Thursday, September 18, 2008

go to the basement and bring me a bottle of green hair

Since I have been staying with my mother we have been writing a book of her memories, she wants me to pass this on to Sophie one day so she will know her history. She is afraid that I will lie to Sophie and make up a more interesting history. She may be right. Her memories usually could be ripped straight from a walt disney movie with singing mice and little birds holding up her poplin dress. The only interesting stories begin "well we don't need to tell everyone that one". Like the time my uncle ran over someone, he didn't actually run over him he was guiding a truck backwards and had the guy back right over someone. He didn't get fired either. very different world. I was tasking myself on the long drive b ack to Norfolk to think of my own childhood memories and the one that comes back the most strongly is the bottle of green hair. We are Mormon's I didn't mention that did I. Mormon's believe that you should keep 2 years of food on hand and usually can their own food. My Grandma did. My grandparent's owned an orchard so my Grandma did a lot of canning. Every meal she would send me or my sister down to the basement, or dungeon if you are English, The basement was a concrete Bunker about 50 miles long. The only lights were in the middle of the bunker and you had to find a little bitty string the size of a cobweb in the middle of the dark room meanwhile the diabolical water heater would come on with a loud thud making all the blood in your body race to your armpits. After you got the peaches you were required to turn off the light and transverse the 50 miles of darkened bunker to make it to the stairs. My grandfather built the house and he put a dark hole at the bottom of the stairs to keep monsters and spiders I think. The only way to make it up the stairs alive was to run and leap up the first three stairs and keep going. If you fell on the concrete stairs and they became slick with your blood it didn't matter the important thing was to just keep going. At the top of the stairs my Grandparent's kept coats , million year old robes and hats making the top of the stairs look like it was populated with corpses dressed for inclement weather. After this ordeal at the top of the stairs if your sister hadn't locked the door you would proudly give the peaches to your grandma who would promptly send you back downstairs to get the old peaches from the back. Despite the fact that we lived in an orchard in the winter we never had a luscious pink and yellow peach instead we got the peaches from 10 years ago. For those of you who have never had a 10 year old peach you don't know but they look like a giant hairball kept in a glass jar by Hannibal lectern. My grandmother dyed them different colors so they looked like festive goiters.She served them on a bed of creamy cottage cheese.

1 comment:

  1. oh, groooooossss! i lived in upstate new york as a kid, and remember basements like that. of course i could never tell a story of one as funny as you!!!