Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nostalgia #2

When we were little kids, the highlight of the week was garbage day. My sister and brother and I would crowd about the bedroom window and wave madly at the two burly guys who rode standing up at the back of the truck. After they had emptied our garbage can in the alley behind the house, they drove to the end of the alley and circled around, coming past the front of the house. We'd race to the front window and wave madly once again. They always waved back.

One rainy day, we'd thrown away an old umbrella that only had the handle and spokes left--no cloth. After the garbage men emptied our can and drove through the rain to the end of the alley, we ran to the front window as usual, to wave goodbye. One of the men had pulled that old umbrella out of the garbage, and as the truck drove by in the rain he was standing at the back of the truck, holding the skeletal umbrella over his head and grinning like a fiend. We thought that was just about the funniest thing we'd ever seen. How we laughed!

I wonder if he knew how much pleasure that one incident gave our family over the years? To this day, we still talk fondly about it. It seems to me that spontaneous acts like that were a way of connecting with others in a friendly way, without worrying if you were being intrusive or, God forbid, offensive. I miss that. Do you have memories from your past that you treasure?


NinaP said...

Hi Sherrie!

I found your blog. Hurray! I love the title.

Your Nostalgia story is fun. The “trash men” were always a big thing at my house too.

Being the first of nine children has give me lots of stories. One of the things I remember most is visiting my maternal grandmother's gravesite at Christmas. After placing a small artificial tree, we'd decorate it with shinny red balls sporting our names written in glitter. We’d add other things like school papers we were especially proud of or pictures of us receiving school awards and trophies Then we kids would run of, older paired with younger, and visit other graves. I was always drawn to those left unadorned. I’d glean what I could from the headstone, then began to build their story. Who they were. How they lived. Died. And who and what they left behind. That may have been the start of Nina the writer.

As I blog this, my Nanny is smiling back at me from a 5x7 silver frame. If she were alive to day, she would not openly approve of what I write. But when she was younger, my Nanny was a flapper who loved the speakeasies. She taught me to dance. And she always had a story to tell.

Sherrie Holmes said...

I can see why you are a writer, Nina! What a lovely gravesite Christmas tree story. And I LOVED your flapper nanny! I can see a story waiting to be written in that one!