Saturday, March 21, 2009

an old essay

So I had to dip into my old college portfolio and dig up an essay for something I'm working on for this summer. Here is a "Place Essay" I wrote for my Creative nonfiction writing course. I teared up a little as i read through it. It's full of lots of great memories from my life. Thought I would share for fun:) Enjoy.

Sunday Lunch at Mama June’s
All is calm as I pull into the short driveway leading to her house. The wind blows through the trees, the old feeble dog saunters out to greet me. To the untrained eye, the small home on the hill of Hwy. 27 seems to be a quaint cottage filled with warmth and peace. Unbeknownst to many, there is a volcano of activity contained within the old walls of this small home. An eruption of laughter and screams greet me as I open the screen door. I make my way through the living room to the kitchen where an old needlepoint hangs in a frame. It says, Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. I turn and see her standing over an old cast-iron skillet. She is my grandmother, Mama June. It was at her house every Sunday at noon that I ate and laughed with my family. It was every Sunday at noon that the pieces of my life were shaped and brought together.
For as long as I can remember, my entire family has gathered to eat at Mama June’s for an “old-fashioned,” Sunday lunch. Every week the distinct smell of okra, green beans, cornbread and squash casserole filled the tiny house. My cousins all chased each other around the table, while the others screamed for them to stop. After we all have greeted one another she would yell with her thick, Southern drawl, “It’s time to eat. Y’all get on in here.”
We would sit down to the long, brown table, which only seated twelve people, but it almost always expanded to seat fifteen or twenty. As we stuffed our faces with the most delectable, down-home, country cooking, everyone began to talk. So many conversations started all at once that the once recognizable mix of multiple conversations soon became a mumbling drone of baritone and bass notes thrown together so wildly that you would ask yourself, “What was he saying?” or better yet, “Who was saying that?”
To wrap it all up, my grandfather always told one of his timeless narratives. Not a sound could be heard throughout the house as we listened to him tell one of his stories taken from his childhood or during his time where he fought in Korea. It was so picturesque. My grandfather sat with a piece of cake in one hand, a cup of ice cold sweet tea in the other, and my four year old cousin on his lap.
A few moments later, I would sneak Mama June away for just a few moments to fill her in on the latest details of my life and in return I received a piece of pound cake, which was homemade with an entire pound of butter. Finally, I always made my way back through the kitchen, hugged all good-bye, and would take a plate of leftovers for the next day. Outside the old feeble dog waited to greet me once again, but this time to see me off.

1 comment:

Missi said...

BEAUTIFUL Lane! Heartwarming! I felt like I was there just from reading your words! and all I can say is there is NOTHING like the table at grandmother's house. Oh my goodness how much I miss my grandparents and Ron's grandparents as well. Just to walk in to a meal prepared with such love - it's something I miss just about every day. I aspire to live like my Grandmother's and HOPE my kids will join with their kids at my table one day!! All in the right timing, in the right order, of course! but I look into the future with excitement! Now I'm just praying the daughter-in-law-to-be-one-day will like me!! I do not have a close relationship with my mother in law whatsoever. That is an entirely separate issue! but I can sum a small part of the "issue" up very quickly -- it's just a really difficult situation when you have an extreme extrovert with an extreme introvert!! the nice way to say it - is we just don't gel!! ;-) but we have peace. . anyway, beautiful words my dear!