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  • Writer's pictureMags

The Front Porch Swing, a Seasonal Fruit and a Healthy Whole Grain

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

I was lucky that my paternal grandparents lived in the same small town (and very near) my great-grandmother and two great-aunts from my mother's side. Every August my older sister and I were shipped off to Upson County (central south Georgia) for two weeks with the grandparents. Until early adulthood, I just thought I had a lot of grandparents. The “greats” and the “aunts” just blended into the mix.

The days were long and very hot, and we stayed busy. The evenings were the best times. After a filling supper, freshly bathed and attired in our shortie pyjamas, we went to the back garden to catch lightning bugs for the half hour or so of dusk. We kept the bugs in big mason jars with some sticks, leaves, and a Coke cap full of water. We punched a few holes in the lids and put the jars in our bedroom as 'nightlights'. Maybe the holes were too big though, because come morning, there were never any bugs left in those jars. I suspect Granddaddy set them all free, and knew we'd be none the wiser.

Grandmother made a habit of reading to us at bedtime - a tradition I've carried on with my boys. When we were very young, she read Bible stories to us in bed, but as we grew and our attention spans lengthened, she read children's classics to us on the front, screened-in porch. It was usually warm and not too muggy, and the porch swing was perfect for me to lay my head on her lap while she read and gently nudged the swing.

Grandmother, even in the heat of the summer, cooked wonderful hot suppers. She made fried fish, collard greens, butter beans, and creamed corn. The kind of meals I now know are called 'Soul Food'. I also understand why – that food does my soul good. We loved Grandmother's cooking, but on Sunday nights, it was Granddaddy's night to 'cook'. He usually treated us to watermelon and popcorn. That's a seasonal fruit and a healthy whole grain, so we never argued. Sometimes we'd get a cherry Coke float too.

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