It’s Just Water
It is confession
time. I’ve been writing to you about Little Miss Phillips for close to thirty years, leaving you to deduce that something has to be amiss.
LMP isn’t little any more, but the stories are all mostly true, just not contemporary.
She did boss me around when the Kansas Woman was away. She loved pulling one over on me, and I was usually a willing foil.
To her glee she nearly got me arrested once. I don’t want to know how close I came.
At a girlfriend’s house, the spring-loaded attic stairs came down and caught LMP fullface. With a broken nose and puffy black eyes, she looked an awful mess.
I moved our monthly junk food shopping trip forward as a moral booster. No veggies, no fruit, nothing on the pyramid, just junk.
The checkout clerk asked LMP what happened to her, to which she replied, “Poppa Joe says I just won’t listen.”
Our escape through the parking lot was slowed by her howling laughter, dragging feet and relishing a moment of “schadenfreude.” A few miles down the road, she smirked that we left our junk food at the register. I wasn’t going back.
LMP is the mother of Harvey, “The Little Guy.” TLG was joined yesterday by a baby brother, “Joseph.”
TLG is curious. He is accustomed to successfully questioning his dad, an engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, and getting good, cogent answers.
Last week TLG asked me what clouds are made of. Water.
“How does it get up there?” Evaporation.
“What’s that?” Ask your dad.
But after that I began to reminisce about how, as a child, I reacted to weather.
I was as befuddled as this five-year-old the first time I saw hail and asked my dad how that happened.
As a Boy Scout in South Georgia, summer rains were common and harmless. Getting wet was no big deal. It’s just water.
The memory of walking in the rain with the right girl made an ordinary Saturday afternoon a snapshot of that time.
I sat on the porch of the mountain cabin shelling field peas into a lap of newspapers with my uncle and aunt. Rain and small ice pellets pounded the tin roof creating a wall of sound. Conversation was impossible.
Sunday afternoon I’d had enough remembering. Thunder was miles away. The rain gentle.
It was cool on my back. My tee shirt was soaked. My sneakers became squishy.
The Kansas Woman watched me walk down the hallway with a question in her eyes.
It would have been easier to explain “evaporation.”