I think there's an earlier draft of this somewhere in the innards of this contraption, which likely indicates I ought to return to pen and paper.
The world is this big in 1950 or so: my house and the following: across the street one door down is my Daddy's older brother, Unka B. Behind his house is the small frame building from which they run their electrical contracting business. There are two massive oak trees, one in the center of the yard, and one marking the border of the next lot beside the path. There's an outdoor brick fireplace/ grill between the trees, and below it, at the end of the shop, under the second oak, my Uncle's toy: an Air conditioner he designed and built. Later this becomes the business. Beyond that is an overgrown lot behind Granny's house, which is past the vacant lot between the two houses, where a covey of quail live; my Uncle likes to squat by the brick grill at dusk and whistle until the birds appear at the edge of the yard. Unka B bought the three lots and built two houses just before the war, one for him and one for his parents.
The most important place is, of course, Granny's house, where we make cookies (I have an identical bowl in my kitchen now; I don't think I've ever used it, but it needs to be there), and spend Friday nights to get away from our parents. Granny makes us anything we want for supper, but sometimes things don't taste as they should, which we have learned is because Granny was a Yankee and can't help it. We sometimes tease her about this.
One of the very best suppers in Summertime is Cobbler, which she is the best at making. There are two kinds, and I still can't tell which is the better: peach (OMG!) or, maybe even better, blackberry: biscuit dough baked over sweetened fruit. Sometimes Strawberry Shortcake, in which the dough is baked separately, with layers of fruit and whipped cream, is a nice change, but blackberry may be best, because we have the fun of picking the berries. Between Granny's yard and her neighbor's, at the back, are two rows of blackberry bushes whose branches arch back across one another, forming a tunnel full of sun and the best berries--a cathedral-- which no adult can reach, because they're too big to pass through, but we're not, and we fill our buckets while they struggle with the briars. Brer Rabbit got nuthin on us. As my mama was confined to the nursing home in the last few years, she told me my Grandfather and namesake, Granny's husband, had planted the blackberries; I hadn't known that.
Granny taught me to read before I went to Kindergarten; school being an unusual favor at the time for my class; it was a private school. I remember Bugs and Daffy, but I suppose there were Three Little Ducklings as well. She had a big upholstered chair with wide arms; each of us could sit on a side and read along. She taught us songs, too: "Rock a bye, Baby", and others.
She would tell me sometimes "I wouldna trade a farm for ya." which I thought was sweet: a farm with all kinds of animals and things! I didn't know then that she had left Indiana and the security she may have thought she had found with a husband twenty years her senior, at nineteen, with a baby Unka B and another on the way, when Dad Wood's siblings sold the farm out from under them when their parents died. He had left college and his dream of being a Methodist Minister to care for them and the farm for twenty years, buried a first wife and raised a daughter; he never went back to Indiana again. I know very little about the lineage from which my surname comes; it stops, for all practical purposes, with him. A farm, and the security, and the position it conveyed, was nearly everything in Indiana at the turn of the Twentieth century; I meant more to her than that.
When Granny died, in 1963, my cousin, Unka B's daughter, told me Granny suddenly sat up, at the end, and said "I see my mother" and fell back, to speak no more. Granny was a step-daughter, in an age when that mattered; she never spoke of the woman who raised as anything but "my step-mother," though she was close to her half-sister, Pauline.
Over the years, I have come to realize that, when I think of Godde as a human being, I know what She looks and sounds like, and I'm sure who it will be, should we still know such things, who will greet me in my time.