Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

Rainy Sunday Afternoon 8.5" x 11" Pencil

Wouldn't you just know that it would rain.

After church one Sunday, we rode out across the Brazos River into Milam county, where Kathryn's family lived. I looked forward to playing and trying to forget about the dreaded homework that always seemed to remain undone until just before bedtime Sunday night. But, I spent the weekend worrying about it, and dreading having to do whatever the assignment might be. I tried to put it out of mind and have a pleasant time, with friends or alone.
Kathryn had chores on the farm, but she also had a lot of things to do-a horse to ride, animals to care for and watch, land to roam around on, and a big gully that ran to the Brazos River, that was like exploring the Grand Canyon, to little kids. Electricity out in the country was fairly new, and there was still an outhouse, until a new bathroom was added off the kitchen. They had radio, but there were few good programs on Sunday afternoon,at least, nothing that kids would enjoy. We didn't have tv in the area yet.
We looked forward to an afternoon of walking, climbing, exploring, discovering while Kathryn's dad read the paper and her mother finished up in the kitchen after Sunday dinner.
But, then, it poured. Rain slid down the kitchen windows as two little girls sighed and sulked, and felt there was nothing to do. Mud puddles formed in the yard. It was one of those old fashioned days of rain that I remember. No lightning, no thunder, no threatening storms. Just a nice, steady rain that lasted all afternoon. We would have gone out to play in the rain, except for the mud.
On one rainy day, we did go outside to feed chickens or some chore, probably had a trip to the outhouse, too. Of course, I came in all muddy after falling, and had to change clothes. Since I didn't have extra clothes, I had to wear some of Kathryn's, while mine went into a paper bag to go home to the wash.
But, now, we were a little older and splashing in the mud was not so attractive. So, we whined and fumed.
After the dishes were done, Kathryn's mother, Anna, just smiled and said she would make us a treat. We watched as she pulled out a bowl, pan, platter, butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla extract, and all the makings for fudge. We anxiously watched as she stirred and added ingrediants. Kathryn buttered the platter while I stood beside the stove and watched Kathryn's mother, waiting for a sweet treat.
If I had been at home, our family would have finished up Sunday dinner, then my sister and I would read the funny papers and a catalogue. The kids might have gone to a Sunday afternoon movie at the Eloia, with a treat at Taliaferro's drugstore, or the whole family, sometimes in two or three cars, would have gone for a ride until supper time, and time for bed. (Somehow, that homework often did not get done until I got to school on Monday! Or not at all.)
But, today, we would get to munch on rich, sweet fudge, and I wondered if Kathryn's mother made fudge that tasted like my mother's fudge. I wasn't crazy about fudge. I would rather have a Hershey bar or chocolate ice cream. But, fudge would do. (You would never know that sugar was rationed! )
Finally, the mixture was ready to pour into the platter, and we got spoons to clean out what was left in the pan, as the fudge hardened. Well, we cleaned the pan, dishes were washed and put away, and the fudge was still runny in the platter. It was too far to drive into town and get more ingrediants, and the weather was too bad. We all kept testing the fudge and it seemed to get just a little soft, but still was very runny.
Kathryn's mother talked to us about what might be wrong that the fudge just wouldn't get ready, and our mouths were almost watering, waiting for the treat. She told us that you shouldn't make divinity in certain kinds of weather due to the problem of it never getting hard if the weather was too damp. But she had never had that problem with fudge.
We were beginning to feel like having a snack was a lost cause.
Kathryn's mother laughed with her rich, wonderful laugh, and reached into the cabinet, pulled out a box of crackers, and told Kathryn to get a couple of knives from the silver drawer. We stood at the counter, watching the rain through the window over the sink, spreading fudge on crackers, and munching away. I was not so sure that would work, but found it to be really delicious! We ate until the platter was clean, the rain stopped, and it was time to take me home.
I don't think that my mother was very happy when I told her that I wanted her to make fudge like Kathryn's mother, to be eaten with a spoon and crackers!
Later, in college, my friends and I would go to the movies and get popcorn and a chocolate candy bar to eat during the movie. That reminded me of rainy day fudge!
In my drawing, Kathryn is by the table with her blonde hair in braids that she wore coiled over her ears. Blue jeans, with rolled up cuffs were the style. Girls wore jeans for girls with zippers on the side. While I started with pigtails, and ribbons, my hair had a mind of its own. The ribbons were soon hanging and the braids were loose. We tried to dress alike and would call each other on the phone to see what each one in the class or group was wearing the next day. We weren't allowed to wear pants to school, other than our band uniforms or shorts for P.E. and sports.
My drawings seem to take on a life of their own as I work, with parts just seeming to appear-sometimes things I thought I didn't remember at all show up in my picture.
There is a technique called "mapping", in which you can start with a large piece of paper and a marker, pencil, pen, or whatever is comfortable, but fairly large. Start by thinking of a place, such as a house, then try to draw a floorplan of the house, or focus on a room. As you work, you will start to remember all kinds of details and stories that are hidden deep in your memory. It's amazing how things like vases, doorways, knick knacks, people, and stories will start to come out as you draw. You can go on to map out the whole house, grounds, etc, or stop and write or draw about the one thing that you want to focus on.

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