Sunday, October 21, 2007

Coloring at Edie's

Coloring at Edie's
Golf Shoes
8.5" x 11"
"Edie Lou's Mama! Edie Lou's Mama!" I stood outside the bedroom and bathroom windows and looked up toward the roof, from the side yard of the neighbor's house, waiting for a reply.
It would have been unthinkable to call the neighbor by her first name, and, as much as I was over at their house, and their daughter at my house, it would have sounded silly for me to be so formal and call her "Mrs."
I wanted my neighbor to come out and play, but what was I supposed to call her mother when I asked. My mother called her by her first name, but then they were grownups. Some of the other kids called our mothers by their first names, if it fit. Other grown ups always seemed older, or they were just the type of person that we wouldn't think of being that familiar with as we talked to them. Some ladies were downright scarey and we wouldn't talk to them at all. But, here I was, a little kid, caught with this quandry. My hands were even sweaty and my throat was tight. I wanted someone to play with so the nervousness was worth it.
I knew that my neighbor was a nice lady, but I just couldn't be disrespectful. And I wasn't going to risk calling her the wrong thing so that my friend couldn't come out to play.
So, there I stood, in the yard, calling her by what I knew she was, instead of by a name, over and over, "Edie Lou's Mama. Edie Lou's Mama". It was rhytmic.
I never really got over that, I think. It just seemed right to call her by the term that I gave her when I was little. When I mentioned her to others, she was the more formal Edie Lou's mother, or Mrs. T. When I talked to her, I just didn't call her anything. I just talked, as I do to most people. They know who they are, so there is no need to say their name, usually. Whew! I avoided that decision and a possible mistake.
I think that, on that afternoon, I caught them at nap time, though, and I went home, dejected, until my friend came over later, or we went swimming, or playing in the water hose on the lawn. We always found something to do, no matter what age we were. And, often we had others in our group to join us.
I remember Edie Lou's Mama resting after dinner time at noon, with a novel to read. I thought that was so nice. My mother was still washing dishes or clothes, or sewing, or ironing, waxing floors, or the other many chores she did, depending on the day. But, often, she did turn on a soap opera on the radio while she finished up in the kitchen after dinner. Sometimes, she would get on the bed and rest, while studying something from the Eastern Star or reading "Readers Digest" or a magazine.
If you have ever seen "The Little Rascals" or "Our Gang" movies, life, for us, back then, was sort of like those movies.
Edie was just a little older so I was able to follow along in her footsteps as far as school and other activities went.
Their home was a neat, wooden house with a fireplace. I thought it was like a city house must be. When people started getting television sets, they built a den where the family enjoyed tv dinners on tv trays, during a night of television. The wonder of it all! That was really something. But so was listening to radio programs on their living room radio. I spent a lot of time with Edie and her family, from the time I moved to the neighborhood when I was 3 1/2. That's when Daddy built his own house, with only an empty lot between our houses.
In the drawing above, I have shown the back bedroom, where the grownups slept, before the den was built and the screened porch became a master bedroom. The back door opened to the driveway, which was bordered by a wonderful grape vine. Previously, I showed this room, in a drawing, when we were a little older, covering our books for school.
Edie and I are spread out on the floor, coloring in a coloring book. I watched carefully and tried to follow what the older kids were doing, even when coloring. Her father was standing there in his golfing clothes, the first ones I had ever seen. I still remember him towering over us, and all I could see was the pants that puffed out at the top of the long, patterned socks, and the shoes with spikes on the bottom. He was going out to the country club to play some golf. I was in awe, but I tried not to look so dumb as to not know what golf clothes were like. After all, I did go to movies. But the men in my family didn't play golf, or dress like that. They seemed to almost always be working at the store, or going to church, or checking the cows, with an occasional community, church, or social event thrown in.
I did this drawing last spring, as I was thinking about the things we did in childhood, and the school reunion that was coming in June.
I was going to post something else today, but I've learned that Edie Lou's Mama died. So, I just had to give her an angel, or something. I thought that sharing some of my memories might be a good thing to do. Certainly she was one of those who gave us a safe place to be children, with the freedom, and time, to worry about things like what we should call the adults, what to play and where, or memorizing multiplication tables.
I hope you look at the slide show that I added yesterday. It took me a while to do it, so I didn't get it sent out. I had not figured out how to put the code in , and write in that space as well. That's another thing to work on. In learning to do the slide show, I added all six of the acrylic paintings of "Deco Street". This way, you will be able to compare all six of them in one place, rather than me posting one or two at a time.
The Brazos Valley Art League has their show up at the Art Center this week in College Station. You can click on the link to the Brazos Valley Art League on the sidebar for more information.
There will be a Downtown Art Auction in Bryan, Texas Friday Nov.2. This is in connection with the First Friday event. More information is available on the Brazos Valley Art League link.
Hope you had a good weekend, and that you have made some wonderful memories of your own.

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