Too late. Need sleep. Hands are stopping to work. Orbs, not finished but, I cater to my audience. :-) I'll add more. I see quite the little adventurer. Curious and fearless.
Jimmy woke with his usual off/on light switch of energy that make
little boys such a handful at the ages of four through twelve or so. The birds along the phone lines out back were
making their usual morning racket and the sun was just peeking over the horizon. Jimmy was FIVE! And he told everyone. Well everyone unless an old person asked,
then a case of shyness would set it. Old
people were old! They thought different than kids did. You could never tell what was on the mind of
an adult. Too unpredictable to fathom
and if they asked you a question, who knew what
kind of reason they asked. This
morning was an Aunt Gracie morning. He
could smell the fresh coffee and bacon frying.
Jimmy always woke hungry when Aunt Gracie was here. She made the BEST pancakes. When she had time, she’d write his name in
pancake batter. The fry pan wasn’t big
enough for “Jimmy,” so she wrote, “Jim” just like an old person’s name. He guessed that was okay, but he was Jimmy.
Aunt Gracie said, someday I’d want to be called Jim or James. No way!
James? Oh ewww. Who wants to be some Butler? Maybe a Limousine driver would be fun, but
who wants to dress up in a monkey suit?
Church was bad enough! A suit you
can’t play in, and the collar of his white shirt was always scratchy with
starch. And a church picnic? How can you have fun at one of those? You can’t climb a tree, or wrestle and play
war. Always praying. I think Church picnics are… shhhhh..
Heck! (Don’t tell Aunt Gracie I said
Jimmy quickly shinnied out of his pajamas and into his jeans
and T-shirt. Dad says, “Only trash sleep
in their clothes. We may not have much,
but we have pride, manners and self respect.”(and scratchy collars.) Taking the time to make his bed and fold his
pajamas across his foot board like Mom showed him before she went away, he ran
out to the kitchen and ran/banged into his dad’s side and gave him a quick tight
hug before climbing in his chair. Raymond
Good looked up from the paper he was reading and said, “Good Morning Jimmy,
what are your plans this fine day?”
“Danny and I were thinking about going to the park and fly
his kite.” (Maybe they’d climb that pine
tree to the fifth branch this time)
Raymond raised an eyebrow and said, “Don’t go breaking your
neck flying the kite.”
Jimmy’s eyes got round for second, and Aunt Gracie said, “Like
a Book.” (Whatever that meant) Dad just harrumphed. With a small twinkle in his eye, Raymond
looked at Jimmy and said, “I was talking to Mrs. Madison yesterday and she said…
There’s that point where you just know an old person is going
to give you that disappointed look and talk (Jimmy had climbed her tree to the
second branch last week.) it lasts for an instant, but is a “portendor of Doom.” …she
has an old bike that might fit you and…
(A BIKE!!!!) …I’ll pick it up on
the way to work and brush on some paint before shift starts. It’s pink right now… (pink?) …because it’s a girl’s bike.” Looking concerned, Raymond added, “It would
be painted red though… “
Jimmy thought all of three seconds and said “Sure!” with a
beaming smile. He didn’t mind a Girl’s
bike. Danny’s older brother hit that top
bar on his bike when he was showing off and hurt his wanger bad.
Jimmy had seen it and Danny’s brother laid on the ground a long time before
he got up again. He walked funny the
rest of the day too. Jimmy just didn’t
like pink. Pink was a girl’s color and girls were weird. Red though was the BEST! Jimmy came down out of his clouds thinking of
pink, then girls and then his sister, to hear his dad say,
“Well Sport, what do you think? Will a red girl’s bike be okay for a first bike? We can add training wheels and… no? Don’t you think you should have some training
wheels?” Jimmy just shook his head. “No, I guess not. No training wheels for Captain Jimmy.”
“I think it’s SWELL!
Danny and I will ride to the park tomorrow!” Jimmy thought again about
his sister and got a curious look on his face.
“Dad, does Kimberly have Poison Ivy?” (Kimmy was his thirteen year old sister.)
With a quizzical look Raymond asked, “Why do you ask that?”
“Well, last night I had to use the bathroom and get a drink
of water. When I was coming back I heard
some groaning like a bad dream, and Kimmy was scratching between her legs like
when I had the measles and that time with poison ivy. I know she don’t have the measles, but she’s
a girl and probably doesn’t know poison ivy like I do. (Catch it once, and you will know it well
Raymond got a green look on his face and looked at Aunt
Gracie who just snickered. “You’re not helping
matters here Grace.” Looking back at
Jimmy, Raymond said he’d talk to him that night but had to go now for the bike
and get to work to paint it. Standing up
Raymond tucked his paper in his arm and gave Jimmy a quick hug, and a pleading
look at Aunt Gracie.
“Okay Ray, I’ll think of something.” Grace said with a smile, “Now, Work hard.”
Jimmy chimed in with, “Make Lots of money.”
Raymond ended with, “And eat at Joes.” As Raymond headed out the door, he looked at
Jimmy and said, “Remember when flying that kite, You don’t… “ Jimmy and Aunt Gracie both chimed in with, “ …Break
Turning to the stove Gracie looked over her shoulder and
said, “I have two pieces of bacon with your name on it, some corn meal mush
with raisins, and a slice of peanut butter toast sliced into ice cream cones. Unless you want oatmeal of course. Keeps the old
folks regular ya know.”
Wrinkling his nose, Jimmy shook his head. “No.
No oatmeal for me. Cornmeal is
just Great!” and meant it. He liked it
the way Aunt Gracie made it with sugar and a hint of salt. Almost as good as corn on the cob. Tomorrow we’d have Scrapple, and that was
always good. “So Aunt Gracie, does Kimberly have Poison Ivy? I tried to ask
if she wanted the calamine lotion, but she threw Mr. Tuttles (her stuffed
chimp) at me and told me to get out.
“Let me think a bit and get the mush going and we’ll talk
over a cup of coffee. Grace brought the
water to boil and stirred in the corn meal, a spoon and a half of sugar, and a
pinch of salt. Bringing the small pot to
a simmer, she turned on the burner under the frying pan, added a slice of bacon
cut in half, pulled out a slice of bread and popped it in the toaster. Grabbing the coffee pot she added fresh to
her cup, then set the coffee pot back on the back burner of the stove. Checking the mush, she gave it a stir, then
flipped the bacon over, and popped the toast.
Giving it a critical eye, she flipped it over and sent the plunger back
down. Dad said Aunt Gracie could clean a
toilet diaper a baby and chant a salty limerick while having tea with the
Queen. All with efficiency and critical
eye to detail. Dad called her a JT Irregular,
whatever that was. To prove that fact,
she popped the toaster up, turned off the heat to the fry pan and mush, then
buttered his toast. (peanut butter first, then a smear of butter.) She then took out the bacon to drain on a
dish cloth before returning to the toast and making the required “cone cuts.” Pulling down a bowl and plate she stacked
them and arranged the bacon and toast around the bowl before spooning up the
mush. Glancing up, she inquired, “Milk?”
as she grabbed the carton from the fridge.
Setting his plate before him and the carton down, she asked, “What are we forgetting?”
“Silverware!” Jimmy shouted.
Raising an eyebrow she looked at him while saying “And… ?”
Jimmy groaned and said, “Prayer.”
Nodding at him she said, “Right.
Now get to it.” Skrunching up his
eyes he said,
“God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.”
Grace gave a “amen.” As he finished, then grabbed the silverware
and sat down at the table with him. “I’ve
been thinking.” She started.
“Yes?” Jimmy always
liked when Aunt Gracie treated him in an “Adult fashion.” He knew she’d tell him the truth. “Does Kimmy have Poison Ivy?”
Aunt Gracie snorted in her coffee. For many, that question might have set them
stumbling, but Grace was a JTI through and through. “No she doesn’t”
“Phew, because I was worried!”
“Of course you were. We
can’t have quarantine in the summer. That’d
never do for young boys. But don’t be too relieved. What Kimberly has is much worse. Much, much worse. She has Cooties!
to be continued