My grandmother loved the color red. She loved shoes too. Red shoes. In fact, she had a pair of red pumps that she wore all the time. She may have had her nightgown and robe on, or even one of those snap up house dresses, but she would have on those red pumps until bedtime.
When she died in 1996 we buried her in a red dress and my mom greeted mourners as she stood at the head of the casket also dressed in red. Granny would have liked that.
I thought about those things Sunday evening while riding round and round the front field mowing some very tall grass. Each time I reached the corner near the driveway and turned to go back in the other direction I got a clear view of the front of the house with its red tin roof and thought Granny would certainly have liked the way it looked.
She would have liked what we’ve done with her old place. She would have loved all the summer flowers in bloom and the grand old crepe myrtle to the side of the house — red of course — nearly in full show. It is really pretty. Yeah, Granny would have loved it.
We had been out of town for the weekend and upon our return Sunday, the guy that stores hay on part of the hill had bush hogged the parts that I don’t mow. The place looked huge. Really huge. Unfortunately the weather and a couple of other projects had me behind on my mowing so it was dark as I finished up and at day break on Monday the field looked like it was ready for a hay rake and baler.
It seems to be easier to get behind in chores these days. I’m not sure if it is lack of motivation due to the crazy world in which we are living, or just being old and tired. Either way, once you get around to it, and the round and round of the mowing commences, the mind can get to going around and around as well.
We had also spent part of Sunday afternoon in my wife, Danny’s, classroom at Conehatta Elementary School. When she and her students left at Spring Break they had no idea they would still be Spring Breaking today.
As spring turned to summer workers at the empty school had taken on the task of replacing the floor tiles on Danny’s hall. We went up there Sunday to set her classroom back up after everything had been moved out for the tiling. Everything had been moved back into the room, but nothing, was even anywhere near where it should be. It is now.
We moved desks, and cubbies, and chairs and computers, and you name it and if it is in a classroom it is in hers. We were the only two people in the whole school and it was a bit erie and very quite. No children’s laughter nor the clatter of them moving through the halls.
Just as we were about to wrap up the task and head back to the house and the yard at hand, we uncovered her desk calendar still turned to March 2020. This is kind of freaky I thought. I was reminded of a horror movie or perhaps a Steven King novel. It seems so very long ago, but when we look at the calendar it is only a few months.
I sent a photo of the room and that desk calendar to my brother, his wife, and my daughter, in a group text with the caption “this is when time stopped.”
“It is when everything stopped,” was the reply from one of those in the group. I suppose that’s true I thought.
Back home on that mower I found myself smiling at the red roof, and the red crepe myrtle, and thinking about Granny. At dark as I parked the mower in the old tractor shed next to the corn crib my mind wandered again to my childhood and playing on that very same dirt floor.
Then I came to the realization that time didn’t stop in March. It kept going as it always does. We’ve just had a whole lot of things on our minds.
What we need right now is some of the comfort that Granny found in those red shoes. That’s what we need!