Beyond the cotton field and over the steep ditch, we could see Aunt Rena’s store from my cousin Lesa’s front yard. On summer afternoons, we walked over for a visit. Aunt Lavern (Lesa’s momma) watched us from their carport to make sure we didn’t get run over on the highway by the big trucks hauling grain. We never did.
Even though Aunt Rena was always busy piddling around the store, she seemed happy to see us and greeted us with big hugs and glasses of sweet tea served in Mason jars. Since her store was dimly lit and crammed packed with stuff, it was our favorite place to play hide-and-go-seek. The creaky wooden floors and musty air that sometimes made us sneeze, added an extra challenge to our game.
I liked to hide behind the large cardboard boxes shoved underneath the dry good shelves.
One day I peeked inside and discovered the boxes were filled with scraps of fabric—different colors and patterns—all folded and stacked in little squares.
Six whole boxes!
“Aunt Rena, what are you planning to do with all this fabric?” I held up a stack of cotton pieces.
“I’m not sure yet,” she said.
I thought she might use the cloth for quilts and blankets. Or maybe she was just a collector of things that were too good to throw away. I never really knew for sure. I never saw any customers in the store either.
Grace Grits and Gardening
“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”
― Oscar Wilde