It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’ve been selfish – writing but not sharing. My apologies as I know thousands have been camped for months in front of their browser waiting, if not tens of thousands. But I’ve been in a phase of compiling as well as working on some fiction. I’ve also been packing, moving, unpacking and getting settled. It’s a long story but suffice it to say, quite a bit of life change has taken place since my last entry, Restoration. There had already been much more to tell between what took place in that post and the time of its actual publishing. So more has simply been added up the present.
I’m currently mapping out future chapters and will soon be publishing a revamped short story. As I write this from our recently re-relocated residence in Kansas City, we’ve had some rather beautiful weather in the mornings. It’s still August but some of the early morning temperatures stir up autumn thoughts. This reminded of a little gem I initially wrote for family and sent in an email a few years back in fall season. So in the meantime while I get my ducks in a row, I thought I’d share it…if for nothing else but to get the writing and posting juices flowing again. Hopefully you’ll enjoy – Creak!
Fall is starting to reveal itself here in Kansas City. The leaves aren’t quite changing yet, but my favorite season is certainly tapping on our shoulder in the form of cooler temperatures. Living in Florida from ’74 to ’09 I experienced the joy of fall for about ten to twenty hours a year and winter maybe about five…minutes.
80 degrees is commonplace for winters in the Sunshine State, but a cold front could roll in overnight brining a waking temperature to a pleasant 55 degrees. Brisk temperatures invigorate me and easily incite a satiating internal dialogue of ‘Ahhhhh, fall is finally here…..aaaannnd, ok it’s gone!’ But since moving to Kansas City we get to experience autumn in its full glory. It’s is an actual season that I can bask in at length and is especially pleasant to wake to.
Growing up in Florida, we made trips to Ohio nearly every summer. My grandparents, my cousins, and a plethora of other relatives on my mother’s side lived in the town of Beavercreek and other surrounding areas of Dayton. As the school year would draw to a close every June my anticipation grew for our trek to the Buckeye State. Granted it was a summer vacation and not the fall season there was always the possibility of being treated to a random cool temperature in the morning which could give the illusion of autumn air.
The landscape and general atmosphere here in KC is very similar to that of Ohio. So when the cool air carries in the scent of autumn through the open windows this time of year it immediately conjures up fond memories of my Ohio summers.
Whether by plane or by car I always enjoyed the trip itself. But the scales greatly tipped toward a road trip. Either way I knew what was on the other end of the commute. While the travel was a joy it was only a small piece of the pie. Seeing my cousins was the biggest thrill, hands downs. And of course visiting Grandma and Grandpa was quite the delight; it was with them that we always stayed. Grandma and Grandpa’s home exemplified a heavenly peace and Grandma’s love was easily felt as you walked in the door.
Their home was perched on the south side at the top of the hilly entrance of Sunny Side Drive. Waking there in the mornings filled a pantry of cans and mason jars chock-full of memories. My uncle Carsyle was typically in charge of the windows which he kept open throughout the house. While it might have been a little hot in the middle of the day, I eagerly anticipated one of those chilly mornings to arrive. Rarely would I get out of bed immediately after my eye’s first opening. I’d stay curled up under the blankets which typically included a quilt that Grandma had made.
The room I usually slept in was on the east side of the house where several species of trees stood outside the windows. As the sun crept up its shards of light would peer through the spaces between the branches while simultaneously casting very defined shadows of the arbor landscape onto the wall. Any light breeze would carry a bouquet of the trees, flowers and other plant life into the room and bring the shadows to life.
The first interruption from the birdsong was the creaking sound of Grandma’s first steps into the kitchen; compared to any other room in the house its floor had the loudest squeals when walked upon as it sat above the basement. The first few creaks were immediately followed by the subtle clanking of pots and pans in preparation for breakfast. The scent of the trees would soon dissipate, giving way to the smell of bacon and Grandma’s biscuits and gravy. Their aroma greatly overpowered the ability of any noise in waking up the rest of those asleep. Everyone was up within minutes of their nose’s tantalizing as the migration towards the kitchen table began in preparation for the morning family feast.
Grandma is no longer with us. She’s been making her heavenly biscuits and gravy since October of 2008. Her passing was in the thick of autumn, and it wasn’t until her celebration of life that I learned fall to be her favorite season.
Knowing Grandma and I share that sentiment, I’m reminded of her during these present cool fall mornings. The windows are open and I can imagine with ease lying under one of her quilts in that east side bedroom. I can smell the biscuits and gravy…and I can hear the creak of her footsteps on the kitchen floor.
Peace, and forgive me!