gathering days…forty eight
When I was a girl my sister and I were flown across country to spend a few weeks with our grandparents. New Jersey in July was a world I never knew existed, a place where paper became noodle-limp and fans were tucked into the slots beside the hymnals in church.
Sitting in the pews we’d wedge our hands beneath our knees to keep them from sticking to the wood and watch the ladies dab at foreheads and necks with laced edged hankies to keep the dew at bay.
Nana would open her pocketbook and covertly offer mentos between hymns with a warning in her eyes to suck, not chew.
Our minds would drift as the sermon wandered in that peaceful place, feet swinging gently just above the polished floor.
Afterwards we’d walk the three blocks back to their house for dinner and naps, drunk with the heat, the whir of the fan singing us to sleep.