Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cousins, Cousines

Last night I had the most marvelous dream. It was warm and delicious in a way that sepia toned pictures connote well being and nostalgia. The edges were slightly crinkled. And the smells. Ah the scent of freshly cut grass and mint by the back door. The aroma of Pearl's sweet yeast rolls rising cloverleaf in the aluminum cupcake pan.

The setting was Lexington, Kentucky chez Grandmother and Grandfather. Pretty formal for Ma and BaBa which were their names when we were toddlers. Somehow Rose and Lester determined we were getting too big, too grown-up for the tom-foolery of babied nomenclature.

The season? Why summer of course. The year? Late 1950s most likely if the hi-fi in the corner of the grey chintz living room held the clue. Also grandfather's appearance in the dream at all. He barely made it into the 1960s, totally missing the JFK presidency which he would have loved. A handsome, tanned leader of the pack with a bright toothy smile. That would have made his refined, regal styled self proud.

The players: all the girl cousins and my little brother. Meredith and Leslie, my sister-cousins. Robin and Mary, my sister-sisters. And darling Willy who followed us everywhere then. My Mom had gathered us for supper on the brick terrace while she visited with her mom and decided which new dresses from Town and Country were appropriate for the parties back home.

We had been driven the 75 miles along old route US60 past white fences bordering rolling bluegrass fields, the Old Stone Inn, through Shelbyville and antique stores renowned the world over, the state capitol building in Frankfort with flower clock on the lawn in front of the DC styled dome-topped landmark. When we passed Calumet Farms where breeders had developed the perfect formula for birthing Kentucky Derby winners we knew it would be moments before we passed the Campbell House Inn on our way to Culpepper Road. Ninety minutes of rollicking fun in the back seats of the Ford Country Squire station wagon with the faux wood decals on the sides. Not a real 'woody', but way more modern.

In the dream we were darling southern girls, sweet and demure. My baby brother mimicking our every move. Hiding our mischievous grins while mooning the neighbors. Who knew we'd be patzed on the tokie by Grandfather when his neighbor reported our antics. Then sent to bed on the second floor with no central air and only the attic fan to stir a hot, humid breeze. But the dream ended well. I awoke with the distinct remembrance of being with my beloved family and feeling as if they were all still here with us.

Cheers to Grandmother and Grandfather ... and Willy! Come visit often. You are always welcome ;-)


  1. Wonderful post! You've got such a gift for description, I was longing to be in your dream.

  2. And, I long to possess a single ounce of your talent, your penchant for intuiting the elusive craft of writing. My story edges ever so slowly to the page.

  3. That reminded me of my own grandparents and even more especially of my great grandparents.

    Why are my summers not like that anymore? Its so unfair.