Saturday, August 23, 2008

About that rocking chair...

Literally speaking, the rocking chair has not made it to the front porch yet. You see, as of now Annie and I do not have a rocking chair. We only got the porch a couple of weeks ago. So that rocking chair I wrote of in the beginning, well, that remains more metaphorical than actual.

Annie's got her bonnet set on matching high-backed wooden rockers parked side by side, looking out on the world of Collins Avenue. I'm in no hurry to make that particular dream real for her, though, even if I do break the 60-year tape in a couple of weeks. I acknowledged becoming my Dad at least a dozen or more years back, but I'll be switched if I'm ready to take the rocking-chair turn into becoming my Granddad!

That was the late Wiley Preston Saunders, by the way. He and his wife Cordie Ellen lived just around the bend at 14th and Clark Streets until his death in 1967. Can't help but think about him every time I drive over one of our remaining brick streets. Back in the day, Granddad and his oldest son Rodney--some River City old timers may remember Saunders Body Shop out on the old Waurika Highway--dredged sand out of the Big Wichita with a mule team for the mortar to brick pave those streets.

Some two years ago Annie and I left the road after hauling freight through every state in the lower 48. Oh, it seemed like a good idea at the time; to tool around the country, getting paid to cross "Visit every state in the union" off the Lifetime To Do List. Did not take this city boy long to figure out you don't get to see much nature through the windshield of an OTR freight hauler. I always wanted to snap a picture of the front grill of that old truck and send it to Dr. Horner over at the university; see if he could catalogue my bug collection!

Anyway, we came in off the road and rented a little two-room cottage right smack behind Mamaw and Granddad's old home place. Changes have been made to the place through the years, but I could still see the two of them of a summer evening, sitting on the porch and quietly enjoying their Coke floats. I even heard the same cicadas buzzing in the big pecan tree out front. Their descendants still define summer in this neighborhood to this day.

Annie will get her chairs soon enough, or, "d'rectly" as Cordie would say. I'm more into sorting out what variety of native Texas weeds inhabit the yard and figuring how far I can go away from "lawn" and toward native plains before the Landlady hollers, "ENOUGH!" Then, maybe then, I'll be ready to sit and rock for a spell with a tall, cold Lynchburg Lemonade.

Y'all come see us, now. Hear?
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