon. She also made a rose trellis and a little bench under it for me to sit on. Some brick and a wide board made the perfect table for my tea set. This was my special place, my own perfect world. If I got lonely there was always my friend, Anna -- but Anna is another story, much too important to just mention in passing -- maybe next time.
Someone once said, you can't go home again, in reality I suppose that's true, but as long as the memories are there that's the next best thing. Don't you agree?